Custard Creams // Vegan + Gluten-Free
The other day I saw that Arnott's had brought out a range of their classic biscuits made gluten-free! Chocolate ripples - finally! Tiny Teddies, how fun. Hooray, I thought - even more biscuit-centred dessert adventures (yes they're more delicious than they sound) to be had. However, a quick look at their ingredients put me in a mini-huff as I saw they're full of the usual cheap GF-fixes -whey, egg, milk powder etc. Big boo-hoo, I know. I soon got over it and made myself some Custard Creams to help mitigate the FOMO feelings.
It was a chance to finally try out the genius technique Nadia mentions in her series Nadia Bakes (2020) - which is putting custard powder in buttercream icing. Holey heckos is it a neat trick. It adds an instant hit of malty vanillery-ness which so happens to be the glorious focal point of these classic biscuits.
I admit I made these the rough way - no piping of biscuit batter or icing, whoopsi-daisy, so apologies they're all a little...individual lol. Although I can not verify that whatever level of effort you decide to infuse these with - will prove mega delishi all the same.
Hope your friends, neighbours, your gran and yourself enjoy these ones!
Makes 14 biscuits.
- 1 1/4 cups (125g) almond meal/flour
- 1 cup (135g) gluten-free plain flour (or swap for wheat flour)
- 3/4 cups (100g) icing sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 150g vegan butter
- 70g vegan butter
- 1 tbsp (15g) vegan custard powder (I used Birds)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups (260g) icing sugar
- 1 tsp+ unsweetened plant-milk
- In a large mixing bowl, add the almond meal, flour, icing sugar and salt. Whisk to combine and using your finger-tips to break up any almond flour lumps. Add the vanilla and butter to the bowl, then using your finger-tips or a pastry cutter disperse the butter into the flour mixture. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, bring the (very buttery) mixture together into a smooth, soft 'dough'.
- Manipulate the dough into the biscuit-shapes of your choice by either piping it, rolling it between wet palms or with a rolling pin coated with plenty of flour - then cutting out shapes with a knife. The dough spreads considerably, so I would urge you to keep your biscuits modest in size. Lay the pieces on two lined baking trays (I had approx. 30 pieces), then refrigerate for 20 minutes while you preheat your oven to 180C/360F.
- While the biscuits chill, make the icing by beating the butter, custard powder and vanilla together until smooth. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until smooth, adding 1 tsp+ of plant-milk if it’s too thick to spread. Set aside.
- Bake your biscuits in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, or until puffed up & bearing the slighted ray of golden brown. Let the biscuits cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely.
- Sandwich the room-temperature biscuits together with the prepared icing (either by piping it on or by spreading it on with a knife/spatula). You should end up with approx. 14 custard creams. Store in an air-tight container for 2 days.