Melting Moments cookie true to toothsome title
POSTED: Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Today is cookie day, easily discerned with a glance at the photographs accompanying the lead story in this section. In the spirit, I have another contribution. This one originated with a request from Pamela Johnson, for the recipe for Melting Moments Cookies that she cut out of a newspaper in December 1982.
She remembers that it had won a contest.
I've found many recipes for this type of cookie — a simple flour-cornstarch-sugar-butter mix. No eggs, no liquid, no leavening. The result may be a round, powdery mound, a crescent shape or a flattened disc, perhaps with an indentation from being pressed with a thumb.
Melting Moments are related to another cookie, the Russian Tea Cookie, also called the Mexican Wedding Cookie, among many alternate names. My mother-in-law calls hers Sandies. Another version is called a Snowball.
The difference is that Russian/Mexican/Sandy/Snowballs are made with ground nuts. Melting Moments use instead a hefty quantity of cornstarch, making for a much lighter cookie.
But the mission was to find Johnson's award winner. After her request was printed here, Susan Nakai Googled "1982 Melting Moments Recipe" (why didn't I think of that?) and got a good hit: a recipe printed in the Hamilton (Ohio) Journal News in January. That recipe came from the 1982 "Favorite Brand Name Recipe Cookbook," which credits it to Argo & Kingsford's Corn Starch. Not exactly an award, but a favorite.
Some serial Googling led to details on the cookbook, written by the editors of Consumer Guide, publisher of product-review books, and to Argo & Kingsford's Web site (http://www.argostarch.com), which still offers a Melting Moment recipe (it's identical except that it uses almond extract, and each cookie has an almond half stuck on top).
So there you go. I can't be sure that this is Johnson's exact recipe. But I tried it and the cookies were melt-in-your-mouth delicacies. I'd call it a winner.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir flour, cornstarch and sugar together.
Cream butter until fluffy. Add vanilla. Blend in dry ingredients. Cover and chill one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with fork dipped in powdered sugar or flour. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Makes 15 cookies.
Notes: My cookies took longer to set, about 15 minutes, and I found the cookies were more attractive if you press the dough with your fingers instead of a fork and dip the baked cookies in powdered sugar when still warm. You could also make them much smaller — bite-size.
Nutritional information unavailable.
Top 5 recipes of the year
Don't forget — copies of the five best "By Request" recipes of 2009 are available for a $5 donation to the Star-Bulletin's Good Neighbor Fund.
The recipes: Hawaii-Style Custard Pie, Frosted Flake Chocolate Chip Cookies, Coconut Candy (those red sugary balls they sell in crack-seed stores), the Crouching Lion's Slavonic Steak and Gai See Mein (chow mein with a twist).
For a set, send $5 to "By Request" at the address below. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Make checks payable to the Good Neighbor Fund. Feel free to donate more, but indicate how many sets of recipes you would like. Deadline is Dec. 31. No e-mail or fax orders.