Monte Carlos

I will have to admit, I don’t have fond memories of Monte Carlos. In Australia, made by Arnotts, Monte Carlos are quite  hard biscuit with an unusual icing in the middle. They are part of many biscuit trays and always are  the last left on the tray (along with the poor Kingston). When I saw this recipe for Monte Carlos published in two Australian Women’s Weekly cook books I was ready to challenge my perception of the Monte Carlo. Ready to cast away my ambivalence, I jumped into the kitchen and made this delicate biscuit. I followed the recipe published in The Cake Stall.

One of the most endearing factors of an AWW recipe is the simplicity of the ingredients. I made the Monte Carlos on a whim and had no need to visit a supermarket, something most welcome on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The ingredients for the biscuit are:

  •  185g Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 185g Self Raising Flour
  • 110g Plain Flour
  •  40g desiccated coconut

The use of a stand mixture makes this recipe a breeze.

1. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract.  Add the egg and beat until combined.

2. Fold in the flours and coconut.

Yes, it really is that simple. It comes together beautifully. The biscuit is more akin to shortbread so do take care to treat the mixture with respect.

3. Using teaspoons (or your hands) make oval shapes. Press down with a fork. Cook in a 180C/350F oven for 10-12 minutes (until golden brown). I checked them at 10 minutes.

4. Transfer to a wire tray and allow to cool completely before assembling.

The Filling:

  • 1/2 cup Raspberry Jam
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 120 Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 teaspoons milk

1. Beat the milk, icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract until a the mixture is smooth and creamy.

2. On one the flat side of the biscuit place 1/2 teaspoon of jam and 1/2 teaspoon of buttercream icing and gently press with another biscuit.

The result is a lovely, melt in your mouth biscuit. The coconut was a revelation, adding texture to the shortbread. You’ll never be able to look at another tray of Arnott’s biscuits the same way again.


    1. Thank-you Danny!

      They are common on the biscuit shelf in supermarkets, but I’ve never known anyone to make them from scratch. I think, just from the book the recipe was published in, these may have been a popular treat made by Australian women a generation or two ago.


    1. Thank-you. They were delicious. I don’t know if I would consider them to be a scone substitute (as they a little more time consuming than scones) but they would definitely be most welcome on an afternoon tea table!


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