Cookery in primary schools is back on the curriculum with the aim of 'instilling a love of cooking'. As I work in a school, I often get asked to come up with recipes or ideas for our food-related activities. We have to be careful with allergens and various other dietary needs, so I came up with this recipe for Custard Creams. I had to make sure the recipe was easy to make, but it also had to be nut and egg-free, so I thought might as well go the whole hog and make it gluten and dairy-free too!
Having not used gluten-free flour before, I found it was made a slightly less-pliable dough, than wheat flour would; therefore you have to handle it more gently. Once cooked, it produced robust, crispy biscuits, which were easy to handle, so were great for the kids to decorate. Taste-wise, the gluten-free flour gave a courser texture to the biscuits, which was slightly gritty.
Makes 8-10 sandwich biscuits
- 100g/4oz margarine/dairy-free spread
- 150g/6oz gluten-free flour
- 100g/4oz caster sugar
- 50g/2 oz gluten-free custard powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g/6oz icing sugar
- 50g/2oz margarine/butter
- 13g/½oz gluten-free custard powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 190C/180C Fan/375F/Gas 5
Cream the spread and sugar together, then beat in the custard powder and vanilla.
Mix in the flour to form a firm dough.
Refrigerate for 15 mins.
Carefully roll the dough out on a lightly floured board, until it is about ½cm thick - if it cracks in places, simply smooth over the dough with your fingers.
Cut out around 16-20 biscuits with a rectangular cookie cutter (or whatever shape you prefer) and place on a greased baking tray.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Cool on the tray for a few minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool.
When cold, sandwich together with the butter cream...
For the filling
Cream the spread, custard powder and vanilla together.
Slowly beat in the icing sugar, adding 1-2 tsp of boiling water, if needed, to make a thick, spreadable icing .
Spread or pipe the icing onto half of the biscuits.
Sandwich together with the remaining biscuits.
Keep in an airtight box for 2-3 days.
Suitable for freezing.
- You can make these biscuits with plain wheat flour if preferred; you may need to add a little extra to make a firm cookie dough.
- If you don't want to sandwich the biscuits together with butter-icing, they can be decorated with glacé icing instead.
- Make larger biscuits and cook for a few minutes longer, to make gluten-free ice-cream sandwich cookies.
- Swap the custard powder (in both the cookie dough and icing) for unsweetened cocoa powder to make bourbon biscuits.