This weekend brought lots of rain and enough cold that our furnace kicked on early Saturday morning. Perfect for cookie baking!
During interviews for my thesis, I received recipes and advice from a variety of bakers and cooks. None gave better than Daisy. She mentioned Melting Moments at least a half dozen times. I read the recipe and didn't see anything specifically Scandinavian about it, but I kept the card at Daisy's insistence. The ingredients are common and few, so I threw together a batch in no time using what I already had on hand in my pantry.
Searching my cookbooks I found recipes for Melting Moments in every Minnesota community and church cookbook I own. But there was no mention of them in other books, including American and Swedish collections. Online searches hinted at Scandinavian and possibly Scottish origins.
Here is Daisy’s recipe exactly as it appears on the recipe card.
325 degrees, 12-15 minutes
Mix well: 1 c butter and 1/3 c powdered sugar
Add: 2/3 c corn starch and 1 c flour
Put through pastry bag. Do not remove from sheet. Frost with 2 c powdered sugar and lemon juice.
And here are my interpretations/hints:
Once dough comes together, chill for about an hour. Roll tablespoons into balls and place on ungreased cool baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Make thumbprint in each cookie if desired. Bake about 14 minutes in 325 degree oven but DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cookies should not brown. Remove baking sheet from oven and cool before removing cookies. Recipe makes 24 cookies.
A NOTE ON FROSTING: During our interview Daisy also told me about a special bitter almond extract that she and her baking friends coveted. It is available only in Sweden, so when a friend brought me three small bottles this spring I began to horde my supply. These cookies seemed an appropriate excuse to use a few drops of the extract. Daisy warned me that even a drop pf the concentrated liquid on your tongue would be too intense. Being a true “More Is Better” American I mistakenly added a drop too many to the powdered sugar glaze, and had to add another cup of sugar to offset my error. Won’t make that blunder again!