Gluten Free Belgian Biscuits
Takes 1 hour. Makes 14 biscuits.
Belgian Biscuits are a biscuit originating from..... New Zealand. It is two soft spiced biscuits with jam in the middle, a dollop of icing on top and some pink sugar or jelly crystals on top. So why is it called a Belgiun Biscuit then? Well, good question. In my research, it seems like that a distant ancestor of the Belgian Biscuit was the German Biscuit, later renamed to the Empire Biscuit in WWII. This was less of a biscuit however, and more of a tart. It was shortcrust pastry filled with jam, with some suggestions that there was a icing lattice on top. Where did the spice come from? Not entirely sure, but by the time it was being made halfway round the world, it was similar to gingerbread in flavour and covered in jelly crystals. Look, New Zealand is so far away from the rest of the world, sometimes you just have to accept it.
The Belgian biscuit it my next release on my "Baking my way around New Zealand" series. If you'd like to check out some other NZ bakes, have a look at the Mallowpuffs, Squiggles, or Lamingtons. I will soon be collating these into one huge page so I will update when they are all together.
I N G R E D I E N T S
For the biscuit
120 grams butter (softened)
85 grams brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
250 grams gluten free flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (omit if flour already contains this)
1 cup Raspberry jam
120 grams icing sugar
For the sprinkle:
2 tbsp sugar
2 drops red food colouring
Red jelly crystals
M E T H O D
Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add in the egg and beat again.
Sift in the cinnamon, mixed spice, ginger, flour, baking powder, and xanthan gum and combine with wooden spoon.
Using your hands, form the dough into a ball, cover in glad wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
When the dough has almost finished chilling, preheat the oven to 180° celcius/bake and line a tray with baking paper.
Roll out the dough on a flours surface to about 0.5cm thick.
Using a crimped or rounded cookie cutter about 5cm in diameter cut into the dough and then place onto baking paper. These cookies shouldn't spread much so they can be reasonably close together, around 1-2 cm apart should be fine. I had cook mine in 3 batches.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the edges have begun to brown.
Remove them from the oven and let cool.
Mix the raspberry jam so its spreadable and not chunky.
Place a dollop of jam on the bottom of one biscuit, and then sandwich another on top. Press down so that the jam spreads evenly. Repeat with all biscuits.
To make the pink sugar, add two drops of red food colouring to 2 tbsp of granulated sugar and mix until it turns pink. Alternatively, you can use red jelly crystals.
To create the icing, place the icing sugar in a bowl and add a splash of hot water. Mix until combined, you want to have a thick but still runny texture. After this you will need to work fast because it will set quickly.
Add a dollop of icing to the top of each Belgian biscuit, followed by a sprinkle of red sugar or jelly crystals. Repeat until all biscuits are iced.