Orange Meltaways

From England and Scotland. Meltaways are elegant little tea cookies prepared with a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Their tops are brushed with an apricot, orange zest mixture and sprinkled with granulated sugar during baking, which gives them a lovely orange glaze and flavor. The cookies are called meltaways because of their melt-in-the-mouth texture.


40 2-inch cookies

Cookie Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1 stick plus 5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, slightly softened
2/3 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
1 large egg yolk
finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 to 4 teaspoons orange juice, approximately

Apricot Orange Glaze Ingredients

1/4 cup apricot preserves, strained
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon orange zest, very finely grated
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated (white) sugar


Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C). Lightly grease baking sheets with cooking spray.

Sift together flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for 3 minutes, until very light. Add the powdered sugar and beat until very fluffy and smooth. Beat in egg yolk, lemon zest, orange zest, lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons orange juice until mixture is well blended. Add dry ingredients and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Let stand for 2 or 3 minutes. If the mixture seems too stiff to pipe through a pastry tube, beat in a bit more orange juice to soften it just slightly.

Fit a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch diameter or slightly larger star tip. Stand the bag, tip down, in a tall glass and turn down a wide cuff at the top. Spoon mixture into the bag until two-thirds full. Turn the cuff up and twist the top tightly to close. Pipe 1 1/2-inch shell shapes onto baking sheets, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart. Let stand for about 5 minutes.

Prepare Apricot Orange Glaze: In a small bowl, stir together strained apricot preserves, lemon juice, and orange zest.

Place cookies in the center of the oven and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove baking sheets from the oven and lightly brush tops of cookies with the glaze. Generously sprinkle the glazed cookies with granulated sugar. Return baking sheets to the oven and continue baking for 4 to 5 minutes longer or until glaze starts to bubble and caramelize and cookies are browned at the edges. Remove baking sheets from the oven and let cookies stand for about 2 minutes. Then transfer them to wire cooling racks and let stand until cooled completely.


Store the cookies in an airtight container in a single layer for up to a week. Freeze for longer storage.

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