Serves: 12-14 sandwiched cookies
Prep: 40 mins
Cook Time: 18 mins
250g softened butter
1tsp vanilla paste
80g icing sugar
250g plain flour
120g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tsp rosewater
Pink dye (optional)
8 lychees (peeled, seeded, halved or quartered)
Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare two cookie trays by lining with parchment paper. Place butter, vanilla paste and icing sugar in an electric mixer bowl with the whisk attachment and beat until light, fluffy and pale in colour. Combine the flours, sift into the bowl and fold into the mixture. Measuring 2 teaspoons of dough (or a cookie scoop - preferred) roll into balls with floured hands and place onto the cookie trays about 3cm apart. Press gently with a floured fork to achieve the classic melting moment shape. Bake for 18 minutes or until cooked through, yet still pale (like shortbread). Allow to cool.
BUTTERCREAM: In a mixer with whisk attachment place the butter, icing sugar, vanilla paste and rosewater in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. If too thick, add more water or milk. Add a small amount of pink dye (if desired) to acquire a pale pink colour and whisk through. The buttercream needs to be firm to hold the lychee in place.
ASSEMBLY: With your finger or the back of a spoon, smooth a small amount of icing as a protective layer over each flat side of the cookies (this prevents the moisture from the lychee seeping through). Place the rest of icing into a piping bag, pipe a ring around a melting moment, place a lychee in the middle (a half or quarter, depending on the size) and sandwich together gently with another biscuit. Chill in an airtight container. Best served the same day.
Citrus is a delicious flavour pairing too! Why not try orange, orange blossom water as an alternate to rosewater?
Fresh Australian lychees have hit supermarket shelves just in time for summer. There will be an abundant supply of great quality lychees in stores in the coming weeks, despite our Aussie growers facing extreme weather challenges including bushfires and drought.
Lychee grower Jill Houser says, "Australia is lucky enough to have the longest lychee season in the world, so lychee lovers can expect to see the fruit from now until mid-March.
"They not only taste great but are good for you too. They are rich in vitamin C, have high levels of antioxidants and a high-water content, making them a hydrating and refreshing snack that's perfect for summer," said Houser.
Recipe developer and stylist Megann Evans, says tropical lychees can turn simple dishes into something impressive, making them an entertainer's best friend.
"Fresh Aussie lychees are juicy, have a distinctly sweet flavour and a floral aroma unlike any other fruit."
"They are versatile, working well in both sweet and savoury dishes, ideal for cocktails and are the perfect ingredient to spice up festive season leftovers, such as a turkey salad," says Evans.
Australian Lychees' Top Tips
How to choose: Lychees don't continue to ripen once picked so choose fruit that is firm and springy to touch, with a red or pink skin.
How to store: Keep your lychees in a container in the fridge. They can discolour when left unrefrigerated, but don't be fooled, they will still be sweet and juicy on the inside. If you have more lychees than you can enjoy, freeze them for up to six months.
How to eat: To peel a lychee, dig your fingernail into the skin to break the outer shell, then peel the skin away – similar to peeling the shell of a hard-boiled egg.
Enjoy with: mint, ginger, lime, chilli, coconut, mango, kiwi, citrus, chocolate, vanilla, sake, tequila and vodka.
For more information about Australian lychees visit: