Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Vanilla Melting Moments - and I have some news

On Sunday, I had a fleeting visit from the in-laws in the afternoon and a barbecue at our friends' boat in the evening. I had to make something suitable that could be nibbled at with coffee AND picked at after a load of burgery type stuff. Probably something small and fairly light but really tasty.

When it comes to little pretty tasty things to pick at, Rachel Allen has yet to let me down, and one recipe from Rachel's Favourite Food at Home practically jumped off the page!

These are very crumbly, buttery little vanilla morsels, sandwiched together with vanilla buttercream, so small and light they probably contain no calories (although don't quote me on this) and so ridiculously quick and easy to make that you can whip up a batch in no time at all.


For the biscuits
175g self raising flour
125g cornflour
50g icing sugar
225g butter, diced
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 160ÂșC and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats (Rachel says not to bother but I reckon it makes the cleanup easier).

Place the flour, cornflour and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds. Add the butter and vanilla and turn the machine on until it all comes together into a ball of dough. Roll into small balls the size of a large marble and place, well spaced out, on the baking tins. Dip a fork in cold water and use to flatten the balls slightly.

Bake for 10-15 minutes (it took 15 in my oven). Rachel says remove carefully (these little babies are fragile) and let them cool on a wire rack, but I say just let them cool on the baking sheets - they're less fragile when they're cool and they don't go soggy as they dry.


50g softened butter
125g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Just bung the lot in the processor (don't even bother washing the bowl after making the biscuits) and mix together till it turns into icing.

Spread carefully on half the biscuits (remember they are still pretty fragile) and sandwich together with the other halves. Dust with some more icing sugar to make them look pretty!

This recipe made about twenty sandwiched biscuits. There were six of us eating them and we devoured them all in a day, which meant we all had at least three each and someone probably had five (but I would never name names, oh no). They were universally adored and I will not be making them again unless I know there will be quite a crowd to help me eat them, as I know I would be capable of eating the whole batch myself.

In other, not-exactly-baking-related news, I decided a while ago that I really didn't want to be a chef anymore. The money is terrible,it's incredibly tiring, you have to work weekends etc etc. I've just had enough. So I decided I wanted to go back to my former life as an office worker, and I've been offered a job that I really like the sound of in a company that is apparently fantastic to work for. I'm leaving my current job, and starting the new one, at the end of August. I'll still be baking, but now it'll just be for me and my family and friends, so I'm probably going to have to bake even more to get my fix when I'm not doing it every day at work!


  1. Wow - well good luck with the new job! How exciting! Hope it is everything you want it to be ;0)
    I love melting moments, they bring back fond memories of my childhood.

  2. Good luck with your new job! It sounds great!
    Those biscuits look sooo light and delicious!

  3. good luck in your new endeavour. wish you all the success. these are beautiful

  4. Good luck with the new job!

  5. These look lovely, melting moments are so more-ish! My flatmate at uni had a Rachel Allen cookbook and it had the best lemon pudding recipe in it. Absolutely delicious! Best wishes for your new job.

  6. Congratulations and good luck - I'm sure you'll enjoy baking more if it's not stressing you out at work. Your biscuits look so pretty - 3 seems quite restrained!

  7. These look lovely. I've made her chocolate version from her Home Cooking book and they were absolutely delicious. Good luck with your new job! x

  8. fab fab fab biscuits... and good for you on the job... its the total opposite of my recent turn of events so I dont get it at all, but good for you anyway!... you'd better keep up the baking or i'll sue...

  9. Best of luck in your new job - congratulations.

    Love those little morsels - delicious!

  10. Good for you for taking charge of your life. I discovered I did not want to be a chef anymore while I was in baking school. Leaving was a wonderful decision for me, I hope you feel the same! Those little cookies look amazing and perfectly simple.

  11. Lovely -- if they're half as good as they look and sound, they must be an amazing treat!

  12. Ooh Aveen, I have been having a break from blogging and so am now just catching up and it seems I missed big news. Good luck with the new job, it sounds like a great opportunity and I hope it leads to plenty of home baking to get your fix.

  13. Lovely biscuits and brave you regarding your career change - hospitality is a cruel industry and your post is a good reality check for all of us who dream of being a chef. Good luck with your new day job!

  14. Do you salted or unsalted butter?


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