Monte Carlos, two crumbly, sweet coconut cookies sandwiching a double-whammy jam and icing filling, are an enduring childhood favourite for those fortunate enough to be growing up in Australia, and in a moment of nostalgia I set about recreating them for my own family.
There are plenty of versions of the recipe floating around the internet, but they are each a little different to the next so I adapted my own basic cookie recipe for these. The original version includes golden syrup, but my pantry was void of that particular delight. Go ahead and replace half the honey with it, if you happen to have some to hand.
Makes about 24 filled cookies
225g (2 sticks, or 1 cup) butter, room temperature
150g (3/4 cup, packed) light brown (demerara) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp liquid honey
1 large egg, room temperature
280g (2 1/4 cups, spooned & scraped) all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g (1 1/2 cups) desiccated coconut
about 1/3 cup raspberry jam
60g (1/2 stick, or 4 tbsp) butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
125g (1 cup unsifted) powdered (confectioners’) sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F) and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.
Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, honey and egg and beat until well combined. Stir in coconut
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, add to butter mixture and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until just combined.
Roll walnut sized pieces of dough into balls, place on baking sheets and flattening slightly with your fingers. Leave about 5cm (2″) between them to allow room for spreading.
Bake one sheet at a time in centre of oven for 13 – 15 minutes, until golden. If baking in more than two batches, allow baking sheets to cool in between.
Allow to cool on baking sheets for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Heat the jam in the microwave and stir vigorously until smooth, then allow to cool.
When ready to fill the cookies, use a spatula to mix together butter, vanilla and powdered sugar, then beat until fluffy.
Spread a little bit of jam on the flat side of half the cookies and spread a teaspoon or so of frosting on the flat side of the other half, then sandwich them together.
Allow filling to set for an hour before eating.