nana’s meltaways

wire rack
Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean that baking needs to come to an end. The cold of winter with its howling winds and powerful storms has had me hiding indoors. I find a nice way to get the apartment extra warm is to turn on the oven and bake something. A perfect excuse to make something sweet.

This recipe comes from my Nana. She was an expert baker, and this cookie is one of my favourites that she would make. It’s simple and buttery, and not too sweet. As the name suggests, it melts in your mouth! I made them recently with a girlfriend, then when I was home for the holidays, my mom said she had found a bag of the little silver ball candies that my Nana would used to top her Meltaways with, so of course, I had to make them again.

I have cut this recipe in half, and it still makes an outrageous amount of cookies. I counted 76. If you are attending a cookie exchange, or baking for lots of friends and family, then feel free to double this recipe and you’ll get about 150 cookies– they’ll be sure to please.


1/2 lb butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
dragées (silver ball candy), optional

butter cubes
Preheat oven to 325 F, then begin by cubing room temperature butter, and placing it in a large bowl.

cream butter
Using beaters, cream the butter.

butter sugar
Add icing sugar to butter and beat 1 minute.

finished dough
Add vanilla and flour, beating all for 3 minutes. This time, I used whole wheat flour, but the original recipe calls for white all purpose flour, and it really does taste better– well more authentic ‘Nana’, anyway.

parchment uncooked
Drop small balls of dough onto a cookie sheet, and space evenly. Dough balls should be very small– these cookies are meant to be a one-bite treat. If desired, top the balls with dragées before baking. Between batches, keep the dough in the fridge.

For Christmas, I got a silicone baking mat and thought I’d test it out for this recipe. Since I wasn’t sure how the cookies would turn out using the mat, I decided to bake half the cookies on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, just in case. Both methods worked well! I was pleased with the results of the mat, and was happy with the easy clean-up. Since the mat is reusable, there was also zero waste.

Place in oven for 12-15 minutes. The trick is to make sure the bottom of the cookies are a delicate golden colour. The tops of the Meltaways should not be browned.

delicate golden


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