Heart Biscuits for Valentine’s Day

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We were feeling the love this week making Valentine’s Day biscuits for school but I have to say I was not feeling the love trying to make these biscuits nut-free (school policy). That was a real pain to say the least. Trial and error resulted in two failed batches but I figured it out in the end with a lot of mixing and matching.

 

Gluten-free, dairy-free baking requires a little bit of creativity and a lot of substitutions at the best of times.

My usual choices for replacing normal flour in baking would be almond flour, ground almonds, any other ground nut or coconut. There are then other options such as polenta and flaxseed plus all the non-gluten flours that exist nowadays. So here’s the lowdown on what all these weird and wonderful flours are and do:

Gram flour is made from chickpeas and is good for savoury bakes.

Coconut flour is delicious in baking if you don’t mind the coconutty flavour but you can’t swap it like for like with normal flour, advice is generally to use up to 20% of normal flour quantity.

Oat flour is made from oats obviously and is easy to bake with but if you’re Coeliac you might have to careful of oats.

Polenta is corn based and is good mixed with ground almonds for biscuit baking, it gives a slightly crispy crunch to your bakes.

Quinoa flour is a new one for me and I don’t have any, but I just read something that said you can toast it and blitz it up to make your own so I might try that.

Rice flour or brown rice flour can be used as a percentage of your flour substitution but not entirely, it gives a flaky dry consistency so be careful.

Sorghum flour is a good one for cakes as it gives a lovely fluffy texture and I think it can be a total flour swap if you want.

Buckwheat flour has a sweet and nutty taste and is particularly good for pancakes.

Flaxseed is loaded with omega 3 and is high in fibre, when mixed with liquid is turns into a paste and can act as a useful binder when dairy free or egg free baking.

So which of these did I use for my gf, df, nf biccies you ask? Well, I think a bit of all of them to be honest! Here are the recipes for you to check out:

Sweetie Centre Biscuits

  • Servings: 24
  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

IMG_7804 You will need this:
100g softened veg butter
100g soft brown sugar
40g polenta
40g rice flour
160g plain gluten free flour
80g dairy free natural custard powder
2 eggs
tsp vanilla bean paste

You make it like this:

  • Beat the sugar and butter together with the eggs and vanilla
  • Sieve in the flours
  • Mix through the polenta and custard powder
  • Roll out the dough gently as it will be very soft (this is good coz it gives the biscuits a buttery melt-in-the-mouth texture) to 1/2cm thickness
  • Use a large cutter and a small cutter to remove the centre
  • Place on a lined baking tray and fill each centre hole with a boiled sweet (I had these tiny little sweetie pops that had been hanging around in the cupboard for forever so I was pleased to find a use for them!)
  • Bake at 170c for 10mins
  • Leave on the tray to cool completely otherwise the sweetie centres will stick to the paper

Chocolate Sandwich Heart Biscuits

  • Servings: 15
  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

IMG_7807 You will need this:
100g soft brown sugar
60ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
tsp vanilla
60 polenta
40 rice flour
100 plain gf flour
40 sorghum flour
2tbsp cocoa powder
100g bar of dark chocolate
2tbsp veg butter
2tbsp icing sugar

You make it like this:

  • Use a handheld mixer to blend the sugar, oil, egg and vanilla
  • In a separate bowl sieve the 3 flours and the cocoa powder together
  • Stir in the polenta
  • Mix the wet into the dry until it forms a sticky dough
  • Work carefully when you roll it out using plenty of rice flour underneath and on the rolling pin otherwise you’ll end up with a sticky mess
  • Roll out to 1/2cm thick and cut out heart shapes
  • Bake at 180c for 10mins
  • Melt the chocolate, butter and icing sugar in the microwave for 1 min 30 secs, stopping 2-3 times to stir it
  • Leave to thicken for 15 mins before icing the biscuits
  • Ice all the biscuits and then stick them together, decorate with sprinkles!

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