Gluten-free & Vegan Flaxseed Biscuits with Cherry & Coconut Icing...

I've gone all pink and vegan and, believe me, nobody is more surprised than me. Yes, I once owned a pink camera bag, but that found a new owner fairly swiftly after I just couldn't make it work for me. My guess is that it was the "wrong shade" of pink: just a little too sweet, a little too bright and not enough of a grey hue. I do actually like pink, but in a muted way. The dusky ones and pale blushes are pinks I can work with and feel comfortable being surrounded by, just like the pale and dusky green in eucalyptus. I'm generally a "grey, blacks and neutrals" kind of person and any colour I might wear, put in my home or work will usually have a nod to these neutrals. Apart from my mustard linen trousers...and one leaf-green linen top...and the odd splash of coral... Ok, so grey works nicely with the odd splash of colour especially during the warmer months, but 'rainbow' is not my natural go-to look. Grey and blush on the other hand is a colour combination I love. 

When it comes to food, colour is of course far more desirable and even necessary. I mean, even I don't really want to eat grey food (though I do have - coincidentally - a recipe for grey meringues coming up) and brightly coloured fruits and vegetables make for healthier meals and nicer pictures. And this, to an extent is how I came about making these biscuits with pink icing. On their own, they just looked a little sad, lacked in pretty-ness and tasted a little plain. I wanted two things: a little colour that wasn't too bright and would provide a nice contrast to the grey London skies, and an icing that wasn't lemon because I'd already done that on a cake and wanted something different. 

As for the vegan thing, well, it's out of necessity (Monsieur's six-food-elimination diet) that I've rediscovered experimenting with food, particularly when it comes to baking. When there isn't any need to change our way of eating, I think we often get stuck and don't really expand our knowledge or try out things that might not work out. Because I don't throw food away, I often tend to play it safe and make sure that however ugly the outcome, it needs to at least be edible. In a world where people are starving to death, I simply cannot justify buying ingredients and then binning them. So we've eaten super-stodgy cake dunked in coffee, have taken spoons to biscuits that were falling apart the moment we lifted them off the plate, and we've eaten a trifle where the sponge base had soaked up the red wine and made it look absolutely disgusting. It took three attempts to get these biscuits right and we've eaten every single one of the misses. None of them were inedible, but they just weren't quite right and the first batch actually just fell apart. Now, however, they are pretty much perfect and have passed the taste test, so I'm happy to share the recipe with you. And since it's nearly Valentine's day, well, pink heart biscuits might be just the thing to bake this weekend... 

Ingredients for about 10 large biscuits (around the size of the palm of your hand):

Note on the xantham gum: I've done some research into it and found that not all brands are vegan, but apparently the Dove Farm one is. 

For the biscuits:

  • 125g gluten-free plain flour
  • 75g milled flaxseeds
  • 100g coconut oil
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla paste
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp xantham gum 

For the icing:

  • 1tbsp coconut cream
  • 2tbsp cherry juice
  • 200g icing sugar

How it's done:

  • put the coconut oil, sugar and vanilla paste into a bowl and (using the whisk attachment) whisk for around 5 minutes until fluffy 
  • in a separate bowl, mix the flour, flaxseed, baking powder and xantham gum together
  • change the mixer attachment to the paddle one
  • continue mixing the coconut oil on slow speed and slowly add the flour mix
  • mix until you have a crumbly consistency
  • take the mix out of the bowl and now work the dough on your work surface until it comes together
  • form the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and place into your fridge for 15 minutes
  • preheat your oven to 200C
  • take the dough out of the fridge and give it another knead
  • flour your work surface and press the dough down onto it
  • flour the top of the dough and roll it out to about 3mm thickness
  • using your cutter (of course it doesn't have to be heart shaped!), cut out as many biscuits as you can, roll out the leftover dough and cut out the remaining ones
  • place the biscuits onto a baking tray and into the oven
  • bake the biscuits for 12-15 minutes
  • once done, take the biscuits out and leave to cool on the tray first before transferring to a cooling rack
  • preheat your oven (if you've turned it completely off) to 50C
  • now whisk together the coconut cream and cherry juice until completely combined
  • sift the icing sugar into the mix and whisk until completely smooth
  • put one heaped teaspoon of icing onto a biscuit and spread to close to the edge
  • repeat with all the biscuits
  • put the biscuits back onto the baking tray and return to the oven for 30 minutes to harden the icing
  • once done, you're ready to serve them
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