Yes, you heard correctly. I have had a pretty life-long love of Shrewsbury biscuits. Growing up, they were always in stock at my Nana’s, and given the general absence of sweet treats at our house, going to Nana’s for a biscuit or two was a real treat. However, making a healthier, yet fair representation of them was no easy feat. After a fair bit of experimentation, I came up with these little morsels, which you can make as minis or as full sized biscuits, complete with the cut-out pattern.
A word on the patterns- due to the distinct lack of cookie-making paraphernalia in our kitchen, I’ve had to improvise with my utensils a little. A shot glass (not mine!) was used to cut out the mini versions, so if you have a proper mini cookie-cutter you will likely get a much cleaner and better looking biscuit than I did. As for the larger versions, I used an old-school cookie-cutter, which I believe has come from my grandparents, as it was the only one I had on hand (except for Christmas tree and Guide-dog shaped cutters!). This made the biscuits a fair bit larger than store-bought Shrewsburies, so if you have a slightly smaller cutter you can probably expect to get another two biscuits out of this dough. I also made my love heart cut-outs with cardboard and electrical tape, because I’m cool like that. You could probably make a star the same way, but I definitely didn’t have the patience for that, so I just stuck to the hearts and used a straw to cut out circles in the other few.
These cookies are deliciously moist and soft in the middle, just like the originals, but they are a fair bit thicker, as it is much harder to work with the thinner dough. If you are not on paleo, and don’t have an issue with it, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum to the mix, to make it less crumbly and easier to work with, but they are delicious and have a great texture without it anyway.
Makes: 10-12 large and 20 mini double-sided cookies
Time: 15 minutes preparation; 10 minutes baking
for the biscuits…
3 cups almond flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use pink himalayan for nutrients and taste)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional, but not necessary- not strictly Paleo or Vegan)
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple sauce
for the jelly…
1 cup berries, fresh or frozen (I used fresh strawberries for the first batch I made, and frozen raspberries for the second. Both worked great, but the strawberries were a clear favourite).
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 sachet Jel-It-In vegetarian setting powder (optional, but makes the jelly set and hold better- so preferable if these biscuits will be travelling).
1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, or by pulsing gently in a food processor
2. Add the wet ingredients bit by bit, mixing as you go. This should result in a crumbly looking mixture, that when squeezed together forms a dough.
4. Flatten the dough using the palm of your hands. Using a rolling pin can make the dough more crumbly, and using your hands gives the biscuits a more rustic look, as they’re not all identical.
6. If you’re making full-sized biscuits, then cut out your shapes on half of the biscuits. Note that if you are making mini versions, the dough will not take cut-outs very well. If you have a very sharp and small shape, then you can give it a go, but you will likely have to do a lot of extra pinching to push the dough back into shape, and you may end up with the top cookies being larger than the bottom ones, which can make it a bit tricky at later stages.
7. Place your cookies on a papered tray, and bake for 7-12 minutes, depending on size of your cookies and your individual oven. Keep a close eye on them, as once they start to go golden, they will brown very quickly. You want them just with a small hint of golden brown at the edges.
8. Remove cookies and let them cool without moving them, while you make the jelly.
9. Boil down your berries in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Mash as you go until they are significantly reduced and there is a lot of juice.
10. Add in the maple syrup and chia seeds, stirring thoroughly, and turn the heat down to medium.
11. Keep the mixture on this heat for about five minutes, while the chia seeds form their jelly.
12. If the biscuits are going to be travelling, then add your half sachet of Jel-It-In now. Sprinkle it over and mix it in thoroughly so there are no clumps. If you’re not adding Jel-It-In, then leave them on low for a further five minutes, otherwise jump straight to the next step.
13. Spoon jelly onto half of the biscuits (the ones without a cut out), and sandwich the other biscuits on top. Do this quickly, and while the jelly is still quite hot in order to make it easier to work with, and so you get a nice little bit of jelly bulging up under the cut-out. If you wait until the jelly is cool, then it will be stiffer and you won’t get the nice effect of the jelly in the cut-outs.
These cookies should last around five days in an airtight container, but so far I haven’t been able to keep them from being eaten for more than two. Let me know in the comments below how long you manage to keep them for!