Nana’s Yo-yos

Yo-yos are family lore.  My Nana Gaye can make them perfectly and no-one else can get them right even though they are, to be frank, the most straight-forward cookies in terms of ingredients and method.  They’re sweet and very, very short and therefore deliciously snappy.

In order to annoy myself, I decided I’d have a go.  Obviously it was a farce.


Pre-heat the oven to moderate, about a low Gas Mark 4 or so.

Get together :-

9 tablespoons plain flour

9 tablespoons butter (about 1 250g block and another 175g or so)

3 tablespoons custard powder (the above, Nurses, is the stuff of West Australian legend, these have never been made with any other custard powder so I take no responsibility for your failures if you don’t bother going to WA to get some of this before attempting this recipe)

3 tablespoons icing sugar


The butter must be softened but NOT melted.  Chuck the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk together, then add the butter.  It’ll look like a lot of butter.  That’s cause it is a lot of butter.


Mix together.  Nana uses a whizz, I used my handbeaters which, at the above stage, were moaning like small children do halfway through school holidays.  Keep going.  It’ll combine eventually.  I imagine if you had a KitchenAid or similar this bit would be easy.


This is how things looked at my place when I’d got to the properly combined stage.


Anyway it should be a beautifully pale gold pasty and dryish mix, very satisfying when taken raw, a teaspoonful at a time.

Get yourself a saucer of flour and a fork.  Sort the baking trays with a bit of greasing and some baking paper.


Flouring your palms each time, roll out teaspoon-sized balls and place on the tray, about yea apart, then with the floured fork press gently a little way down, on each bikkie.

Nana puts a slivered almond or a chopped up glace cherry on hers.  I had some sprinkles or some gold and silver food spray to hand, so I decided to leave these unsullied this time around.

Stick in the oven for about 10-12 mins, depending on your oven, and rotating as required if your oven is shit.  AS MINE IS.



They are well yum with cold glasses of milk or hot cups of other stuff.

I’ve just offloaded a few to visitors and am instantly regretting my generosity.


2 thoughts on “Nana’s Yo-yos

  1. fourstar says:

    Is that an African tablespoon or a European tablespoon?


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