When I first went gluten-free and dairy-free one of the free-from products that astonished me at their cost was biscuits. I mean, £3 for a Genius gluten-free loaf from Sainsbury’s is ridiculous, but £1.80 for 8 chocolate chip biscuits from the Sainsbury’s free-from range is just obscene. I know you’re paying for the convenience factor, but fresh biscuits cost next to nothing to make at home so I felt really cheated and ripped off at the cost of free-from versions from a number of shops.
These free-from custard creams are so cheap to make (I’d estimate that a batch of around 12 custard creams cost considerably less than £1 to produce) and they’re really easy to whip up in a hurry. I just measure all of my ingredients into a plastic jug and use an electric whisk to blend it together into a biscuit dough. You don’t even need to roll out the dough and cut them out because you just roll them up in your palms and flatten them out on the baking tray. You can’t get any easier, can you?
I normally sandwich my custard creams with buttercream icing, but these have a little bit more caster sugar in them than my standard custard cream recipe so they’re really nice plain without a filling, but by all means sandwich them if you like. My buttercream recipe can be found here and you can just use dairy-free butter to keep the mix free-from. Equally, you could drizzle melted chocolate over the top of them or icing sugar.
Whether you decide to use the filling or use a sweet drizzle over the top of the biscuits, they’ll still save you a huge amount of money compared to buying them ready made in a shop.
70g dairy-free butter
30g coconut oil
80g gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F Plain Flour)
50g custard powder
70g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp xanthan gum
Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas mark 6.
Measure all of your ingredients into a plastic jug and then mix it all together with an electric whisk.
Lay greaseproof paper out onto two baking trays.
Take small handfulls of custard cream dough and roll into a ball before flattening between your palms and placing them on the baking trays. Continue until the mix is all used up.
Press the tines of a fork onto the top of each biscuit to create the distinctive mark of a custard cream and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 mins or until they are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
Once cold you can sandwich them with buttercream icing or drizzle with a topping if you like.