Do you remember the Arnott’s assortment cream biscuit packs as much as I do? The biscuits that always went first in my family were the Kingstons, closely followed by the Monte Carlos (recipe for those coming soon), and last was the orange cream. I think they sat around in the biscuit tin for quite awhile! I recently realised that the biscuits in my beloved Kingstons are very similar to the classic Anzac biscuit, so I thought I’d try to recreate them!
I used to love Anzac biscuits, so it wasn’t long after my diagnosis that I created a gluten free alternative. The biggest trial was finding what worked as well as oats in the recipe. Oats aren’t considered gluten free in Australia (as lots of Coeliac’s still react to the protein ‘avenin’ in oats, that is similar to gluten). You may see something called ‘wheat free’ oats, this just refers to how they’re processed and packaged. As oats are often grown and processed (milled) with wheat, so there are high chances of cross contamination. So these ‘wheat free’ oats are still not safe for Coeliacs, as despite not containing wheat, they still contain the protein ‘avenin’ that many Coeliacs react to. If you see ‘gluten free’ oats on the shelves or deceptive ‘gf’ oats, this is illegal labelling in Australia, and you should report this to Coeliac Australia.
If you want to consume oats safely, you can do an oats challenge, under the guidance of a medical professional/specialist. In short this includes a gastroscope to check your small intestine has healed after diagnosis, then you eat oats (free from cross contamination) every day for three months, whilst being careful to avoid cross contamination when eating out. You then have another gastroscope to check if there has been damage to the small intestine. This is important, as you may not experience any noticeable ‘physical’ symptoms, but may still have damage. If there is no damage, you are then safe to eat ‘wheat free’ oats. I haven’t done one yet, but I’m hoping to do it this Winter, so hopefully I’ll know if I can safely eat oats soon.
So back to my replacement of oats, I’ve tried quinoa flakes, corn flakes and rice cereal flakes in my gluten free Anzac biscuits. They all work well, it just depends on the taste and texture you want. I found the quinoa gave the best texture, but did change the flavour and added a distinctive ‘nutty’ taste. The corn flakes and rice flake cereal, made the texture a bit crunchier, but I found the flavour was more similar to the original.. So depending on what you’re after, the typical flavour or the texture, you can substitute either to find what you like. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
- Anzac biscuits:
- 2 cups crushed rice cereal (Freedom Foods Brand) or 1 cup quinoa flakes
- 1 cup caster sugar
- ¾ cup desiccated coconut
- 1 cup gluten free plain flour, sifted
- 125g butter
- 1 tbs golden syrup
- 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
- 2 tbs boiling water
- 100g dark chocolate
- 80ml cooking cream
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
- Mix rice flakes, sugar, coconut and gluten flour in a large bowl.
- Melt together butter and golden syrup.
- Add bicarbonate soda to boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add to the butter mixture and stir. Take care it may bubble up and froth - this is a good sign.
- Pour the butter mix into the dry ingredients and mix together.
- Roll teaspoons of the mixture into balls, place on trays lined with baking paper and flatten slightly with a fork. Allow room for spreading.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes on trays before transferring to cooling racks.
- Place dark chocolate and cream into a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave on short bursts or in a double boiler on the stove. Stir regularly. When melted, place in the fridge so the mixture becomes a thicker consistency. Once its thick enough spoon onto one side of the biscuit and sandwich together.
- Place in the fridge to set. Enjoy!
If your biscuits spread to much, try adding some more gluten free flour or quinoa/rice cereal. The butter content may be too high.