The original recipe for these come from The Australian Women's Weekly 'The Afternoon Tea Collection' cookbook. It's a nice, compact volume filled with pretty pictures of tea cakes, cookies, and slices. Even though I've got a thousand other baking cookbooks already (some of which I've only given a cursory flip through), I just had to buy this when I saw it at Costco, if only for the recipe for the delectable looking Melting Moments pictured on the front cover.
The cookies form a sandwich around a filling of lime buttercream. I was fortunate to come across the limes at a local Harris Farm supermarket for the unbelievable price of 10 for $2. I mean, I've seen these retail for $2 each at other fruit and vegetable stores. Except now I had more limes than I know what to do with. Lime iced tea, anyone? The original recipe calls for lemons, but since I did just come home with a whole bag of limes, lime buttercream it was.
True to their name, these cookies do indeed 'melt' as soon as you bite into one. I presented my sister with one when she came home from school today (congrats on starting high school, lil' sis!), and her eyes widened in surprise as her first bite sent crumbs a-flying, before gobbling up the cookie and asking for another. I had the same response for a number of taste-testers, so I can guarantee that these are worthy of your time!
I would recommend chilling the dough in the freezer for a couple of minutes before attempting to roll it into balls. The recipe didn't mention anything about letting the dough harden before working with it, which I felt was an over-sight. The dough right after mixing proved impossible to handle without it melting into a sticky gloop in my hands. Maybe the book was written during the wintertime? Anyway, chilling it will make it so much easier to shape the cookies, thanks to the huge ratio of butter in the recipe. Don't look so affronted; how else would you get the 'melt-in-your-mouth' effect? ;P
If limes aren't readily available, I imagine you could easily substitute in the juice and zest of a lemon or some other citrus fruit. It is preferable to use a citrus-flavoured buttercream, because otherwise there'd be nothing to cut through the richness from all that butter. The acidity comes as a nice surprise. It's so tasty I ended up making cookie sandwiches using leftover buttercream and some store-bought cookies.
Do give the recipe a go, and let me know how your 'Melting Moments' turned out :D And remember to drink plenty of fluids in upcoming days to avoid dehydration!
Recipe for 'Melting Moments' with lime buttercream filling
Adapted from The Australian Women's Weekly 'The Afternoon Tea Collection'
Makes 25 cookie sandwiches, or 50 individual cookies
For the cookies:
250g (8 ounces) salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (80g) icing/confectioners' sugar, sifted to remove lumps
1 1/2 cups (225g) plain/all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (75g) cornflour/cornstarch
For the lime buttercream:
90g (3 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup (120g) icing/confectioners' sugar, sifted to remove lumps
1 teaspoon finely grated lime rind
1 teaspoon lime juice
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius, or 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place baking rack towards the middle of the oven, closer to the bottom (this will stop the cookies from browning). Line cookie tray with baking paper.
2. Beat butter, vanilla extract, and the sifted icing sugar in a bowl with an electric beater or mixture until light and fluffy. Sift in the plain flour and cornflour, and mix until just combined with a spatula. Don't overmix, or your cookies will become tough!
3. Place cookie dough in fridge or freezer until slightly hardened. With floured hands, roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls. Place about 2.5cm apart on a lined cookie tray (you may have to bake the entire recipe in a few batches). Flatten dough balls with a floured fork.
4. Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool on trays for 5 minutes before attempting to transfer onto a wire rack for further cooling.
5. Make the buttercream by beating together the butter, sifted icing sugar, and lime zest and juice until light and fluffy.
6. Once cookies have completely cooled, use around a rounded teaspoon of buttercream to stick together the two cookie halves. Serve with a dusting of icing sugar, if you like.