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Homemade Iced Vo-Vos for Australia Day

Homemade Iced Vo-Vo Biscuits recipe on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt’s Australia Day! And what better way to celebrate than with a sweet childhood memory – the classic Australian biscuit (cookie) – the Iced VoVo. Never heard of them? Most non-Australians won’t have. But here there are in all their glory…

Iced Vo Vo Biscuits(Source)

First registered as a trademark in 1906, Arnott’s Iced VoVo biscuits have become iconic. An Iced VoVo is a buttery biscuit topped with pink fondant icing and a strip of  jam, all sprinkled with coconut. These were the biscuits we very rarely had when I was little – I am not sure mum liked them so she most likely wouldn’t have bought them for us – when they appeared at birthday parties and afternoon teas, though, I gravitated towards them even though, truth be told, they actually looked nicer than they tasted lol 😉

I’ve actually attempted making these before, back in 2011 (yes, this blog has been around a long time!), using marshmallow instead of fondant, calling them “Faux Vos” and they turned out ok…

Faux Vo biscuits on eatlivetravelwrite.comDefinitely more decadent than the original! Since the site I created them for no longer exists, I had wanted to update the recipe for a while now and felt like Australia Day was the perfect opportunity!

I’ve had it in my head to re-create these closer to the original recipe and I’ve been working on a sugar cookie recipe for a bit – one that doesn’t need the dough to chill because who’s got time for that, right? I’ve finally settled on a great tasting, easy to work with dough recipe that just happens to be perfect for the base of a VoVo!

Instead of faffing about with marshmallow, I’m using a riff on a small batch royal icing recipe from Dessert for Two that I love because it’s easy to make and work with. It’s also more true the the original VoVo topping. I decided to spread the icing over the whole cookie because there’s no way you can make two thin strips on each side easily. The jam is piped right down the middle of that – easy peasy!

Easy Homemade Iced Vo-Vo Biscuits recipe on eatlivetravelwrite.comI’m so happy with the way these turned out. The biscuit base is a bit thicker than a Vo-Vo but it works well to offset the sweet topping. You’ll only need one of these, though – they ARE a treat!

Yield: 24

Homemade Iced Vo-Vos

Homemade Iced Vo-Vo Biscuits on eatlivetravelwrite.com

Buttery cookies, fondant, jam and coconut!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Decorating Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 6 minutes

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 113g (1/2 cup/ 8 tablespoons) salted butter, softened
  • 100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 225g (1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk

For the fondant icing:

  • 225g (1 1/2 cups) icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon egg white (approx. 1/2 an egg white)
  • pink food colouring

To decorate:

  • approx. 1/2 cup raspberry jam
  • unsweetened desiccated coconut, for sprinkling

Instructions

Make the cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
  2. Mix the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with electric hand beaters at high speed until pale in colour and creamy.
  3. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the egg yolk and vanilla, then continue to beat until combined.
  4. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour and baking powder, mixing until the flour is just combined.
  5. With the speed still low, add the milk and beat until the dough starts to clump together.
  6. Gather the dough together with your hands into a disk. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface or in between two large sheets of parchment paper and roll the dough until it’s roughly 1/3-inch thick.
  7. Use a 7cm x 5cm rectangular cookie cutter to cut out 24 cookies (you might need to gather scraps and re-roll the dough a couple of times) and place them on the baking trays roughly 1-inch apart.
  8. Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes until lightly golden all over.
  9. Remove from the oven and use an offset spatula to remove the cookies from the trays and place them on wire cooling racks. Leave the cookies until they are completely cool.

Make the fondant icing

  1. Mix the icing sugar and the milk together. It might not look like it's going to be enough liquid but don't be tempted to add more.
  2. When you think you can't mix any more, add the egg white and continue to mix until the icing is thick and glossy.
  3. Add the food colouring and mix until combined.

Ice and decorate the cookies

  1. Place the jam in a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip.
  2. Use a small offset spatula to spread a thin layer of the fondant icing over the entire surface of three cookies at a time.
  3. Once you have iced three cookies, pipe a small stripe of the jam down the centre of the iced cookies (this gives the fondant a chance to set a little bit (otherwise the jam will run into it).
  4. Sprinkle the top of the cookies lightly with the coconut and allow to set.
  5. Continue in this manner until all the cookies are iced.

Notes

Cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for a few days. Make sure to layer parchment paper in between the cookie layers so they don't stick together.

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I can’t think of anything MORE appropriate for an Australia Day dessert than these 🙂

Homemade Iced Vo-Vo Biscuits on eatlivetravelwrite.com

Australian bushfires

On a more sombre note, you’ll no doubt be aware of the devastating bushfires in Australia over the past few months. Growing up in Australia, bushfires were something that happened unfortunately way too often, some of them worse than others. I remember the Ash Wednesday fires in South Australia and Victoria in February 1983 very vividly as they felt very close to home and I remember listening to a reporter my dad knew live reporting his own home burning down in the Adelaide Hills which is close to the city centre and somewhere we used to go often for a day out.

Over the holidays, I watched, saddened, horrified and feeling utterly helpless (and actually not being able to watch much more coverage of animals in distress or people sharing what they’ve lost, it’s too heartbreaking). My family and friends are safe (though a couple of friends had to evacuate at least once) so I am thankful for that but there are so many who have lost so much – it’s just unfathomable.

It feels like there isn’t anything you can do to help such a large-scale disaster relief effort but every little bit will help. Here’s a great guide for where and how you can help if you are so inclined.

 

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3 Responses to Homemade Iced Vo-Vos for Australia Day

  1. Geoff January 26, 2020 at 18:00 #

    Nothing like a bit of history, Mardi… excellent post.

    • Mardi Michels January 27, 2020 at 05:45 #

      Gotta love a bit of history with my morning tea 🙂

  2. Mr. Neil January 27, 2020 at 07:43 #

    As we had to immediately remove these from the premises or we’d eat them all – part of the batch made its way to Saturday curling. Can I just say how quickly they were scarfed down after our games? 😉

    Super treat.

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