I figure that Dan Lepard should know his yo-yo cookies, because he's Australian and the yo-yo is a traditional Australian cookie (or should I say, "biscuit"). My understanding of a yo-yo is that it's a sandwich cookie made with custard powder or cornstarch, earning its moniker form its physical resemblance to a toy yo-yo. What I don't know is what the texture of a yo-yo cookie should be. I made Helen Goh's Custard Yo Yos with Rhubarb Icing and the cookies were firm and crumbly, which was not at all what I was expecting, since adding cornstach (which is also the primary component of custard powder) usually creates a more tender, delicate texture. By contrast, the one time I made melting moments cookies (also an Australian classic made with either cornstarch or custard powder -- and honestly, I don't know what makes them different from yo-yos), they had a melt-in-your mouth texture. But what I do know is that the pretty photo of the "Toll House Yo-Yos" in Lepard's cookbook Short & Sweet made me want to try the recipe.
These yo-yos are slice-and-bake cookies, and the cookies in the cookbook photo are flat disks with sharp 90-degree edges -- not what I picture for a yo-yo, which I think of as drop cookie with a rounded top, typically imprinted with the tines of a fork before baking. But I'm a big fan of slice-and-bakes, since you can make the dough in advance, and this recipe is really easy. You beat softened butter with powdered sugar until light and creamy; and mix in powdered oats (I ground old-fashioned oats in the dry container of my Vitamix blender), flour, custard powder, vanilla, milk, and chocolate chips. I made these back when I was still low on couverture, so I used chopped Ghiradelli 72% Intense Dark chocolate bars. I formed the dough into a log and chilled it for a day; the recipe says you only need to chill the dough for 30 minutes, but I was busy and waiting until the next day worked better for my schedule.
I still don't know what the texture of a yo-yo cookie is supposed to be, but I really enjoyed this crunchy, satisfying, chocolate chip version, even without a filling. What you call it, it was delicious.
Recipe: "Toll House Yo-Yos" from Short & Sweet by Dan Lepard.
- "Make a Great Impression: Custard Crème Cookies," August 28, 2021.
- "Homemade Custard Creams: Custard Stamps," November 29, 2020.
- "All Ups, No Downs: Custard Yo Yos with Roasted Rhubarb Icing," October 24, 2018.
- "I'll Stop thee World and Melt with You: Classic Lemon Melting Moments," June 20, 2013.