Melting Moments – Children’s Party Oat Biscuits

Things haven’t really changed much. For Julie and Lucie, a birthday party without Melting Moments isn’t complete. Who would have thought, as I discovered recently on Julie’s 18th?

Melting Moments Oat Biscuits

Of all the treats that have come out of this kitchen, Melting Moments, these little buttery oat biscuits, have somehow created that memory that’s rekindled each year round.

This was the very first recipe I made completely on my own when I was growing up in Scotland. It was from The Brownie Cookbook. I’ve no idea where it disappeared to, but I’d copied it down with Mum for my Brownie Badge and somehow it stayed as a family birthday favourite. I see there’s still a Brownie-Guide cookbook but I hate to think how old my edition must have been! I’ve just hit 50, so I’ve had a few melting moments recently too – especially with Julie turning 18!

Melting Moments easy oat cookies for birthdays

A last-minute 18th birthday party amongst her friends before the BAC exams hit recently, I offered to help Julie out with making pizza, macarons, and her favourite giant birthday éclairs with strawberries and elderflower cream (recipe is in Teatime in Paris!).

With bubbly it was a real adult party – until she realised we’d forgotten the Melting Moments! I was already melting in the kitchen with unusually high temperatures and the oven wasn’t helping.

Sure enough, Julie was checking out our splattered, tattered recipe sheet to get rolling her favourite little buttery biscuits in oats. Why is rolling the best part? Because, even at 18 they apparently love to get their palms sticky, rolling these dainties into little balls, flattening them quickly and pressing in cranberries or better still, glacé cherries.

Melting Moments oat cookies

Press in dried cranberries just before baking

I particularly adore the glacé cherries, as we buy them cheaply by the kilo in Provence, near my parents-in-law’s house in Saignon.  Did you know that Apt is the world capital of glacé fruits (candied fruits) and so every time we visit, I stock up on crystallised fruits from cherries, orange peel, to ginger.

Please ensure they’re good quality and sticky wet, as dried out ones at the back of the cupboard are just not the same!

Melting Moments

Even Papa wanted to put the cherries on top!

Melting Moments

This is an updated recipe from my original post published in 2011 – especially as, over the years, we don’t have an overly sweet tooth so we’ve lowered the sugar content again since. I was asked for this oat recipe by Hamlyns Oats of Scotland, who are kindly sharing this amongst their “Oat Cuisine Recipes” on their website in conjunction with the Perfect Porridge Giveaway.

Melting Moments

PIN me – let’s party!

Have you made them yet? In 30 minutes, you’ll discover why they’re called melting moments.

Have you made any of the recipes from le blog or fancy making this recipe for Melting Moments?  Please do leave a comment below – or take a picture and hashtag it #MadAboutMacarons. I’d love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook.


Melting Moments

Melting Moments Oat Biscuits

5 from 7 votes
Melting Moments
Melting Moments - Oat Biscuits
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Melt-in-the-mouth buttery oat biscuits, rolled in oats and topped with bits of glacé cherry - perfect for making with children and sharing with the adults.

Servings: 30 biscuits
Author: Jill Colonna
  • 100 g (3.5oz) butter softened
  • 55 g (2oz) caster sugar
  • 1 small organic egg (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
  • 100 g (3.5oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 50 g (2oz) fine oatmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • medium porridge oats for rolling
  • 4 glacé cherries or dried cranberries for decoration Cut into fine bits
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour, oatmeal, baking powder and mix well.

  2. Roll walnut size pieces of the mixture into balls, and roll each one in the oat flakes.
  3. Place them on baking trays covered in baking paper or on a silicone mat, flattening slightly each one with the finger, then place 1/4 glacé cherry on each (or any other candied fruit; candied orange peel is good, too.)

  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown then cool on a wire rack.

Recipe Notes

I used to make this with egg, but as so little is added, I often omit it and the biscuits are just as good! Melting Moments can also be rolled in desiccated coconut.


Jill Colonna

Melting Moments Recipe

Perfect Porridge Hamlyns Giveaway

I’m so excited to announce a Perfect Porridge giveaway, thanks to Hamlyns of Scotland.
For one lucky reader, the winner will receive a Perfect Porridge Hamper plus TWO runners up will each receive a Hamlyn’s apron and tea towel.

Perfect Porridge Hamper Hamlyns Oats

What Could you Win?

The Perfect Porridge Hamper from Hamlyns includes the quality range of varied oats (including oatmeal, oats with bran), a porridge-making spurtle and the new homeware range by Scottish designer, Gillian Kyle. There are two Daddy-bear-sized porridge bowls, two large mugs, a tea towel, an apron, and a super sturdy shopping bag.

Hamlyns of Scotland

Hamlyns of Scotland is part of a family food business, owned and managed by a family with 14 generations of history in oat milling. In 2016 Hamlyns of Scotland brand celebrated its 50th birthday. You’ll find Hamlyns products in virtually every supermarket in Scotland – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, the Coop, Morrisons and Waitrose. Anyone outside Scotland can order from their website.

I love their oats – particularly their new ‘Oats & Bran’, great for a healthy bowl of porridge, and our favourite homemade maple granola which we serve with almond milk and fresh berries each week. Hamlyns have been so kind to share a few of my favourite recipes recently on their website, such as these Oat, Bran, Date & Apple Breakfast Muffins. As they say, oats are not just for breakfast!  They’ve also shared my Granny’s Matrimonial Cake and Snowballs for teatime plus these mini Rhubarb and Oat Crumbles for dessert. Check out more of their ‘Oat Cuisine’ recipes on their website plus sign up for their newsletter.

My latest recipe in conjunction with this Perfect Porridge Giveaway, is our annual birthday mini oat biscuits, Melting Moments.

Melting Moments

Try us – we just melt in the mouth!

Perfect Porridge – What’s Yours?

It may be summer but my daughter has been making porridge to see her through her BAC exams.

Her idea of the perfect porridge is with Hamlyns Oats & Bran, made with water (2.5 parts of water to 1 of oats), a good pinch of fleur de sel salt and stirred over a medium heat with a wooden spurtle for about 10-15 minutes until it bubbles and thickens.  Dribbled over with quick-melting honey, some warming spicy granola for that crunch, topped with fresh summer berries and then the whole lot poured over with regular or almond milk.

Perfect Porridge Hamlyns Scotland

How to Enter the Perfect Porridge Giveaway?

  • Enter by leaving me a comment below telling me how you like your porridge.
  • This giveaway closes on Monday 16 July 2018 at midnight GMT.
  • The giveaway is open to readers over 18 who live in the UK.
  • All entrants’ names who comment below will be put together and picked entirely at random.
    Good Luck!

To enter, please leave your email address when you comment.  Your email will not be published and is never shared. I will contact the 3 winners personally by email on Tuesday 17 July and with their permission will pass on their address so Hamlyns can post out the prizes. You can read more about my privacy policy here.


Disclosure: I received a Perfect Porridge Hamper from Hamlyns to photograph for this giveaway. I was not expected to write a positive review and, as always, any opinions expressed are my own.

French Blueberry Lemon Bavarois With Roasted Coriander

With an abundance of fresh summer berries at the market, it’s great to whip up a quickly made, refreshing dessert that brings out their flavours. This French Blueberry Lemon Bavarois ticked all the boxes as an elegant yet easy dessert.  During our yo-yo-ing Parisian heatwaves, it’s welcome to have something chilled, no-bake and prepared in advance so that we, too, can chill and make the most of the outdoors.

Blueberry Lemon Bavarois recipe with roasted coriander seeds

What is a French Bavarois Dessert?

You may recall my recipe for red fruit bavarois a few years ago, getting rather carried away on the sexy theme for Saint Valentine’s Day. Since then I have developed the recipe further.  Normally French bavarois desserts are made using a crème bavaroise (a mixture of whipped cream, crème anglaise – a runny vanilla custard – and gelatine). In this recipe, it couldn’t be simpler: instead just add the gelatine to puréed fruit and add some thick, full-fat crème fraîche or thick double cream.

It’s like an Italian panna cotta, except with more fruit pulp in it and less cream. As with this rose panna cotta recipe with cherry & cardamom coulis, I pour the fruity mixture into silicone moulds, leave to chill then un-mould them before serving directly on the plates.

Blueberry lemon bavarois recipe step-by-step

Blueberry, Lemon & Roasted Coriander Seeds

Using blueberries in this dessert makes the recipe even easier: there’s no need to eliminate any seeds through a sieve. As blueberry and lemon are a particularly good combination, inspiration came from Nikki Segnit’s The Flavour Thesaurus, by adding roasted coriander seeds.

I love how Nikki Segnit describes coriander seeds, and devotes two pages to its tempting combinations:

Coriander seeds have a delicious citrus and balsamic character … (they are) also one of the key botanicals in gin. A spare peppermill filled with roasted coriander seeds could easily get you hooked…. (they) can contain up to 85% linalool, a flavour compound with a woody, floral, slightly citrus quality that’s a key component of synthesised blueberry flavour.  Freshly ground, they can lend a fragrant background note to your home-baked blueberry muffins.

strawberry bavarois no-bake recipe

I’m the same recipe made with strawberries instead of blueberries!

Here, the addition of roasted coriander seeds brings out the blueberry and lemon flavours in this dessert perfectly and, roughly ground in a mortar and pestle, adds a delicate crunchy intrigue, I find.  Served with a Beaujolais Cru (Moulin à Vent) quite by accident the other day, we discovered that this fruity red wine brought out the lemon even more.  It’s sheer bliss!

French Blueberry Lemon Bavarois (Gluten Free)

Blueberry Lemon French Bavarois Dessert (Gluten Free)
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
4 mins
Chilling Time
4 hrs
Total Time
29 mins

An easy no-bake French dessert, similar to an Italian Panna Cotta, made with fruit purée and less cream. This recipe adds a touch of roasted coriander seeds, giving a lovely texture to  bring out the lemon and blueberry flavours.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: bavarois, blueberry, frenchdesserts, glutenfree, lemon, nobake
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 206 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
  • 200 g / 7oz blueberries organic fresh or defrosted
  • 2 leaves @ 2g gelatine ensure each sheet is 2g
  • 1 tbsp zest of a lemon unwaxed, organic
  • 50 g / 1.75oz sugar
  • 1/2 sachet vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 150 g / 5.5oz thick crème fraîche 30% fat or thick double cream
  1. Wash and drain the blueberries.  Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for 10 minutes.

  2. Place the coriander seeds on a baking tray and toast under the grill for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. 

  3. Finely grate the zest of the lemon (yellow zest only, no white pith, otherwise this is too bitter). Add the lemon and seeds to the blueberries and purée in a food processor (or mix by hand with a mortar & pestle).

  4. Heat a quarter of the purée in the microwave for 1m30 seconds. Squeeze the gelatine of any excess water and stir into the purée until melted.  Add the crème fraîche or double cream then pour into shaped silicone moulds (here I used briochettes, but half spheres are even better). 

  5. Place on a baking tray and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

  6. When ready to serve, turn the moulds upside down and run under hot water for a few seconds.  Turn them upright so that no water touches them and turn out each bavarois with the help of a pastry scraper or pie slice and place directly on each serving plate.

Recipe Notes

Serve with fresh blueberries that have been macerated in some crème de cassis or limoncello liqueur. Add any extra roasted coriander seeds for that extra crunch. I added fresh lemon verbena, which complements this dessert beautifully.

Discovered that a red wine (Beaujolais Cru, such as Morgon or Moulin à Vent) brings out the citrus flavours. Serve with lemon or lemon verbena macarons (recipes are in Mad About Macarons and Teatime in Paris respectively).

Ensure gelatine sheets are 2g each, as I've discovered that some brands have smaller sheets and the whole thing is too liquid (if this is the case, block in the freezer for an hour, then turn out and leave to defrost for 20 minutes).


Jill Colonna

Both lemon and lemon verbena macarons are a perfect accompaniment to this Blueberry Lemon Bavarois dessert, too (see respective recipes in Mad About Macarons and Teatime in Paris.)
Serve with blueberries soaked in Crème de Cassis liqueur or Limoncello (Christina Conte has a lovely homemade quick Limoncello recipe at ChristinasCucina)

Blueberry lemon bavarois dessert

Blueberry Lemon Bavarois (no-bake chilled dessert)

Have you made any of the recipes from le blog or fancy making this Blueberry Lemon Bavarois?  Please do leave a comment below – or take a picture and hashtag it #MadAboutMacarons.  I love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks so much for popping in!