A Tender, Melting Cookie with Bright Australian Flavor

December  1, 2015

Inspired by an old Australian Women's Weekly magazine recipe (the sort of recipe that my mother might have cut out), the classic Melting Moments are soft and delicate cookies sandwiching a simple buttercream flavored with some lemon juice and zest.

Photo by Emiko Davies

But it's common to find other typically Australian fruits filling these cookies, such as passion fruit pulp, seeds and all, or mango, which is a favorite at Christmas time (as it's summer and mangoes are in season).

Photo by Emiko Davies
Photo by Emiko Davies

This is my own take on Mango Melting Moments, but orange zest and juice are very nice substitutes, too.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Happy_girlhourz
  • Denise Parker
    Denise Parker
  • Sandi Zorn
    Sandi Zorn
  • Elizabeth Law
    Elizabeth Law
  • Emiko
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.


Happy_girlhourz September 16, 2019
Mine butter cream was too sweet i was good but i still have no idea why i was sweet
Denise P. January 6, 2019
I made these in December and everyone like them very much. They were a bit too sweet for me, but it didn't stop me from popping a few in my mouth! Very good tea cookie I think.
Sandi Z. December 26, 2015
Hello, Loving the entire list! I grew up enjoying all of the Italian traditions. Looking forward to making the Melting Moments but I have a question. Is the corn starch the accurate ingredient? In parentheses "corn flour" has a different meaning/is a different least it does here in the states! Is the ingredient corn starch (used routinely here as a sauce/gravy thickener), or "corn flour" (an actual flour made from corn or pulverized corn meal)?
Thank you!
Emiko December 27, 2015
The correct ingredient is cornstarch NOT cornmeal (in other countries it is also known as corn flour, so very confusing, I know!)! It gives the cookie a lightly and flaky texture.
Sandi Z. December 27, 2015
Thank you for the response!
Elizabeth L. December 4, 2015
Hi Emiko. Perhaps names are different by State? I'm in Victoria. Melting moments was always seen as the English version of similar. Mangoes are the perfect Summer sweet treat for our long, hot summers. I think most of our traditions hark back to UK, except maybe for treats like lamingtons and pavlova, Anzacs. Shortbread with an Australian touch is pretty standard Christmas fare, despite it's English heritage. Maybe oneday we will come up with a really delicious, different true Australian Christmas treat? We could all work on creating something new.
Emiko December 6, 2015
Perhaps, though in popular Australian media like Women's Weekly, Donna Hay, Masterchef Australia, even the CWA (Country women's association), they're referred to as Melting Moments too!
Elizabeth L. December 4, 2015
In Australia we call Melting Moments Yo-Yo's. Shortbread would be the most traditional Christmas cookie here, Yo-Yo's not generally associated with Christmas. Macademia Nut Shortbread often eaten at Christmas, and Brandy Snaps, Spice/Ginger cookies.
Emiko December 4, 2015
Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your thoughts. I'm Australian and I've always known these as melting moments. Yes, while shortbread is traditional at Christmas it's a borrowed Christmas tradition from the UK so I have made these with mango to remind me of Aussie Christmases, since growing up we never had a Christmas without a crate full of mangoes!
Simon B. December 8, 2015
I'm Australian and have never called a melting moment a yo-yo? In my mind yo-yos are the Arnott's biscuit. Maybe it's a regional thing?