Custard kisses

I have been working my way through my mother’s recipe book, revisiting memories of her baking biscuits and cakes for our family, and looking for recipes to tweak, develop or share just as they are. I have four siblings and we are all close in age with only seven years between the youngest and oldest, so there was a lot of baking in my childhood. Mum made biscuits frequently (I was 19 before I ate a Tim-Tam ), and cakes for our birthdays. We had a number of complex rules around who got what bits to taste when mum was baking. If it was your birthday you got the bowl. The beaters and the spoon were then given out on a first in, best dressed basis, and whoever missed out on cake batter would then get the icing bowl.  For me, there was nothing better than sitting under the kitchen table licking the lemony, sweet leftover icing from the bowl. Along with square dance biscuits (recipe lost and mourned), custard kisses were a real favourite for all of us. They are similar to the more well known melting moment, but are flavoured with custard powder in the biscuit and the icing, rather than vanilla and passionfruit. I like to make them quite small because they are very rich and buttery. If you were having an afternoon tea party, they are perfect as a foil for finger sandwiches, lemon curd tartlets and scones. Break out the vintage china and a frock and you’re all set.

Makes 16 biscuits

250g butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup custard powder

1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon custard powder
1 tablespoon soft butter
approx 1 tablespoon milk

Heat oven to 170 C. Line 2 cookie trays with silicon paper. For the biscuits, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until just combined to a dough. This is important because if you go too far the biscuits will be tough and coarse-textured. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into small balls and place on the tray with about 1 cm between them. Gently press them down using the tines of a fork, leaving little indentations on the top of the biscuits. Bake fro about 15 minutes, or util lightly golden. take out of the oven and cool completely on a cake rack. When cold, sandwich together with some of the icing. Store in an air-tight container. The custard kisses will keep for 4 – 5 days. To make the icing beat all the ingredients together in a small bowl, adding just enough milk to give a fairly stiff icing.