Homemade Monte Carlos
The homemade Monte Carlo. They are pretty much the biscuit equivalent of unicorns and rainbows; and well-worth your time, butter, vanilla and flour. It's a biscuit that delivers, in looks and taste, leaving the packet version for dead. I could stare at them all day. Honestly, it's like being in love. You can make your own marshmallow, but I realise you are busy and now amidst everything else you have to make biscuits as well so I've included a cheats version of the marshmallow here (purists look away).
The homemade Monte Carlo.
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- 300g plain flour
- 75g caster sugar
- 25g icing sugar
- Pinch of sea salt
- 250g butter, cubed straight from the fridge
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 2 cups white marshmallows
- 2-3 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 tsp coconut essence
- Raspberry or strawberry jam
To make the shortbread preheat the oven to 180C. Line 1-2 baking trays with baking paper.
Sift the flour, sugars and salt together in a bowl. Add the butter and rub with your fingertips until you get a course breadcrumb consistency. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and bring together into a dough. You don't want to overwork it but it needs to be well incorporated.
Roll out on a clean work surface to about 1cm thick. You may want to pop back in the fridge at this point for five minutes or so – you want it quite firm to work with. Using a 5cm cookie cutter cut out rounds and place on the prepared baking trays. Again if the weather is warm you may want to pop in the fridge for 30 minutes prior to baking – you get the best results using a cold dough.
Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are just starting to brown and have taken on a lovely shade of golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Melt the marshmallows in a double saucepan over low heat. As the marshmallows become soft, add the honey and stir constantly to prevent it from catching and burning. Keep stirring until any residual lumps are gone and you have a smooth sticky mixture. Add the coconut essence or toasted coconut if using and stir to combine. Remove from the heat. Working quickly, smear a heaped teaspoon of the marshmallow onto a biscuit. Repeat with the remaining mixture and half the biscuits. Place on a flat surface and allow the marshmallow to cool completely. You might be tempted to use more but it ends up a tacky mess with marshmallow overhang which is not a good look for your Monte Carlo.
When quite set dollop a little jam on a biscuit and sandwich on top. Repeat with remaining biscuits and jam. Best eaten on the day of making but last up to 3 days covered in an airtight container if you have that kind of willpower.