Melting Moments

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Preparation info

  • Makes about


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Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

As far as I can determine, these are an old British cookie. They certainly deserve to be better known. The name is very fitting, because they are like little buttery orange-flavored clouds. Thanks to my friend Kyra Effren, who bakes every day, for sharing her wonderful recipe.


  • cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • ¾ cup cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectionerssugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 2 or 3 cookie sheets or jelly-roll pans lined with parchment or foil


  1. Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 325°F (160°C).
  2. Stir the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
  3. Combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low speed with the paddle until well mixed. Increase the speed to medium and continue beating until lightened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Beat in the extracts and orange zest.
  5. Decrease the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to give a final mixing to the dough.
  6. Arrange rounded teaspoons of the dough (a tiny ice-cream scoop is perfect for this) on the prepared pans about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on all sides. After all the cookies have been placed on the pans, flour a fork and press a crisscross design into the top of each mound of dough, flattening it slightly.
  7. Bake the cookies until they spread and become deep golden, about 20 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, place the pan from the lower rack on the upper one and vice versa, turning the pans back to front at the same time. If you know that your oven gives strong bottom heat, stack the pan on the lower rack on top of a second one for insulation. Slide the papers off the pans to cool the cookies. If you only have one more pan of cookies to bake, readjust one of the racks to the middle level.


Keep the cookies between sheets of wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.


Substitute lemon extract and zest for the orange extract and orange zest.