I made a huge batch of the most perfect lemon curd. The recipe it was intended for tanked spectacularly, a tragic mass of sliding fat and collapsing layers. I braved a second attempt but humidity and egg whites loathe each other. I’m sticking with that. My ineptitude left me with a colossal amount of lemon curd. I gave some away, I made scones to pile it into, slathered it on crumpets, licked off a spoonful in private, but there was still just that bit left over. Alongside, sat a taunting half a cupful of cream, a second reminder of my failed attempts. Vicious things.
To add to the pressure, Lil Lassie waltzes in, peers into the fridge, doesn’t see anything she likes, scans the kitchen table and says, ” Mum, we need cookies”. Saying thus, she struts away. I like to think I am the one in-charge, but obviously, that’s just in my head.
On goes my thinking cap and after a wobbly batch, I baked two of these delicious, tender buttons of butteriness. Perfectly dinky Melting Moments. Hazarding a guess, I think the name comes from the texture of these cookies, buttery, melting and tender. Cornflour is crucial to get that soft powderiness (custard powder is often used to the same effect) and these aren’t overly sweet. Various recipes differ in proportion, though the components are the same, giving slightly differing results. I baked a few and this is the proportion I like and use. It is important not to over bake these cookies, if you want to secure that tender texture. Keep a sharp eye close to finishing time as they move from gold to bronze rather quickly. Pull them out as soon as they turn a pale golden shade with a deeper golden around the bottom edge. For these photos, one batch of cookies was slightly overdone, but such is the nature of home cooking.
I divided the dough into two, one flavoured with lemon zest and the other with cardamom, that quintessential Indian sweetie loving spice. The lemon zest peppered cookies were sandwiched with tangy lemon curd, soft, tart and sweet. For the cardamom scented cookies, I made use of that half a cupful of cream, whisking it to soft peaks and adding coconut milk powder. It kind of reminded me of the Indian rice cookies – nan katai – and that’s a very good thing! I also kept these cookies a dinky, two-bite size. Which is cute talk for weighing each tiny ball of rolled dough (7gm each to be precise). Obviously, I subconsciously feel the need to be in control of something!
These melting moments were a salve for a bruised ego. I will still tackle that ‘other’ dessert and I will get it right. In the meantime, these cookies are just the right dose of encouragement needed. Lil Lassie approves.
110gm plain, all purpose flour
4 tablespoons icing sugar
Zest of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon green cardamom powder – Lightly crush the cardamom pods, shake out the seeds into a mortar or spice grinder, and grind to a fine powder
Half a cup of lemon curd (if following this recipe, just ignore the passionfruit content)
Half a cup of softly whipped double/heavy cream and fold in 2 tablespoons of coconut milk powder
Preheat the oven to 170 deg C. Beat the butter and sugar until a little pale and smooth. Sieve the flours together, add to the butter and beat on lowest speed until amalgamated. Divide the dough in two bowls and add the zest to one and the cardamom to the other. Roll out wee balls, around the size of a small marble (I rolled them out at 7gm each) and place on a tray lined with baking paper. These cookies expand, so place them well apart. Once all the dough has been rolled, lightly flatten the dough balls with a floured fork. Put the trays into the oven and bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, but start checking them at 8. Bake until they are a pale gold, with a slighty darker gold base. Gently remove from the tray and place on cooling racks. Once completely cool, sandwich the lemon cookies with a small blob of lemon curd and the cardamon with the coconut cream. Dust with icing sugar or, an equal amount of icing sugar and coconut powder for the cardamom cookies and serve.
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