Recipe: Linzer Cookies (vegan)

One of those biscuit basics you need in your recipe file – to be enjoyed with your tea or coffee!

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Makes about 18 sandwich cookies

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp margarine (dairy-free)
  • 65g sugar
  • few drops of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 130g plain flour

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour and salt.
  3. Use an electric mixer to beat the margarine, sugar and vanilla until just combined.
  4. Slowly beat the dry into the butter/sugar until the dough starts to come together.
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface and gently knead until it forms a dough.
  6. Flatten into a disc and refrigerate for about 30 mins (40 if you can).
  7. Roll out thinly (~5mm thick) and cut out ~50mm fluted rounds – stamp out a star/heart/whatever-shaped cutter you have from half of these.
  8. Place on greaseproof paper on a couple of trays and refrigerate briefly for 15 minutes.
  9. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden (turn around/swap trays half way through and check them at 15 – they brown quite quickly if they were rolled out thinly!)
  10. Allow to cool and sift icing sugar over the star stamped rounds.
  11. Sandwich together with jam, curd or dairy-free alternative of Nutella.

Recipe notes:

  • For an alternative zingy filling, I’ve included my first attempt at dairy-free lemon curd below!
  • Dairy-free Nutella can be quite sweet so sandwich with a sharp-flavoured jam (blackcurrant goes well) or reduce the sugar in the biscuit recipe.
  • Cover tightly with cling film once you’re done – otherwise they soften quickly!

Dairy free lemon curd

  • 1.5 lemons (juice)
  • 50g cornflour
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • few drops of vanilla
  • small knob of margarine

Whisk together all the ingredients except the margarine in a small saucepan continuously (it can thicken quickly so keep an eye on it, but even if it does start looking like a gloopy mess, take it off the heat and whisk together and it’ll become smooth.) Whisk in the margarine and leave to cool. (Taste-test the mixture before it thickens and adjust the sweetness by adding sugar or more lemon)

Recipe: ANZAC biscuits (vegan friendly)

As a human being, I have a natural affinity for anything with an Australian or Kiwi accent. And that still (albeit loosely) applies in the case of these bad-boys: ANZAC biscuits. The ANZACs, standing for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, were made and sent to soldiers during the war because, made without eggs, they kept really well. And so of course, I was tempted to try them without using any dairy, so our vegan friends wouldn’t miss out.

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Anyway, anzac biscuits: what are they? They’re essentially biscuits made with oats, coconut and golden syrup. Crisp on the outside, chewy in the middle. Sweet, fragrant* and moreish.

*(We say “heung” (香) in Cantonese, which describes the kind of fragrant taste of something. I don’t think there’s a word in English that has quite the same meaning but what I mean is the subtle natural flavour of an ingredient that comes through with every bite, in this case the coconut-y and slightly rich syrup-y flavour, of the biscuit).

So here’s my version of the biscuit. The ones in the pictures feature dried cranberries and white chocolate but I prefer them without chocolate, with just raisins or even better, plain!

Makes 18 small biscuits

Ingredients

  • 45 g rolled oats
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 30 g dessicated coconut
  • 90 g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 60 g butter (or dairy-free spread)
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp boiling water
  • (15 g dried cranberries + 15 g white chocolate chips minus 10 g caster sugar)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  2. Line a large tray with greaseproof.
  3. Medium sized bowl – mix flour, sugar, coconut, cranberries and chocolate.
  4. Small (non-flat/deepish) saucepan – melt butter and syrup over a high heat.
  5. Mix the bicarb and the water in a mug making sure it’s dissolved.
  6. Pour into the hot butter mixture and remove pan from the heat as it froths up a bit.
  7. Roll into small balls (about a heaped teaspoonful of mixture) so they don’t fall apart – they also don’t need to be packed tightly.
  8. Place 9 balls far apart from one another (roughly 10 cm) because they will spread!
  9. Lightly press them down with a fork so there’s barely a dent in them – just to encourage them a bit.
  10. Bake for 10 – 14 minutes. Check on them at 10 minutes and keep an eye on them as they change pretty quickly. You’re looking for golden but a little paler in the middle.
  11. Leave them to cool so you get that crispy-chewy texture..

Recipe notes:

  • I can’t stress enough how good these taste without anything else in them! Really recommend trying them plain and then add anything you like if you feel like something’s missing.
  • If you prefer them less crispy, more moist and more substantial in the middle, skip out Step 9 or simply make them a little bigger. A tablespoonful of mixture would need about 15 minutes.
  • Replace the butter for a dairy-free spread to make them vegan-friendly!