Here’s a quick recipe for some pretty looking and delicious tasting Valentine’s Day biscuits. They are of course gluten-free!
The biscuit recipe is a basic shortbread recipe taken originally from the book “Healthy Gluten-Free Eating” by Darina Allen which I’ve changed to suit Valentine’s Day. I added vanilla essence instead of lemons, and increased the amount of flour slightly as I find every time I make this shortbread, it really is too soft to roll easily, even after chilling. For the toppings I used Royal Icing (from Tate & Lyle) as I think it gives a much firmer set, but you could easily use simple water icing if you keep it quite thick. I used coloured sugar sprinkles from Morrisons and Asda, both of which are gluten-free (ie they don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients). I also used Mini Mini Marshmallows from Dr Oetker and some plain red boiled sweets. Basically anything you can find that’s sweet and pink or red and gluten-free will do! I left my icing white, but you could always add a few drops of pink colouring. And a good tip for applying sprinkles and mini marshmallows – pour them onto a plate or saucer, ice the biscuit then turn it over and press into the topping – you get a much neater finish that way and less waste!
Valentine’s Day Biscuits
- 175g butter
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 200g rice flour, plus extra for dusting*
- 75g ground almonds
- 100g icing sugar or royal icing sugar mix
- Gluten-free sprinkles or sugar to decorate
- Mini mini marshmallows (optional)
- Red/pink boiled sweets, crushed
* use plain flour if you don’t have to worry about being gluten-free
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line several baking trays with baking parchment.
- Cream the butter until soft. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla essence.
- Add the rice flour and ground almonds and mix until combined.
- Knead lightly until the dough is smooth. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, which will make the dough firmer and easier to handle.
- Roll out the dough on a rice-floured work surface to a thickness of 5mm. Alternatively, roll out the pastry between two sheets of parchment paper.
- Cut out biscuits using various sizes of heart shapes if you have them and transfer carefully to the baking sheets.
- To make the “stained glass” biscuits, cut out a large heart shape, then use a smaller cutter to remove the centre. Transfer the biscuits to the baking sheets then fill the centre with some crushed sweets, being careful to avoid overspills.
- Bake, in batches if necessary, for 10-15 minutes until golden.
- Sprinkle a few with caster sugar while still warm, leave the rest plain for icing.
- Leave the biscuits to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Make some royal icing as directed on the packet (or make your own if you know how), or simply add a few drops of water to some icing sugar to make a thick paste (we are using it as glue!)
- Decorate your biscuits using the icing to stick the sprinkles and marshmallows. Double up some biscuits if you wish for extra indulgence (see photos.)
I hope you enjoy these simple but yummy biscuits. I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment to let me know how you get on or you have any questions.
Happy Valentine’s Day