My sister and I tend to do a lot of "I'm bored, let's make something" baking. We usually try to drag our *other* sister to bake with us, but she fobs us off with excuses such as, "I'm cleaning my room now!" or "I really really have to take a shower. I feel icky!" or "Sakit kepala....". Never fails. Ah well, never mind. We've given up on taking her along on our baking adventures, especially since she hardly ever eats what we make, as she feels they're strange combinations of her favorite foods. Another thing we don't get, but never mind. =) She doesn't mind bringing them to school, where they never fail to get rave reviews, so that's okay. Hehe.
Anyway, our last few baked goodies have all been inspired by various ingredients we have in our pantry that are dangerously close to their expiration date. So it's good that we do random baking. This one is no exception. We've been trying to finish our custard powder since forever (by making custard, yum!) but when we found *another* packet in the fridge... well, something drastic had to be done. In a happy coincidence, we also managed to use some of the berries from the leftover frozen summer berries that we used for the cupcakes as well as the summer berry shortbread. So that's all well and good. Here we go!
(Oh, the melting moments recipe is adapted from a food blog called Eat First, Diet Later while the raspberry filling is adapted from this recipe here.)
What you need:
For the biscuits:
250g softened butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup custard powder
1 cup plain flour
For the filling:
1/4 cup butter (about 30g) - we were all out of butter!! Gasp! Since we had a can of Crisco (vegetable shortening) though, we decided to use that instead.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 - 1/2 cup icing sugar, according to taste - we used 1/2 cup
6 frozen raspberries, thawed
What you do:
- Preheat oven to 160 C. (It mentions that if you're using a fan-forced oven, you should decrease it to 140 C. We were using the fan-forced mode of our oven, but 140 C didn't cook the biscuits properly. I would stick to 160 C. Our second batch cooked at 160 C turned out perfectly.) Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Beat butter, vanilla extract and sifted icing sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.
- Sift and stir in the flour and custard powder in two batches. Mix until well combined.
- At this point, because we found the dough was still too sticky, we piped it onto the baking sheet instead of rolling it into balls by hand, as per the original recipe.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and firm up on the tray for 5 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, to prepare the filling, beat the butter in a small bowl until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla (and a couple teaspoons of cold water, if using vegetable shortening, as we did) and beat to combine. Sift in icing sugar and beat well to combine. Add in the raspberries and beat until well combined and smooth.
- To assemble, spread the flat side of the biscuit with the filling and sandwich with another biscuit. Continue until all the filling is used up.
These biscuits are so bright and funky looking! Hehe. The custard powder made it a gorgeous bright yellow while the pink filling looks so pretty. I had specifically selected the raspberries out of the berry mix as I had wanted it to be pinkish in colour, not purplish... and look how it turned out! Beautiful! The texture, like-wise, is also gorgeous. Very tender, these are definitely called melting moments for a reason. When you bite into a filled biscuit, the contrast in texture is really good - first you get the crunchy biscuit, then the creamy filling, but then since the biscuit is so tender, it practically melts in your mouth. Mmmmm!
We had earlier wondered if we should flatten the biscuits before baking, but decided not to. Lo and behold, after baking, the biscuits were flat anyway. I think, if you refrigerated the dough for about 20-30 minutes after shaping but before baking, it might hold its shape better in the oven. That was what was suggested in a similar recipe in one of our books anyway. And the piped biscuits there looked like they retained their shape nicely. I might do that one day, if we ever make these again. =)
One last note about the recipe, if you do not wish to use custard powder, you can substitute with cornflour which should retain the texture of the biscuits. You would of course lose the yellow-ness and the delicious custard taste, but it's up to you. :) Now... on to the taste test!
We decided to leave half of the biscuits unfilled, so we halved the recipe of the filling. If you want to fill all the biscuits, you would need to double it, bear that in mind. The unfilled biscuit, though deliciously tender, was a bit dry and slightly bland for me. Since it is meant to have a filling, I think, the biscuit dough is not that sweet so that it wouldn't be cloyingly sweet when combined with the filling.
Actually, I found the filled bicuits to be a bit on the sweet side for me. I had purposely added a lot of raspberries so as to make it slightly sour, but it was still too sweet. I think, in halving the recipe, I messed up the calculation for the sugar and added more than what was needed. =P Another popular combination for melting moments filling seems to be lemon. Just add lemon juice in place of the raspberries, in that case.
But despite the sweetness, I still think these managed to be rather popular. I had served these to a group of friends (you know who you are ;) ) and they didn't comment much on it... but by the end, there was none left so I assume they liked it. =) By popular consensus though, these definitely taste better with the filling.
I think though, what I would do next time, would be to add in a pinch of salt to the biscuit dough... and perhaps to the filling as well. All I could taste was the sweetness, and I found that too overpowering. I know though, that some people don't like salt with their cookies, so that would be highly optional. =) Oh, and also, I had filled the biscuits a few hours in advance (and kept them in the fridge after) and the biscuits did not soften, so I assume you would be able to fill this in advance without worrying about whether they would disintegrate.
Quote of the day: There is something in the red of a raspberry pie that looks as good to a man as the red in a sheep looks to a wolf.