I’ve never been much of a tea or coffee drinker. I typically stick to the 3 W’s: water, wine, and whiskey. But all of this changed when I moved to New Zealand and was given my first Tim Tam—two layers of chocolate malt biscuits sandwiched around a chocolate cream filling—for a Tim Tam slam. A Tim Tam slam requires that you bite off opposite corners of the Tim Tam and use it as a straw to drink tea or coffee (or any other delicious beverage you might like, though a hot drink is typically best since it melts the chocolate). It’s the most exciting way to consume a hot drink, but you can totally eat them on their own without a drink in tow.

Moving back to the states, I knew that one of the things I would miss most would be Tim Tams. The package even says, “Irresistible chocolaty happiness in a cookie,” and I was hard pressed to find said happiness again. Until recently, that is, when I learned that Tim Tams are now available at Target, in both original and caramel flavors. This was a very important life discovery. When we got a couple of boxes at the Saveur office, I was soon teaching everyone how to do a Tim Tam slam; needless to say, I think we’re all a little bit obsessed now.

Maybe the second best way to eat Tim Tams, I soon learned, is in a pavlova, that sweet New Zealand specialty made of egg whites. The thing that differentiates this classic kiwi dessert from a meringue is the addition of vinegar: it helps give the outside a lovely crunchy shell, while the inside remains soft. Folding crushed Tim Tams into the batter just makes it that much better.

See the recipe for Tim Tam Pavlova »