Melting Moments: The name is corny, but the sandwiched cookie is divine. When my friend Bryanna was clearing her apartment for her big move to New York, she offered me a book of afternoon tea recipes. Everything looked good, but the Melting Moments caught my attention immediately. They're crisp yet light-textured cookies filled with buttercream. I had made them months ago with another recipe, which used Bird's custard powder and added jam on top of the buttercream. I like this recipe better, which uses cornstarch and vanilla instead so there wasn't the subtle chalky taste or texture I got from the Bird's. I made some other minor tweaks and added the jam to this version also. Trust me, jam plus buttercream induces satisfied groans. Thanks, Bry! Maybe I'll make these next time you're in town.
Also, if you're a fan of chocolate and hazelnut together, check back here in a few days for the Hazelnut Melting Moments I also made from this book!
I'm catching up on following all your posts. It's been a busy summer, especially with the visit of family. I had fun grilling and chilling with my dad, even if we disagree on how long it takes to cook meat on the grill and how harmful char is. It's all good -- by a certain age and with living in different states, you overlook the little stuff and enjoy your time together. And Sis and I had been waiting all summer for a beach outing together. She brought her little one, who would run around yelling, "Auntie, where arrre yoou? A-yi, where arrre yoou?" In these pictures Audrey is hanging with Grandpa, her best friend. In the one on the left, she's using one of her favorite expressions, "Wooo-ooow!" while she watches the waves.
And my garden has been rewarding me with tomatoes! There's loads of these little Sun Sugar tomatoes, some big heirloom Brandywine tomatoes, cherry peppers, and the occasional strawberry. On the right is a sauce I made from the yellow tomatoes, and a salsa behind it from the Brandywines and cherry peppers. I've been hitting up the farmers market for blueberries, summer squash, and fragrant peaches with the fuzz still on them. I'm trying, as usual, to milk every moment out of summer before it gets too cold for my favorite produce, beaches, and barbeques.
Adapted from The Afternoon Tea Collection
16 tbs (250 grams, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup (80 grams) confectioners sugar
1½ cups (225 grams) all-purpose flour
½ cup (75 grams) cornstarch
For the buttercream
6 tbs (90 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (120 grams) confectioners sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbs (45 grams) jam (I used Bonne Maman Four Fruits preserves)
Preheat oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, vanilla, and confectioners sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the flour and cornstarch, and beat just until combined.
Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop level mounds of cookie dough. Using your hands, roll them into balls and then gently flatten. Use the tines of a fork to lightly press the tops of the mounds for that signature Melting Moments look. Place them about 1 inch apart on baking sheets.
Bake for 15 minutes. Let them cool for 5 minutes before transferring them using an offset spatula to a wire rack to cool completely.
In the meantime, make the buttercream. In a bowl, beat together the butter and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla until just combined.
Spoon the buttercream onto half of the cookies, top with a bit of jam, then top with the remaining cookies. You can also scrape the buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, and pipe the buttercream decoratively onto the cookies. Go very light on the jam, since too much filling makes the sandwiched cookies structurally unsound -- they'll slide around. Makes 12 sandwiched cookies.