ORANGE KISSES WITH CREAM CHEESE CENTERS

“Truly, if a kiss could be embodied in a biscuit, this would be it. These are the shortest shortbreads you will ever encounter, filled with divine salty–sweet orange-infused cream cheese. Instead of lemon juice, I’ve used white balsamic vinegar, which is sweet and gives a lovely roundness to the acidity. I suggest you fill these as you want to eat them; otherwise they need to be refrigerated and, even though still lovely, won’t have that melt-in-your-mouth magic.” – Poh Ling Yeow

Orange Kisses With Cream Cheese center

Orange Kisses With Cream Cheese Centers
Makes about 24 sandwiched biscuits

250 g (9 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
60 g (21/4 oz/ 1/2 cup) wheaten cornflour (cornstarch), sifted (see note)
225 g (8 oz/1 1/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted

Cream cheese filling
250 g (9 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
50 g (13/4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
90 g (31/4 oz/ 3/4 cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar
1-1/2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F) fan-forced. Line two large baking trays with baking paper.

To make the shortbreads, combine the butter, salt and zest in a medium mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the cornflour and flour, and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined – overmixing will ‘unshorten’ the mixture. Transfer the mixture to a large piping bag fitted with a 1 cm (1/2 inch) star nozzle, and pipe 4 cm (1-1/2 inch) rosettes onto the prepared baking trays. You will end up with about 48 biscuit halves. Bake for 15–25 minutes until the kisses are golden brown. Cool completely before filling.

To make the cream cheese filling, combine the cream cheese, butter, zest and half the icing sugar in a medium mixing bowl, and whisk with an electric mixer on high speed until combined. Add the remaining icing sugar, and whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the balsamic vinegar, and whisk by hand until just combined.

Transfer to a piping bag with a 1 cm (1/2 inch) diameter hole snipped off the tip, and pipe about a teaspoon of filling to sandwich between 2 biscuits. Repeat until all the biscuits are used up. These keep well for up to 2 weeks if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.

Note
I only use wheaten cornflour (cornstarch) in my baking. It’s not accurately named and it’s the old-fashioned stuff everyone used until a few years ago, when gluten intolerances resulted in maize cornstarch becoming more prevalent. Texturally, maize cornflour leaves a grainy residue in the mouth. To be sure what you’re getting, always check the ingredients list on the packet.

Excerpt from Poh Bakes 100 Greats by Poh Ling Yeow, published by ABC Books/HarperCollins Publishers (Australia, 2014).

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