Melting moments cookies are a super simple treat that’s very similar to shortbread, but even more crumbly. They’re easy enough that anyone can make them successfully, even non-bakers!
Also known as cornstarch cookies, melting moments cookies are exactly as they sound: cookies that melt in your mouth.
They’re similar in texture to shortbread cookies, but even more addictively crumbly because of the addition of cornstarch.
My version includes a little lemon zest (but you can substitute a little almond extract) for an extra flavor punch. Make yourself a batch today—if you like shortbread cookies then you’ll absolutely love these!
Why you’ll love these melting moments cookies:
- They’re SO easy to make
- You can store them for a week at room temperature (longer in the freezer!)
- You probably already have the ingredients on hand to make them right now
How to make melting moments cookies
- Beat room temperature butter with powdered sugar until light and fluffy
- Beat in vanilla extract and lemon zest
- Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl
- Beat until a cohesive dough forms
- Be sure your butter is at room temperature or it won’t cream properly with the powdered sugar. Butter usually takes about half an hour on the counter to come to room temp, but that will depend on how warm your kitchen is.
- You can use almond extract or even more vanilla in place of the lemon zest if you prefer.
- The dough will be crumbly at first when you’re beating in the dry ingredients; don’t worry, just keep going and the dough will come together.
Then you’ll chill the dough for an hour or so; you can’t shape the cookies immediately because the dough is too soft to work with.
After the dough has chilled:
- Shape into 1-inch balls, arrange on baking sheets, then use the bottom of a glass or the palm of your hand to flatten lightly. Bake about 12 minutes
- Sift powdered sugar over the cookies while they’re warm
And they’re done! Seriously, melting moment cookies are ridiculously easy to make aren’t they?
- These cookies don’t brown; they’re done when they look set all over. (I find it’s actually better to over-bake them than under-bake them so if you’re unsure whether they’re done, give them another minute or so.)
- Don’t try to lift the cookies off the baking sheets with your fingers; they’ll crumble. Use a thin metal spatula; I use a large offset spatula because it’s thin and exactly the right shape to fit under the little cookies.
- When I dust my cookies with powdered sugar, I just set the wire rack on which they’re cooling on top of a large baking sheet. That way the baking sheet catches all the excess powdered sugar and I don’t have to clean the counters.
How to store melting moments
Store uneaten melting moments cookies (once they’re completely cool!) layered with wax paper in airtight containers. They’ll keep that way, at room temperature, for about a week.
You can also freeze your cookies, layered in wax paper in airtight containers, for up to 3 months. (Just be sure the containers really are airtight to help keep the cookies from drying out.)
Can I freeze this cookie dough?
Unfortunately I don’t recommend freezing this dough. It tends to dry out in the freezer. But the cookies, once they’re baked, freeze really well.
See above for instructions on freezing the cookies.
What are melting moments cookies?
Melting moments are a bite-sized, shortbread-like cookie that, as the name suggests, melts in your mouth. They’re typically either coated in powdered sugar or topped with a glaze.
These cookies are very buttery and have a beautiful crumbly texture—that texture makes them very delicate, so they’re perfect with your afternoon cup of tea :). (Although not great for shipping across the country if you’re someone who ships Christmas cookies. . .)
Melting moments, like many shortbread cookies, typically do not contain eggs, which makes them a perfect cookie for those with egg allergies.
If you make these melting moments cookies let me know what you think by leaving a comment and rating below. And post a pic on Insta too—tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see! For more recipes and fun, like us on Facebook and follow along on Pinterest!
Melting moments cookies are a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie that's really easy to make!
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- finely grated zest of half a lemon*
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch**
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar for sprinkling
- Combine the butter and 6 tablespoons powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until very light and fluffy; this will take a couple of minutes.
- Add the vanilla and lemon zest and beat until combined.
- Sift the flour, cornstarch, and salt over the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until a cohesive dough forms, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times. (The dough will be crumbly at first but it will eventually come together.)
- Stir a few times with a rubber spatula to ensure all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, then cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 or 2 hours.
- After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350. Spray 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.
- Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and arrange 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
- Use the bottom of a flat-bottomed glass (or just use your palm) to flatten dough balls to 1/4-inch thickness. (If the glass sticks you can spray it lightly with cooking spray.) Don’t get the cookies too thin or they’ll burn!
- Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until the cookies look set all over. The cookies WILL NOT brown.
- Let the cookies sit for 1 minute on the baking sheets, then use a thin metal spatula (I use a large offset spatula) to transfer the cookies to a wire rack. Don’t use your fingers or the cookies will crumble.
- Sift the remaining powdered sugar over the tops of the cookies while they’re still warm. (You can do a second coat after the cookies cool if you want.) Serve.
- Cool cookies to room temperature before storing them—they don’t have to be room temp to serve them though!
- Uneaten cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container, layered with wax paper, for about a week
- The cookies can also be frozen, also in an airtight container, for up to 3 months.
- *You can substitute 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract) if you prefer.
- **Also known as cornflour