We have often cooked biscuits as gifts in our program. My long-time co-educator contributed a wonderful, flexible, reliable, pliable biscuit dough recipe.
This dough can be worked by children, and will hold its shape when you use cutters to make novelty shapes. It copes with substituting ingredients. The biscuits are sturdy enough and keep well enough to put into gift bags to go home.
When made with Nuttelex, No Egg and gluten-free flour, these biscuits are dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free and gluten-free, ticking all the boxes most commonly needed for preschool settings. And they are still nice to eat.
(see below for substitute ingredients)
500 gr SR flour
250 gr butter
flavours if desired eg vanilla essence, lemon or orange rind
Mix all dry ingredients. Melt butter/Nuttelex and egg/No Egg together. Mix with dry ingredients to form a soft dough. Knead for a few minutes. If too dry add extra egg or more No Egg.
Roll out on a floured board or table with rolling pins or by pressing. Use cutters for different shapes.
Bake at 180 degrees till golden.
Remove from tray gently as they tend to be soft. As they cool down they harden.
Notes on method
Flours behave differently depending on where the grain is grown, and local weather and altitude conditions. Eggs vary in size and liquid content. So you will have to experiment a bit with your local products.
We can’t give a precise definition of ‘too dry’. You have to get a feel for it. You want a dough that doesn’t start to crack on the edges as soon as you roll it thin (that is too dry), but is not sticky (that is too wet). You should be able to pick it up off the table or board after rolling it out.
Don’t make the shapes too fussy, or you won’t be able to get it out of the cutter, and the fiddly bits of the biscuits will break off too easily.
When children do it themselves, they will produce a variety of thicknesses. Try to group biscuits of the same thickness together on one tray for cooking. Otherwise, you will have to take individual biscuits off as they cook and put the rest back in the oven.
You need to stay close by as they cook. They turn quickly – once they start to brown they will burn soon after. You want to catch them just before they start to colour.
The wonderful thing about this recipe is how well it copes with any – or even several – of the ingredients being substituted for allergy-friendly ones. Use the substitute ingredients in the same quantity and method.
substitute flour …. with gluten free SR
(we use White Wings – some gluten-free flours have flavours that are not neutral enough for such plain biscuits, or have too much rising agent, so you may need to experiment)
substitute butter… with Nuttelex (or another dairy-free margarine)
substitute sugar….with Equal Bake
substitute eggs….with No Eegg