June 10, 2010

Vanilla Yo-Yo Biscuits (Or Cookies, If You Wish)

I have heard of writer’s block, but is there something called blogger’s block? Apparently there is, and it’s a much more serious and prevalent disorder than I realized! My motivation to blog seems to have deserted me for the present. I still enjoy the thought of writing in this little space of mine and have no plans on disappearing from here. It’s just that cooking, taking pictures and writing a post suddenly seems like a lot of effort.

Maybe the heat of the summer has got to me, and all it needs the monsoons to cool everything down and bring back the magic. I hope so because, at this point in time, I think I could do with a little magic in my life!

Last month saw us busy with loads of things, but quite a few of my “to be posted” drafts saw the light of day and kept my blog going.
Then the beginning of this month saw me in bed with a viral infection. Now that I am much better, my appetite for food is back but my mind seems singularly blank when I sit down to write a post. No interesting ideas, no stories, and my pile of “to be posted” drafts has dwindled down to almost nothing.

I shall spare you the pain of listening to me whine, and try to see if any of these surefire methods of battling bloggers block will help me beat it! In the meanwhile, I am once again, falling back on another of my “to be posted” drafts, but a more recent one.

A couple of weeks back, I heard Sasa ( a food blogging friend) talking about Yo-Yo biscuits she was making. I had never heard of them before and asked exactly what they were.
She told me they were an Australian favourite and these biscuits (cookies for those in the U.S.) were made with butter, icing sugar, flour and custard powder and then sandwiched with a custard powder buttercream.

I searched the net and found they were called yo-yo biscuits because once sandwiched with buttercream, they indeed looked like yo-yos! They typically have a ridged pattern on them that comes from pressing down on the cookie dough with the tines of a fork.
These biscuits are very like shortbreads or melting moments in taste and texture. And if you are looking for an eggless recipe, this one is definitely for you.

Yo-yo biscuits are very easy to make, just that you have be careful not to bake them for too long. If you do, they lose their melt-in-the mouth quality. They do not need to brown and have to be taken out of the oven just as they’re beginning to change colour.

I checked a lot of recipes, and most of them are variations on the same basic ingredients. So I adjusted quantities to suit me and this is the recipe that I made my yo-yo biscuits with.


For the biscuits:

125 gm butter, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup vanilla flavoured custard powder (or cornstarch

For the buttercream:

30 gm butter, softened

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla flavoured custard powder

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

A couple of drops of food colour (optional)


To make the biscuits, put the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Using an electric mixer beat this on high speed till it becomes pale and fluffy (for about 3 minutes). Scrape the sides of the bowl down a couple of times in between.

Sift the flour and custard powder onto this butter-sugar mixture and beat on low speed till everything is just combined to form a soft dough.
Since the dough is not very easy to handle at this stage, refrigerate it for about 30 to 45 minutes till it can be easily shaped.

Then take out the dough. Lightly coat your palms with flour and pinch off equal little bits (about 25 to 30 in all) of dough and roll them into smooth balls.

Place them on parchment paper lined sheets or ungreased cookie sheets. Dip the tines of a fork in flour and lightly press down on each ball of dough, flattening it to about 1 cm high. The tines will leave a decorative mark on the biscuits.

If your balls of dough have been rolled smoothly without any cracks, they will be smooth when pressed down.
Place the sheets in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes (the time it takes for your oven to pre-heat).

Bake the biscuits at 170C for about 15 minutes or till they start looking a light golden colour. Do not be tempted to over bake them, as the biscuits will lose their melt-in-the-mouth texture.

Let them cool on the sheets for a while and cool them completely. Beat all the ingredients for the butter cream till light and smooth. Sandwich the biscuits with this buttercream.

These yo-yo biscuits will stay refrigerated for about 5 days, provided they last that long!
This recipe makes 12 to 15 vanilla yo-yo biscuits.


arundati said...

they look so colourful....am glad you posted even with the blogger's block... i went for months without posting anything significant...and even now, post only when i feel like it... imho blogging should not become tedious... we have real life to do that for us.... take care aparna... lots of love!

Sharmilee! :) said...

The cookies looks cute, perfect they have come out!!

Ria Mathew said...

Never heard of this cookie before. They are so cute! I loved the pink colour between them!

I think even I am being hit by the blogger's block! :-s

lata raja said...

They look wonderful Aparna. Have noted down the recipe. This goes to my sure to enjoy list!

sra said...

I think I first saw a yo yo when i was in the first or second standard, it's a fascination that hasn't left me even though I don't have one at the moment.

Your biscuits are so pretty. I had a big discussion on biscuits/cookies, biscuits vs cookies, biscuits vs cookies in India, etc with someone in that business today. :)

Divya Kudua said...

Oh they look so pretty Aparna..love the pink filling in between!!

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Wow, they are soooooo cute and delicious looking :)

Suman Singh said...

WOW...yo-yo biscuits looks beautiful and delicious..feel like grabbing that basket...mmm...yummy!

BangaloreBaker said...

They look so cute. I can only imagine my kids' faces if they see these.

Rachana Kothari said...

These cookies/biscuits look so cute! Bookmarked it!

Pavithra said...

Beautiful cookies looks very very cute... and the pink filling is so interesting..

jayasri said...

Wow!!, they look so cute, you know what I also feel the same way as you do!!, But, can't resist cooking and looking :) at the recipes going around, Oh! No my Book Markes are going way too high!!, Good clicks too....

Priya said...

wow .. love it .. very delicious .. awesome pic :)

Jaya Wagle said...

The cookies look amazing though I too had never heard of them. And yes, Yo-yo was a big fascination as a kid. Keep baking in the heat even if in America everybody is drinking summer coolers. :) (The last line was to fill in for your critic...)

MeetaK said...

best way to beat blogger's block is take a break and get some fun! it#ll be back for sure. it has to! loving these cookies. they looks adorable!

Parita said...

Take a break for few days and chill out and I am sure you'll be back to blogging soon, we all need a break every now and then :)
Yo-Yo cookies look cute!

suma said...

Fantastic Aparna!! Sure hit with kids!! I wanna bake and post a hundred recipes, but unable to coz of more pressing 'real life' things:-). Hope to come back to blogging regularly and with a bang..oops.. cake!!:-))))

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I totally understand bloggers block! I've been dealing with bouts of it off and on for months! I need to find the fire once again. Anyway, love these biscuits. They sound delightful.

Lewy said...

These are a favourite in New Zealand as well! I have an alternative method for making the buttercream which reduces the uncooked taste of the custard powder: melt 30g of butter in a pan and add 2 tsp of boiling water. Pour this into 80g of sifted icing sugar and 2 tsp of custard powder. Mix to form a smooth paste. I generally recommend leaving out the lemon juice as it tends to overpower the delicate vanilla flavour of the custard powder. This post makes me feel homesick!

lisaiscooking said...

These cookies are so cute, and the buttercream filling sounds great. Good luck with your blogger's block!

Hari Chandana said...

Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww....cute and mouth watering cookies... Looks amazing dear.. nice job!!

Srivalli said...

The cookies look very adorable Aparna, all pinky..:)..I can understand how it must feel, what with cooking, taking the pictures..but glad you did..

sasasunakku said...

Your yoyos look *gorgeous*! I especially love the photo with all the sprinkles, very cute...Good luck beating blogger's block ^_^*

PJ said...

Same pinch Aparna.I am facing the bloggers block now.Though cook ,click pic and have plenty in drafts,I am in no mood to publish any!!Hope I get past it soon..

Yo-yo's are so pretty with the pink fillings :)

Natalie... said...

wow such pretty cookies i bet they are delicious too!!

Curry Leaf said...

What you said about writers block is true Aparna.During summer I too had it and it has worsened thanks to my shifting apartments.But I am fighting against it as too have drafts ready.
I too love vanilla cookies.

Dina said...

cute cookies! great pics.

Aparna said...

Apprecaite all your comments here. I was quite pleasantly surprised with these cookies, myself.

A special thanks to Sasa for introducing me to these.

Thanks, Aru. :)

I don't remember when I first saw a yo-yo. It still fscinates me too. My daughter has one, and you're more likely to fin me twiddling with it! LOL

Thanks for that vote, Jaya. ;D

Yeah, I know Meeta. Probably should do that.

Better a cake than a bang, Suma. ;)

Thank you for that tip, Lewy. Shall try your version next time I bake these.

Sweatah and PJ, just that my drafts are almost non-existent so I need to cook and shoot to blog!

Shabs.. said...

very cute looking cookies, i prefer to say so....love the filling inside.....bloggers life is really stressful at time....oh, how i shoot pics with my 3 year old, only god knows....and sometimes when i think what i get from blogging, i think i am just crazy..!!:(.....But people like u shud be there for many people who doesnt know anything about cooking....ur blog is very inspirational....i just love ur blog....fantastic recipes and lovely pics....

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

These look pretty interesting! I've been hit with the dreaded block too, I love baking, but sometimes, clicking pics, writing a post, etc etc just seems like too much of an effort!!