Guessed which favourite?
That's right, custard creams! Inspired by my sister baking these last week, I thought I would have a go at creating a gluten free & vegan version, as hers looked sooo good.
I remember when we were children, it was either custard creams or Bourbon biscuits that were the favourites. Mainly because of the creamy middle. In my view, there's two ways to eat these biscuits. The first, is break them apart, and lick the cream first, then eat the biscuit halves. The second is just by dipping in your cup of tea. Yes, I drank tea when I was a child!
Part of me is proud to say that I have re-tried both of these methods of biscuit eating in the last two days since I made these custard creams hahaha.
In all seriousness, it's a super simple recipe, which uses a few cupboard staples. One of which is custard powder. This is what gives the biscuit it's flavour...as well as it's name! If you haven't got a tub of custard powder lingering in the back of your cupboard, you can make your own. I made our own for this recipe, as the only custard powder we had, included milk in the ingredients - not ideal for a lactose intolerant, and a vegan.
Making your own custard powder, doesn't take long, and can then be stored in a jar for future custard-making. To make the powder, mix 100g caster sugar with the seeds from two vanilla pods. Add in 50g corn flour, 30g powdered milk and a pinch of salt. Stir, and set aside. Two things to note here - if you don't have any vanilla pods, don't worry. Just add vanilla extract to your biscuits when you're making the dough. Second note - milk powder.. here, we haven't got milk powder, nor can we consume milk powder, so instead, I added 15g of Huel. Which, surprisingly, worked very well in replicating the flavour of the milk powder, whilst also being gluten free and vegan. If you have no milk powder, or milkshake powders, don't worry too much. It's not vital to the recipe.
Other cupboard staples needed for this recipe include Plain flour (I know that's quite hard to come by at the moment though), butter or sunflower spread and icing sugar.
Now, the filling. I wasn't looking for a soft filling, but I wanted to replicate the kind of filling you would find in a traditional custard cream. That is, quite a firm cream, which is quite solid when set. The kind that doesn't just leak out of the biscuit.
It takes around 20 minutes to prepare, and 10 minutes to bake. This recipe yielded 9 giant biscuits for me. You'd probably yield around 15-18 biscuits if you did the regular sized custard cream.
One other thing to note before we start, is the biscuit pattern. We didn't have the cookie stamper for the custard cream design, which we are all familiar with. If you don't, why not try doing something a bit different, like we have here. You could score the tops with a fork, punch holes around the edges or just sprinkle hundreds and thousands over the top - get creative!
Anyway - the recipe:
110g Butter or margarine (we used Pure DF spread)
50g Caster sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
210g Plain flour (we used FreeFrom Plain Flour)
45g Custard powder
1 tbsp Milk (we used Oat Milk)
180g Icing sugar, sifted
60g Butter or margarine
15g Custard powder
1tsp Vanilla extract
Pre-heat the event o 180ºC, and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer (or elbow grease).
Add in the vanilla extract, and sift the flour and custard powder. Continue to mix until combined into a crumbly dough.
Add a splash of milk and bring the dough together. Continue to add small amounts of milk, until the dough forms a ball.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to around 0.5cm thickness.
Using a cookie cutter, if you have one, or just a sharp knife, cut out your biscuits. We chose to cut rectangles at a size of 5cm x 6cm. This is why we only yielded 9 biscuits!
Carefully place the biscuits on to your prepared baking tray, and bake in the centre of your oven for 10 minutes, or until the corners of the biscuits turn golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, make the filling. In a clean bowl, combine together the butter, custard powder, icing sugar and vanilla extract. Keep stirring until a smooth consistency is reached.
If your filling still seems a little too soft, add in more icing sugar. Then, refrigerate.
When your biscuits are cold, work out which tops go with which bottoms.
Retrieve your filling from the fridge and turn out on to greaseproof paper.
Place another piece of greaseproof paper on top, and roll out to a flattened rectangle. This can be however thick you like your filling! We rolled it out to 0.5cm again.
Using a biscuit as a measure, carefully cut rectangles of your filling out and place them on the bottoms of your biscuits.
This has to be a quick process, whilst the filling is cold enough to move easily.
Once all the fillings are on, you can sandwich the biscuits together.
Store in tinfoil for a couple fo days - if they last that long!
Hope you enjoy the recipe!
Holly @ The Bakery Den