Thursday 16 August 2012

Wellington, Wellingtons, and Masterchef Melting Moments

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain ~ Dolly Parton

What a wet and windy but wickedly wonderful week!  Have had it all: the good, the bad, and the delicious.

The bad: It has been absolutely bucketing down for ages.  Really gave me new appreciation of just how great owning a pair of gumboots is.   One should not underestimate the utter miserableness that is cold wet socks and the corresponding amazingness that is getting to splash in puddles and retain warm dry toes.

{i heart my hunters}

The good:  I've just found out that I got my clinical placement in Wellington!! Woooohoooo!!  For our final three years of med school, the class is getting scattered to the four winds.  Well, three winds to be precise: Wellington, Christchurch or Dunedin and based on the numbers you may not get to go to the place you nominate.  So it's been hanging over us all for two years now but finally, this week it's all confirmed...whew!  So very excited about living in the Capital City.  Wellywood here we come!!  

And finally, the delicious: I recently made these Much-hyped Masterchef Melting Moments.  They are from pastry queen of Masterchef Australia, Julia Taylor, and were raved about by the judges.  While I don't want to rain on her parade, I wasn't terribly impressed.  Having said that they did go down a treat at my Mum's work!

Melting moments (also known as yo-yo's) are a classic New Zealand and Australian biscuit.  In essence it is cookie sandwich with two shortbread cookies and a creamy buttercream centre.  They are called melting moments because the cookies are supposed to melt away in your mouth in a cloud of buttery sweetness.

The meltiness comes from having a super short shortbread, with lots of butter and the use of icing sugar (confectioner's sugar) instead of granulated sugar.  While not a glamour cookie, they are a classic and ubiquitous bakery item, so there was really no excuse as to why I'd never made them before!

From what I've read, the recipe that Julia won the Biscuit Challenge with is a pretty standard MM recipe with the twist of adding some homemade raspberry jam.  I tinkered with the recipe, only so far as to leave out the jam and use a lemon buttercream to add a little citrusy sunshine to the cookie.

They were super easy to make.  They were as cute as a button.

In terms of flavor, loved them: the lemony tanginess went perfectly with the buttery moreish cookies.

But in terms of texture, they were not as amazing as the Masterchef Australian judges made them out to be.  What? Reality TV not actually matching up with reality? Say it ain't so!

I felt they weren't really short enough, definitely needed more butter to get that true melt in your mouth experience.  The lack of butter also made the dough super crumbly and hard to form into balls.  But mum's colleagues gave them a big thumbs up so hopefully with a bit of tinkering with the ratios I might get the perfect melting moment recipe that will blow people away.

Masterchef Melting Moments

adapted from from Julia Taylor's recipe

Makes 34 cookies, 17 cookie sandwiches


180g unsalted butter (I found the dough too crumbly so next time I'm gonna try adding a bit more butter)
60g icing sugar
180g plain flour
60g custard powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Lemon buttercream

NB: This made waaaay more frosting than was necessary.  Think I'll halve this recipe next time!

100g unsalted butter
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 175oC and line two baking trays with baking paper.

2. For the cookies: Cream the butter with a hand held beater until pale and fluffy (around 2 minutes).  Sift in icing sugar and custard powder, and beat until just combined.  Sift in flour and baking powder and beat on low until just incorporated.

3.  Roll the dough into teaspoon sized balls and place on baking tray around 1 inch apart.  (I found the dough quite crumbly and had to work the dough together a bit to get it to come together). Press the cookies down with a fork to flatten a little and leave a fork imprint.  Chill the dough for around 15 minutes in the fridge before baking at 175oC for 10 - 12 minutes.  The cookies should still be pale on top and only ever so slightly starting to colour on the bottoms.

4. Cool on the tray for around 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Be careful as the cookies a really delicate! Only frost the cookies when they are completely cool.

5. To make the buttercream: cream butter until pale and fluffy (~2 minutes).  Add half the icing sugar, beat well till fluffy.  Add the lemon juice and beat well to combine. Then add the rest of the icing sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy.

6.  Pipe the buttercream onto the centre of the base of a cookie and gently press a second cookie on to the buttercream to make a sandwich.  Cookie sandwiches will keep in an airtight container in between sheets of baking paper for up to 3 days.  If you are making in advance, leave the cookies un-iced and store in an airtight container for up to a week.


  1. Looking fantastic..thanks for share this wonderful recipe !!

    1. Aw thanks Wholesale cookies!! Can't wait to tweak this wee recipe to get the ultimate MM!

    2. Just a wee point. Melting Moments and Yo Yoes are two different biscuits. The difference being that Yo Yoes have custard powder in them. I have a recipe of my grandmothers (which my Mum used to make every Christmas and special occasions like birthdays) and also the batches of Melting Moments. I have also used those recipes for years.

  2. Gorgeous! And great news that you're coming to Wellington. Trust me, you'll need your wellies! Don't bother bringing a brolly though... It won't last five minutes!

    1. Hehe I've heard that about umbrellas!! Not even one of those schmancy wind ones can stand up to the windy wellington huh? Still though, spent a week there on placement a couple of weeks ago and absolutely LOVED the city! Soooo exciting!

  3. CONGRATULATIONS! Hope you have the most amazing time in Welly.
    - I did tell you

    1. Thanks heaps Caroline! Am so so so excited to get to explore a new city!! Watch out Welly! :)

  4. congratulations! hooray that you're coming to wellington! let's catch up when you get here! Jemma @

    1. Ahhhhhh yay exciting!!!!! Will definitely lock you in for a coffee once I'm up there! You'll have to give me the lo down on all the yum spots! SO EXCITED!! :)

  5. Yippee for Welly :-) Have a good move up here - though I'm not sure you've picked somewhere much warmer than Dunners! Coincidentally I have shifted myself down here for now too...

    1. Yaaaaay are you in Welly too!!! Stoked! What a foodie bloggers hub! Would love to do coffee when I'm up there! It's snowing in Dunedin today would you believe! Having said that that old wind chill factor in wellington has a lot to answer for no?! :P So so glad to see your blog up and running again - didn't realize it was up again! Have missed your wit :)

    2. Haha, it hailed yesterday - not quite snow, but sigh NZ - IT'S SPRING!!!
      Yes, I am so terrible at quitting things I like... always come back in the end :( When are you up??



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