I remember making Easter Biscuits during ‘Home Economics’ at school. I’m sure it’s not called that anymore. Probably something like, ‘Science of Food Technologyism’.
I loved Home Economics. The calm ritual of weighing out ingredients the night before, and putting them to bed in small plastic containers. Then tripping off to school the next day with my covered basket, a bit like Little Red Riding Hood. I desperately hoped those teenage wolves on the bus would notice me, especially the one with brown hair and blue eyes.
I loved arriving at my kitchenette. Pounding up the stairs so as not to be late and then the thrill as I saw the clean white surface, all for me. I would set out my stall of ingredients and each would have their turn.
I loved the time deadline, the busy purposeful air to the room. All sizes of pubescent bodies tied round the middle with school-issue aprons. Stirring, rolling, whisking, beating. It was my stage, I was in control, and the hormonal agonies of teenage life would subside just for an hour.
Then the matronly teacher would call us to attention and we would stand by our cookers. She would parade up and down the room and we’d wait with bated breath, not daring to look as she poked, prodded and tasted. A stern nod of approval, a tsk of disgust, we took it all on the chin.
And then the bell would go and we’d line up at the door. I always gave my kitchenette one last lingering look. Others would come and go in the week ahead, but really that kitchenette was saving itself for me.
110g sugar (plus extra for dusting - caster sugar if you have it)
110g dairy-free spread
1 egg yolk equivalent - mix 1 tsp of Orgran No-egg with only 1tbsp of rice milk
225g rice flour
0.5 tsp gluten-free xanthan gum
0.5 tsp caraway seeds
0.5tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground nutmeg
0.5tsp ground ginger
30g candied peel
55g glace cherries (finely chopped, check that they are gluten-free)
2 tbsp rice milk
For artistic touches:
approx 50g dark chocolate (at least 70% dark chocolate, gluten-free)
- Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with baking parchment
- Cream the dairy-free spread and sugar until light and fluffy
- Mix in the Orgran No-egg
- Add the candied peel and cherries
- Sieve in the flour, xanthan gum, caraway seeds and all the spices, mix to make a stiff dough
- Add the rice milk so that the dough is malleable
- Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for about 30 mins
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface, it should be about 4mm thick
- Use pretty cutters to make your biscuits, and place them on the baking tray
- Bake for about 10 mins, remove from the oven, brush with rice milk and sprinkle lightly with sugar
- Put them back in the oven until they are lightly browned.
- Note: if you use granulated sugar it doesn't stick too well, but adds a nice 'homemade' look!
- I have dipped strategic parts of these biscuits in melted chocolate because really, why wouldn't you?
- Melt the chocolate in a bain marie. (Put a small amount of water into a small saucepan. Place a large heatproof bowl on top. Heat the water until it boils. Put the chocolate into the bowl. The water shouldn't come into contact with the base of the bowl, but if it does, it's not the end of the world)
- Dip the biscuits in the chocolate, paint faces, write stuff, enjoy!
© Pig in the Kitchen 2007