Thursday, June 10, 2010
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.