News, recipes, information and helpful tips for living gluten free

News, recipes, information and helpful tips for living gluten free


  • Category Archives: Biscuits

  • Gluten Free Halloween Cookies

    The popularity of Halloween appears to be growing in our neighbourhood with residents decorating homes with spooky flare – lots of spider webs, skeletons, pumpkins and the odd fake graveyard. I guess any activity that involves dressing up and eating lollies is bound to be welcomed by most. I had fun making these sweet gluten free treats for Halloween in our house. I used a bat shaped cutter for these biscuits, but you can use a stencil or cutter of your choice to create your own ghoulish creatures.

    Ingredients
    300g gluten free all-purpose plain flour
    ½ cup gluten free icing sugar
    1 tsp xanthan gum
    160g butter, chopped
    1 egg white

    Place sifted flour, xanthan gum and icing sugar in food processor.  Add chopped butter and using the pulse button, process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add egg white and pulse until combined. Place dough on a piece of plastic wrap lightly dusted with GF flour and using hands gently shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
    Roll out pastry to required thickness. Cut to shape and place on an oven tray, lined with baking paper. Bake at 170C for 15-20 mins until pastry is golden. Cool then decorate.
    Note: I used Queen brand gluten free Ready-to-Roll fondant icing in classic white to cover these biscuits.  It worked really well. I then piped red icing to complete the bat look! Have fun.

     


  • Gluten Free Chocolate Caramel Slice

    Sweet, sticky, homemade chocolate caramel slice – it doesn’t get much better. This gluten free version is a delicious treat and is often requested for parties and special school events. I used Orgran multigrain self raising flour for this batch, which resulted in a very tasty biscuit base. It is quite rich, so I suggest serving in small slices!

    Ingredients
    1 cup gluten free self raising flour
    ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
    Pinch salt
    1 cup dark brown sugar
    1 cup desiccated coconut
    140g butter, melted
    1 tin (395g) condensed milk
    60g butter, extra
    2 tablespoons golden syrup
    200g dark cooking chocolate

    Preheat oven to 170℃. Line a slice tray (I use 20cm x 20cm) with baking paper. Sift flour, salt and xanthan gum into a large bowl, add sugar and coconut. Stir to combine. Add melted butter and stir until the mixture resembles crumbs. Press mixture firmly into the slice tray, using fingers or the back of a spoon to smooth surface. Bake for 15 minutes.
    While the base is cooking, gently warm 30g butter, condensed milk and golden syrup in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until butter is melted and mixture combined, careful not to burn! Spread the filling over the cooked base and return to oven to bake for another 10 minutes. Cool the slice completely. 
    To make topping, melt the chocolate and 30g butter together until smooth – either in a microwave, or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Pour over slice and allow to set before cutting into slices. 


  • Crunchy Gluten Free Choc Chip Biscuits

    We’ve been munching our way through numerous batches of gluten free Choc Chip biscuits and finally my young taste testers have given this recipe the go-ahead. It’s been a challenging task eating biscuit after biscuit, but they managed. The recipe makes thin and crunchy biscuits that taste fantastic. We’ve tried white and milk chocolate chips (too sweet for me, but kids disagree) and settled for the dark chocolate version. Best eaten warm from the oven when chocolate is gooey, but they will last for days in an airtight container. It’s worth visiting a health food shop or specialist supermarket for the brown rice flour and an Asian grocer to buy the other fine rice flours, as the combination will give a better result than substituting with shop bought GF flour blends.

    Ingredients
    140 grams butter, softened
    ½ cup white sugar
    ½ cup soft brown sugar
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    170 grams dark chocolate chips
    ½ cup brown rice flour
    ½ cup fine white rice flour
    ⅓ cup glutinous rice flour (sticky rice flour) *see notes
    ⅓ cup tapioca flour
    1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ¾ teaspoon baking soda
    Pinch salt

    Preheat oven 180℃.
    Cream butter and sugars using a mixer, or by hand. Add egg and vanilla, continue beating until well combined.
    In a separate bowl sift tapioca and rice flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt, stir to combine.
    Add to the butter mix along with chocolate chips and combine with a wooden spoon. Use hands to bring dough together into a ball, if needed.
    Place the dough
    on a piece of plastic wrap and smooth into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
    Roll spoonfuls of dough into balls (makes 
    approx. 2 dozen) and place on oven trays covered with baking paper.  Flatten slightly, allowing room for spreading.
    Bake 15 minutes until golden. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack.  

    *Glutinous Rice Flour. This is finely milled sticky rice flour, it does not contain gluten. In Australia many Asian grocers or supermarkets carry Erawan brand glutinous rice flour.  It is also available in health food shops and online. Erawan also produces tapioca flour and fine white rice flour.


  • Golden Gluten Free ANZAC Slice

    ANZAC Day commemorates the World War 1 landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli on the 25th April 1915. As we approach the 100th anniversary, my mind turns the humble ANZAC biscuit, still a favourite in so many Australian homes. These ‘soldiers’ biscuits were made and sent with love to Australian soldiers fighting in World War 1. They became known as ANZAC biscuits following the first anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. This gluten free version is made into a slice, rather than biscuits and uses rice flakes or quinoa flakes to replace the oats in the traditional recipe. I’ve also included some gluten free puffed millet for added texture. It’s a delicious crunchy slice to be enjoyed year-round.

    Ingredients
    130 grams butter
    3 tablespoons golden syrup
    1 ¼ cups gluten free plain flour
    1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
    1 cup desiccated coconut
    ¾ cup GF rice flakes*
    ¼ cup GF puffed millet (if you can’t obtain, use extra rice flakes)
    1 cup brown sugar

    Preheat oven to 180℃. Line a slice tray (I use 20cm x 20cm) with baking paper.
    In a medium size saucepan gently melt butter and golden syrup. Remove from heat.
    Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, then add coconut, rice flakes, puffed millet (if using) and sugar, stir until combined.
    Add the butter and syrup mix to the dry ingredients and mix well. Press mixture firmly into the slice tray, using the back of a spoon to smooth surface. 
    Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden. When cool, slice into squares. 

    *Brown or white rice flakes and puffed millet are sold in health food stores and specialty supermarkets. Can use quinoa flakes if prefer.

     


  • Gluten Free Shortbread

    ‘Tis the season for Christmas baking so retrieve the cookie cutters from the back of the kitchen cupboard and give this traditional shortbread recipe a go. It will please the GF and non-GF people in your life! The key to success for this simple recipe is good quality butter. To avoid biscuits that are too crumbly and easily broken it is best not to roll the pastry too thin. When cool, you can ice and decorate if you desire, (or your kids do).

    Ingredients
    250g butter
    ⅔ cup caster sugar
    2 cups GF plain flour
    ½ cup rice flour (coarse)

    ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
    Pinch salt

    Cream the butter and sugar in a food processor until well combined.

    Sift the flour, salt, rice flour and xanthan gum and add to butter and sugar. Pulse or blend in the food processor until the dough starts to come together in a ball.

    Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap lightly dusted with GF flour and using hands gently shape into a disc. If mixture is very sticky, add a little more flour and work in, until mixture can be shaped into a disc.

    Cover the dough with the plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 30 minutes. (Dough can be left in the fridge for a few days until required)

    Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap and cover with baking paper to prevent sticking to rolling pin. Roll out to a thickness of 1.5-2 cm and cut into desired shapes with biscuit cutters.

    Place onto baking trays covered with baking paper and bake in oven at 150℃ for 15-20 mins or until slightly coloured. The time required will vary depending on the size and shape of the shortbread. Allow to cool slightly on the tray. Store in an airtight container.


  • Gluten Free Buckwheat & Parmesan Biscuits

    We’re in the swing of spring in Melbourne and that means at least two things: changeable weather and racing fever. You can bet on these delicious gluten free savoury morsels to please the thoroughbreds in your stable. The biscuits can be made in advance and finished with your favourite topping when required.

    Ingredients

    50g cold butter, cut into cubes
    40g parmesan cheese (parmigiano-reggiano), finely grated
    40g buckwheat flour
    20g rice flour
    2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
    salt, pinch of cayenne pepper

    Preheat oven to 180℃.
    Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until dough comes into a ball. Add a drop of cold water to bring together if required. Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap. It should be quite firm and easy to shape. If the dough is a little wet, sprinkle with rice flour and roll into a sausage shape about  3cm wide and 15cm long (see below). Cover with the plastic wrap and chill for half an hour. Place dough on a chopping board and with a sharp knife slice through the dough to create fine biscuit rounds about 2mm thick. Depending on the size of your dough, it should make approx. 40 biscuits. Place the biscuits on an oven tray covered with a sheet of baking paper and bake for 8 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool completely. Garnish to serve. They will keep for days in an airtight container.

    Garnish
    Close to serving time, spread the biscuits with soft goats cheese or feta. Be gentle, as they are delicate! Top with  some oven roasted cherry tomatoes, some diced olives and fresh herbs or your favourite topping.

     


  • Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

     Need some ideas for a special gluten free afternoon tea this Mother’s Day? Try one, or all of these classic afternoon tea treats.  Gluten Free apple tea cake, lemon curd tartlet, our version of a crispy almond Bakewell Tart and a decadent chocolate brownie.  All can be made the day before, except the tea cakes, which are best eaten on the day they’re baked.

    Mini gluten free apple tea cakes

    100g butter 
    ¾ cup sugar
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    ⅔ cup milk
    2 cups gluten free self raising flour
    2 apples

    Prepare apples:  Peel and quarter apples, then slice finely lengthways. Poach gently in a little water until soft, either in a saucepan over low heat, or in microwave for a couple of minutes. Set aside to cool.

    Tea Cake:  
    Preheat oven to 170℃.  
    Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, mixing in a little flour to keep a good consistency.  Using a spoon, stir in milk and remaining flour a little at a time until combined. Spoon into greased mini cupcake tray and top with two slices of cooked apple. Bake in moderate oven approx 15-20 minutes. While hot, sprinkle with a little caster sugar and cinnamon if desired. Alternatively, cook as one larger cake for approx 40-45 mins. Best eaten on the day the cakes are baked. Can be refreshed in microwave, add some cream or ice-cream for a quick fix dessert!

    Decadent gluten free chocolate brownie

    ½ cup gluten free plain flour
    ½ cup rice flour
    ½ teaspoon baking powder
    cup cocoa powder
    1 cup caster sugar
    1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    150g butter, melted
    White or milk chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 170℃. Line a slice tray (I use 20cm x 20cm) with baking paper.  Sift flours, baking powder and cocoa into large bowl.  Add coconut and sugar and stir to combine.  Add eggs and slightly cooled melted butter to flour mixture. Stir until just combined.  Sprinkle chocolate chips across the base of the prepared tray and cover with brownie mix.  Bake for 20-25 mins.  Remove from oven allow to cool, cut into squares.

    Gluten free Bakewell Tart

    1 quantity of sweet shortcrust pastry (see recipe below)
    120g unsalted butter
    120g caster sugar
    ½ teaspoon vanilla extact
    3 eggs
    120g ground almonds
    30g flaked almonds
    ½ cup raspberry jam
    1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries 

    Pastry Base: Preheat oven 150℃. Line a tart tin (I use 20cm x 20cm) with baking paper.  Place chilled pastry on a piece of plastic wrap and cover with a sheet of baking paper or plastic wrap to prevent sticking to rolling pin.  Roll pastry out to ½ cm thick. Line the tart tin with the pastry. Line with another sheet of baking paper and cover with pastry weights, dried beans or rice. Bake blind for 25 minutes then reduce the heat to 100℃. Remove the baking paper and weights and bake for a further 5 minutes until dry. Set aside to cool.

    Filling:
     Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and then stir in the ground almonds.  Spread raspberry jam across base of tart and scatter with raspberries.  Spread mix over raspberries and sprinkle with flaked almonds. Bake at 150℃ for 50 mins and tart is a golden brown. Serve sliced in squares either warm, or at room temperature. 

    Lovely gluten free lemon tartlets 

    The pastry bases for these lovely lemon curd tartlets can be used with numerous sweet fillings – jam, custard, fruit, frangipane….  This option uses a simple lemon curd, that is spooned into the pre-cooked bases as required. The pastry tart shells will keep for a week in an airtight container. The curd will keep for weeks in a sterilised jar, if refrigerated after opening.

    Gluten free lemon curd

    4 egg yolks
    140g caster sugar
    60g unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
    1 dessertspoon grated lemon rind
    80ml lemon juice

    Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until well combined, but not frothy.  Place in a heavy based saucepan, add butter, rind and juice.  Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, bring to a simmer over medium heat until mix begins to thicken and tiny bubbles appear.  Remove from heat, still stirring. Allow to cool then transfer to sterilised jar.

    Gluten free sweet shortcrust pastry

    300g gluten free plain flour
    1 tsp xanthan gum (see note)
    ½ cup gluten free icing sugar
    160g butter, chopped
    1 egg white

    Sift flour, xanthan gum and icing sugar and place in a food processor.  Add chopped butter and using the pulse button, process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add egg white and pulse until combined. Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap lightly dusted with GF flour and using hands gently shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.  Place pastry on a piece of plastic wrap and cover with baking paper or plastic wrap to prevent sticking to rolling pin.  Roll out pastry thinly. Cut out rounds and place in greased tart trays. Bake at 170C for 15-20 mins until pastry is golden. Cool.

    To assemble lemon curd tartlets When ready to serve, place a dessertspoon of curd filling in pastry cases, sprinkle with icing sugar if preferred.

    Note: Xanthan gum is used as a binding agent in gluten free cooking. It is available from health food shops and some supermarkets. Guar gum can be used as a replacement.

     


  • Gluten Free Lemon Slice

    This is a delicious no-bake crowd pleaser! I made it recently for a school fundraiser and was delighted when it sold out quickly. The kids have fun making this, depending on their age, children will need assistance melting the butter. It’s more fun to turn the biscuits into crumbs using a rolling pin – and there are more chunky bits in the resulting slice. Of course, if you’re in a hurry, a quick blitz in your food processor will do the job nicely.

    Quick no-bake lemon slice – gluten free!

     Base

    120g butter
    ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
    1 tablespoon lemon rind
    1 cup coconut
    200g plain sweet GF biscuits (we use Eskal brand Tea Biscuits)

    Topping

    2 cups icing sugar
    2 tablespoons coconut
    ¼ cup lemon juice
    2 teaspoons butter

    Base: Crush the biscuits to resemble ‘crumbs’ in a food processor, or use a rolling pin to crush biscuits on a sheet of baking paper. In a large bowl mix biscuit crumbs, lemon rind and coconut.
    Place butter and condensed milk in a small saucepan. Keep on low heat until butter has gently melted and the mixture is combined. Gently stir and take care not to burn!
    Add to the biscuit crumbs and mix well. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into a tin, covered with baking paper. I use a square tin (22x22cm) with a removable base. Chill for an hour.
    Ice with lemon topping, sprinkle with another dusting of coconut. When the icing has set, cut to size.

    Topping: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix to icing consistency. If the mix is a little dry, add a teaspoon of hot water to bring together.

    Note: This recipe can be easily be doubled to make a larger slice. In this case use a slice tin, approx 20x30cm.

     


  • Gluten Free chocolate coconut slice

    I have been making this slice for more than 30 years.  My children now help me make a gluten free variety – that is delicious! The combination of chocolate and coconut is hard to beat.

    A delicious slice for kids in the kitchen

    Base

    1 cup gluten free self-raising flour
    2 tablespoons cocoa
    Pinch salt
    ⅓ cup caster sugar
    ½ cup coconut
    125g butter, melted

    Chocolate Coconut Topping

    1 cup icing sugar
    1 cup coconut
    1 heaped tablespoon cocoa
    ½ cup condensed milk
    1 tablespoon butter

    Base: Sift flour, cocoa and salt into bowl, add sugar and coconut. Stir in melted butter and mix. If mix is a little dry, add 1 teaspoon of water. Line a slice tray (I use 20cmx20cm) with baking paper. Using the back of a spoon gently press mixture into tray as evenly as possible. Bake in oven 160℃ for 20 minutes.
    Cool on a wire rack, cover with topping while still warm. Cut into slices when cold.

    Topping: Combine all ingredients and mix well.

     

     


  • Gluten Free ANZAC Biscuits

    ANZAC Day commemorates the World War 1 landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25th April 1915. It was the start of a military campaign that lasted eight months and caused 25,000 Australian casualties. These ‘soldiers’ biscuits were made and sent with love to Australian soldiers fighting in World War 1. They became known as ANZAC biscuits following the first anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. The biscuits were made without egg so they wouldn’t spoil in the two months it took to deliver them to soldiers fighting on the other side of the world. This gluten free version uses rice flakes or quinoa flakes to replace the oats in the traditional recipe.

    Enjoy these gluten free biscuits year round

    Ingredients

    1½ cups gluten free plain flour
    1 cup coconut
    1 cup rice flakes*
    ¾ cup sugar
    2 tablespoons golden syrup
    125g butter
    2 tablespoons boiling water
    1 teaspoon bi-carb soda

    Preheat oven to 160℃ (fan-forced) or 180℃ conventional oven and line two oven trays with baking paper.

    Combine the flour, coconut, rice flakes and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

    In a medium size saucepan gently melt butter and golden syrup until combined. Remove from heat.

    Dissolve soda in the boiling water. Carefully add to the syrup mix. Stir until frothy and quickly add to the dry mix and combine well.

    Use a dessertspoon to shape biscuit mixture into balls (use hands to squeeze into shape) and place on the baking tray. Flatten and allow a little room to spread.

    If the mixture is too dry and crumbly add another tablespoon of water to the mix and use hands to help squeeze mix into shape. An egg can also be added to help bring the mixture together, but this will result in a much softer biscuit.

    Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or slightly longer if using egg. Allow to cool on tray for 5 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
    Makes 24.

    *brown or white rice flakes are sold in health food stores and specialty supermarkets. Can use quinoa flakes if prefer.



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