Grandma Kathryn's Meltaways

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“These cookies are very delicate and melt in your mouth! The frosting is what makes them extra special. You'll need a bit of patience as they are rolled into small balls by hand. Please don't be put off by the directions. They are simple, I have just detailed them for those new to baking. I don't really pay attention to how long I spend in the kitchen. I did my best but times are approximate and that of someone very expereinced making these cookies. Cooking time is per cookie sheet. The best part is that you can make the dough one night and bake and frost the next. I have even been known to spread the process out over three nights!”
55 cookies

Ingredients Nutrition

  • cookie
  • 1 cup butter (no substitutes)
  • 12 cup powdered sugar
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • frosting or glaze
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cream (I often use 2% milk as I don't often have cream in the house)
  • 14 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 12 cups powdered sugar
  • food coloring (optional)


  1. Cream butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Butter should be at room temperature before you begin. Don't use the microwave because melted butter won't work the same.
  2. Sift flour or put through a fine mesh strainer.
  3. Add salt, vanilla, and flour and mix until flour is incorporated.
  4. Here is the most important step: Mix at high speed (highest for a hand mixer) for 5 minutes. Scrape bowl at least 3 times, do not count this time in your 5 minutes. Dough will be lighter and fluffier at the end of 5 minutes. Skipping this step will result in a very different cookie.
  5. Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  6. Note: If you need to move faster, divide dough into small portions (3 or 4) and plop onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Loosely wrap and then pat into a disc. Dough should be chilled through in about an hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  8. Remove dough and begin rolling into small balls. I use a round 1/2 teaspoon measure and mound the dough and then finish rolling the ball.
  9. Place balls about an inch or inch and a half apart as they will not spread much while baking.
  10. Flatten with a bottom of a glass.
  11. How to: First put butter on the bottom of the glass, I use what is left on the paper in which the butter was wrapped. Put about 1/4 cup sugar into a cereal bowl and dip glass and then press lightly to flatten cookie. I find that with this dough you need to dip the glass in the sugar after every cookie. If cookies begin sticking you'll need to put a bit more butter on the bottom of the glass.
  12. Baking time will vary on the size of your cookie and the thickness. The original recipe says 12 minutes. Cookies should be firm. If they have just started to brown on the sides you've got it! You can also remove them just before they start to brown but this takes a bit of practice.
  13. Note: I find that my oven, which is always slow, takes about 16 minutes.
  14. Allow cookies to cool for at least 2 minutes before removing from pan to cooling rack.
  15. Frosting:
  16. Mix butter, cream, extract and powdered sugar until smooth. You may need to add more powdered sugar. Consistency should be thick enough that it will not "melt" over the sides of the cookie but not stiff.
  17. Add food coloring to frosting and mix to desired color.
  18. Note: The only time these cookies did not disappear from a party was the time I colored them yellow. When I asked a friend why she hadn't eaten one, she said she thought they were lemon and didn't want to try them. Now I stick to colors like blue, purple, pink, etc.
  19. Note: Cookies will need to dry in a single layer. After they dry, separate with wax paper or, if possible, store in a single layer. Don't worry, they disappear very fast so this will not be a horrible inconvenice.

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