Tuesday, June 27, 2006

It's Moments Like These

Melting Moments

If you think was going to refrain from posting something about the World Cup, well you were wrong. All the talk around here in Australia- in the news, in the local pub and at water cooler has been the controversial loss of the Socceroos to Italy. We had come so far, only to have our World Cup dreams dashed in the last minutes by a dubious penalty decision. If we had been outplayed by Italy and went down fighting it would have been all right, if we had been beaten fair and square even in a shoot-out that would have been okay. The mere fact that our chances were ruined by very suspect and ambiguous refereeing is what is most devastating.

As someone who has only just jumped on the World Cup bandwagon, the sense of national pride and soccer fever has hit me hard. I find it happens every few years with the Olympics, when that overwhelming sense of patriotism envelops the country. What can I say, I am a proud Aussie. All I can say is the mood here for a lot of Soccer fans and bandwagon jumpers is bitter disappointment.

So to counter the sharp pain of defeat, I decided to make Melting Moments. It has nothing to do with soccer, or Australia for that matter, other than the fact that I see them sold at every cafe in Sydney. I never knew how they achieved that smooth, melt in your mouth texture and after some research on the Joy of Baking, I discovered that its secret came from cornstarch or cornflour. Instead of the traditional ball shapes I decided on little crescents, I guess if you wanted a correlation between the cookies and the World Cup, you could say they look like little frowns if you hold them upside down.

The cookies are fairly easy to make and I found using high quality unsalted cultured butter, usually the kind that does not contain any water is the best to use. Because cultured butter does not contain any water, it doesn't takes as long to soften to room temperature. Here is the recipe.

Melting Moments
(makes 3 dozen)

Melting Moments

1¼ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup cornstarch (cornflour)
¼ tsp salt
½ cup confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar)
1 cup high quality unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup confectioners sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and salt, set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
Add the flour mixture in batches, careful not to over work the dough. Scrape the bowl down and place the dough in the refrigerator for one hour until it firms up.
When the dough firms, take it out of the fridge and knead briefly on a floured surface. Then form little crescents by taking a portion of dough then rolling it into a 5cm long rope. Gently roll each rope so that the tips are tapered and curve them slightly to resemble crescents.
Place the crescents on the baking tray, and bake in the oven for about 12-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Using a sieve, dust the cookies with icing sugar.


Guru said...

I´m sorry but I see these cookies and can´t think about anything else ... They look awesome!

Belinda said...

I know what you mean by noone could stop talking about the loss! I hope these were a good consolation.

ces said...

this reminds me of the greek kourabiedes cookies i made one time! thanks! missing that and i'll try yours too!

lobstersquad said...

still apologizing profusely about my countryman. But it seems to me the cookies must have done the trick. I´ll make them tomorrow if Spain lose to France.

Kieran said...

At least Australia made it to the World Cup! Mind you, if Ireland had gone through, everything here would have shut down.

Cookies look scrumptious!

Kate said...

mmmm, those are beautiful!

Ivonne said...

Hi Jenjen,

I'm an Italy supporter but I must say that I did not think it should have been a penalty kick. I felt very badly for Australia as I thought they played an incredible match!

Your melting moments look fantastic. It just proves my point that butter is beautiful! I hope they helped to cheer you up.

Annie said...

These cookies looks truly scrumptious. I can see why the recipe is called melting moments. I wish I had one melting in my mouth right now.

Helene said...

sorry about the game, but hubby called me at work to tell me "go France!"...I am enjoying while I can because we are gonna get smacked next round...
These cookies....stop! They look so good, the picture is beautiful too. They remind me of "Cornes de Gazelles" from North Africa or Pecan Sandies from Charleston (minus the nuts). I'll have to post that one soon.
Finally got around to making the orange polenta cookies and they were gone as soon as they came out of the oven...

peabody said...

Mmmmm I love these cookies...they are like Mexican Wedding cookies. I love to make these at Christmas and add crushed up candy canes to them.

jenjen said...

Guru, Belinda, Ces, Kate, Annie- Thanks everyone for your very lovely comments, and yes the Melting Moments helped a lot. There's nothing like a cookie to ease the pain.

Lobstersquad- you are too nice, and you don't have to apologise for the referee, I know FIFA comes down hard on them to be very strict.

Kieran- That is why I love the Irish, I wish that would happen here.

Ivonne- i agree butter is better!

Helene- I hope France does well in their next match...by the way, who are they playing?
Also im glad that those polenta cookies worked out great!

Peabody- yes, you are correct! They are basically Mexican/Russian Wedding cookies minus the nuts. Mmmm, crushed candy canes, sounds interesting.

lobstersquad said...

france were playing Spain! see? I´m needing the cookies after all. And I can´t even blame the referee.

pinknest said...

mm, this looks so lovely! i love crescent-shaped food.