I have a delightful mother-in-law. No, really, I do. But she’s one of those self effacing women who doesn’t want to make a fuss, doesn’t express an opinion, says she likes everything and everybody, and feels it’s a little sinful to be sitting down when you could be tidying things up or making cups of tea. So when she incautiously let fall one day that she liked Monte Carlo biscuits, I was right on it.
I got this recipe from the Sydney Morning Herald a few months ago. It’s a filled coconut biscuit, which I generally find too fiddly to bother with, but I have had miraculously bestowed upon me a second hand Kitchen Aid and everything is different now.
Cream together 190 grams of butter with 125 grams of brown sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Beat in an egg. Slowly mix in 75 grams of dessicated coconut, 250 grams of flour, two teaspoons of baking powder and half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. I don’t have dessicated coconut, I have coconut flakes which I pulverise in a twenty year old electric coffee grinder. This is a very sticky, wet mixture, and I may try adding an extra 50 grams of flour next time. Place teaspoons of mixture on a baking paper lined tray and leave plenty of room for them to spread. Bake at 180 degrees for about ten minutes, you want them golden brown. Leave them to cool completely.
Cream together 75 grams of butter (Harmonie, not Pepe Saya, as it isn’t going to be cooked), 190 grams of icing sugar, two teaspoons of milk and half a teaspoon of vanilla essence. With the Kitchen Aid you don’t even need to sift the icing sugar, you just let it do its thing until the mix is all pale and creamy. No wrist action required.
Tip your cooled biscuits upside down. They’re fragile, and actually quite nice on their own. Expect to break some. Grab some jam, I’m using IXL plum jam because it’s easy to spread. Pair up your biscuits and spread the butter mix on one half and some jam on the other, then gently press them together. If you eat them on the day you make them, they’ll be crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. A few days later will see them quite soft, but still rather delicious. I actually prefer them aged. I always have some butter mix left over, because I don’t like to overdo the filling. I would suggest eating this with a spoon while supervising the kids in the pool.