Let’s Be Pen Pals

Good morning Dear Ones,

I hope you have been out enjoying this beautiful winter sun. It’s been a long time coming and I am so grateful the weather has finally cooled down.

As you know, I was hoping to bring you my London Fog cake recipe this week, in honour of her Majesty, but as fate would have it, I came down with yet another hideous flu that left me bedridden for most of the week. All of my ambitious baking plans came to naught, so I implore you to be patient with me and I will get the recipe to you as soon as I can. 

In the meantime, let me share this recipe for homemade Iced Vovo biscuits.

Growing up back in the glorious 70’s, we would always bring a packet or three of Arnott’s biscuits home on shopping day. I loved hanging out with my Mum, especially doing the groceries together. Mum would buy us kids each a frankfurt from the deli to eat as we shopped. A young boy was usually at the end of the checkout cheerfully packing our groceries into paper bags and all prices were entered manually into the till. I can still remember how shocked I was one day when our grocery bill cost a hundred dollars! Wow! What a lot of money! That was a week’s food for a family of four. Oh how times have changed. 

It appears the good old Iced Vovo has changed too. I bought a packet a month or so ago for ‘research’ and was shocked by how it failed miserably to reach the standard of my childhood memory. Where were the lines of pink puffy pillows? The whole thing was completely flat. So dismally disappointing. And as for taste, bah humbug.

So I set about creating my own perfectly puffy, marshmallowy rose scented pillows, lined with real raspberry jam on an oversized crisp cookie base. Oh yes, they are most assuredly as delicious as they sound. I imagined these to be something you would make as a treat for yourself or to share with a group of girlfriends for a special afternoon tea. They are definitely not for the kids to hoof into after school. Being such delicate little creatures, they need to be handled with care and eaten by humans who appreciate them. Toss the kids a packet of biscuits and they’ll never know what they are missing.

The recipe is fairly straight forward. 

I use Glorious Treats sugar cookie recipe for the base cookie, and Manuela’s (Passion For Baking) Marshmallow Frosting recipe for the delicious puffy pillows. You will need to download Manuela’s App (Love Manuela) for the recipe. All of her recipes and frostings are insanely delicious and next level beautiful. Eye candy for sure. 

A few notes to consider:

  1. I used a large fluted rectangular cookie cutter, which can usually be picked up in a two dollar store or online here  (feel free to use any cutter shape you want).
  2. Add a few drops of rosewater essence to the meringue frosting, and a few drops of pink gel food colouring. (Do not use Colourmill colours for this as they don’t work in meringue based frostings. Trust me, I know. I tried this at least three times before reaching out to the lovely Manuela for help.)
  3. Any jam will do, but I recommend Bonne Maman Raspberry jam, as it is super tasty and has a lovely red shine to it. Place spoonfuls of jam into a piping bag, cut the tip off and pipe a line onto the biscuits, in between the lines of frosting. It’s much easier this way.
  4. Pipe the marshmallow frosting onto the cookies using a star tip. Make the pillows nice and big. If you need help, there is a piping tutorial here .
  5. Sprinkle with desiccated coconut before putting the jam along the centre.
  6. Leave at room temp. Store in a single layer as the marshmallow does not set firm. Eat within a week, but I promise you they won’t last that long. 

I loved these biscuits when I was young. Actually, I loved any biscuit. The simple pleasures of a sweet toothed little kid. I had a really happy and carefree childhood, which I have always treasured, realising what a foundational blessing it has been in my life.

If my childhood was good, then my teenage years were the best. I often tell my girls how amazing it was growing up in the 70’s and especially being a teenager in the 80’s. They are actually quite envious and wish that they too knew the uncomplicated joys and fun of hanging out with friends at the roller skating rink and driving to the video store to spend half an hour choosing a video to watch.

Stranger Things has certainly helped revive 80’s nostalgia. I confess I’m a bit of a sucker for monster movies and enjoyed taking a step back in time watching it. The attention to detail, like phones with cords, orange laminex in the kitchens, the furniture, funky wallpaper, patterned dinner plates, big hair, rock solid friendships and the delightful nod to The Neverending Story.…ahh, I love it all. It’s like watching my glory years all over again. Oh, except for the monsters, alternate universe, invading Russians and kids with powers. Somehow we missed all that at Tamworth High. But we did, however, realise how awesome Kate Bush is. I have been bombarding my kids with her brilliant music for years. I’m so pleased that she is now cool again. 

I guess that’s enough rambling from me for now. It’s been such a joy spending a few minutes with you. I hope you like this recipe and please let me know if you make the biscuits. Feel free to send me a DM on Instagram if you have any questions.

Take care, and have a wonderful winter weekend.

Until next week,

Love Anna xx

 

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