I have some ingredients left in the fridge and pantry from the YumUniverse 1st Birthday Recipe Contest and to keep them from going to waste, I came up with these delicious Tea Biscuits yesterday. They are part cookie, part cracker, and just lovely with a steamy cup of roasted dandelion root tea.
I have some of my favorite tips below for working with gluten-free, dairy-free dough for those of you who are a tad afraid of baking, or of a rolling pin (ah-hem, Maya).
Unbleached parchment paper
Large glass mixing bowl
Rolling pin or large sturdy glass
Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why.
1 1/2 cup blanched, organic almond flour (I highly recommend Benefit Your Life brand. Bob’s Red Mill is too grainy and brittle, while BYL has more moisture and a superior texture.)
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1 tbsp cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil
1/4-1/2 tsp fine ground sea salt (start with less and add more to taste)
2 tbsp pure water
2 tsp fresh thyme
Let’s get started.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place your almond flour in the large glass bowl.
Pick thyme leaves from stems. I tend to drag my fingers along the stem and they just come off. Similar to how you prepare rosemary. Just make sure all the “woody” pieces of the stems are removed. Any softer tops are ok. Loosely chop the thyme to release aroma and place in the bowl with the almond flour. Loosely chop, then add raisins.
Add chopped pecans and mix with your fork.
Add oil, 1/2 tsp salt and water. Continue mixing until dough begins to clump. Once thoroughly mixed, taste the dough, and if you want more salt, go ahead and add it to taste.
Now, for one of my favorite tricks for working with any dough that requires a rolling pin. Most gluten-free, dairy-free baking mixes are more delicate and different to work with than what most folks are used to. No eggs, no yeast and no gluten means that you have to approach baked goods in a new way. It’s not something that should be frustrating, it’s just different. Parchment paper will be your new BFF.
Lay out a sheet (the size of the cookie sheet) of parchment on the counter. Place your dough on top of the parchment and mold it together into one form. Place another cookie sheet sized piece of parchment on top of your dough and press and roll until flat. You can use your hands, a rolling pin, or large, sturdy glass for this. Use your raisins and pecans to gauge thickness of the rolled dough. Raisin tops and bottoms should be hitting both the top and bottom parchment when rolled out. Same with the pecans.
What’s so nice about rolling the dough out with parchment is that you don’t have to make an even bigger mess by dusting the rolling pin or rolling surface with flour, and you don’t have to deal with the dough sticking to your roller. Any new baker frustration is minimized.
Simply peel pack the top parchment sheet when dough is flat.
Using your chef’s knife, trim dough into a rectangular shape. Plug any holes with bits of dough—press with your fingers. Place extra dough in glass bowl. Use the edge of your knife to reform edges if you need to. Remember, no eggs, no gluten (glue) means that you have to do a bit more shaping.
Cut a grid pattern into your dough. Another bonus with the parchment is that you can just slide the whole sheet of crackers from the counter onto the cookie sheet. Repeat the above steps to use all of your dough.
If you have zero patience, skip the shaping and cutting steps and using your hands, mold little flat, circular biscuits and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. The more flat, the better.
Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, no longer. Allow to cool completely—biscuits will harden.
Make a nice cup of roasted dandelion root tea and enjoy!
These biscuits keep well at room temp in the pantry, or on the counter, in an airtight glass container.