Back in the spring – before Provisions moved and expanded, and when fewer people were in the mood for baking – it could get pretty quiet at work. It sounds crazy, I know. On slower days, I would indulge my inner Kid-in-a-Candy-Store and flip through cookbooks, getting ideas and making note of recipes I wanted to try. One of those cookbooks was Primrose Bakery Everyday, from the London bakery with the same name, which features lots of retro-inspired comfort food and new twists on classics. Thumbing through the pages, I stopped at a recipe called “Passionfruit Melting Moments” and gasped audibly. I flippin’ love passion fruit.
So I added the recipe to my “to make” list and kind of forgot about it until just last week. I still have some passion fruit puree in the freezer (leftover from this tart), but I also had a tin of alphonso mango pulp in my cupboard… and although passion fruit is my one true love, I had never baked anything with mango before, so I decided to experiment. In case you were wondering what I do on my days off, the answer 99% of the time is “cookies.”
This mango pulp – I get Ashoka brand, usually in the Indian section of the grocery store – is pure magic. You know when you get those little yellow Alphonso mangoes in the summer, and they’re juicy and sweet and tart and just perfect? Yeah. You can get that magic year round. In a can. I want to pour it over my whole life.
So I knew the filling was going to be good.
I had never made this particular species of shortbread before, with equal amounts flour and cornstarch – it seemed a little crazy. But Melting Moment cookies didn’t get that name by accident: these shortbread cookies really do just melt in your mouth. Rather than crunchy or crumbly, they’re light, pillowy, and crisp. Not only is it genius because it tastes so good, but when you bite down on two of these sandwiched with a soft filling, it gives way to your teeth; I’ve made sandwich cookies before that were too crunchy, so biting into them meant squishing the filling out the sides. It’s the little things that make a great cookie.
I think it’s safe to say these little tropical beauties were a success. I can’t wait to try the same thing with other flavours that strike my fancy – strawberry, lemon, chocolate, salted caramel… I’ve found my perfect sandwich cookie recipe, and the possibilities are endless.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup icing sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or the seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1½ cups icing sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons mango pulp, canned or fresh
- Make the shortbreads: In a medium bowl, stir the flour, cornstarch, icing sugar and salt together and set aside. Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer and beat on medium speed for a few seconds to soften it. Add the vanilla and all of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until a dough forms. Cover and chill the dough for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and line two baking sheets with parchment.
- Scoop the chilled dough by tablespoonfuls onto your prepared baking sheets - you should get around 24 or 25 (bonus cookie!), leaving 3 inches between each of them. Bake for 9-10 minutes, just until there's a tiny hint of golden brown around the edges. Allow them to cool completely on a rack.
- Make the mango filling: In the bowl of a mixer, beat all of the filling ingredients together until smooth.
- Fill the cookies: Spread or pipe a generous amount of filling onto the bottom of a cookie, then sandwich it with another cookie. Repeat until all the shortbreads are filled - you should get 12 filled cookies.