Gluten-Free Oatmeal Carrot Tea Biscuits and an Allergy-friendly Easter Candy Roundup

Okay, I managed to squeeze in one final Easter-themed recipe.  I adapted this recipe from Ali's Oatmeal Heart Cookie recipe at Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, one of my favorite blogs. Ali, the doyen of gluten-free, allergy-free baking, developed an awesome oatmeal heart cutout cookie for Valentine's Day. I added a couple spices and shredded carrot, omitted the sugar, and used some cute spring-themed cookie cutters.  I'm not calling these cookies because they aren't super sweet.  They remind me more of oat biscuits, those tasty, crisp little things from Great Britain.  So, tea biscuits they are! 

My favorite chipped teacup from Portugal, a carrot-shaped tea biscuit, and morning light. Perfection.

I took these to work and people liked them with their cup of morning coffee.  They are just a little bit sweet, have a warm, nutty flavor, and a nubby, crisp texture.   If you are on the ACD and can tolerate small amounts of applesauce, this recipe is a great option for a healthy, ACD-friendly cookie!  If you want to sweeten them up and make them more like cookies, feel free to add sugar (see Ali's recipe for quantity) or another sweetener of your choice.  My coworkers all liked them as-is and kept coming back for seconds. One photographer said, "Wow, these are good. They taste really healthy."  I feel compelled to mention that he's not exactly who I would describe as a health-nut; fast-food Chinese and hamburgers are his normal lunch.  If he liked them, you know they must be good; I was so flattered! I also introduced a fellow gluten-intolerant coworker to the magic of gluten-free oats, and she was thrilled. The big plate of cookies was gone by lunch; I guess they were a hit! I love feeding people tasty, healthy treats. Ali's recipe was awesome to work from; it was quick to make, took to my adaptations very well, and seems pretty much failproof.  

I glazed most of the batch with a lightly sweetened coconut butter icing that I threw together at the last minute.  It was very tasty and made them just a little more special; I left the unglazed ones at home for me, along with a little extra icing. I'm including the icing recipe at the bottom, in case you feel like tweaking or trying.  It does contain some maple syrup (not in my diet normally, but I cheated...bad Kim!), but you could omit that easily and add more another sweetener or more stevia.  

Want more last-minute, Easter basket-worthy treats for you or the little bunnies in your house?  Here's some I find trolling around the internet. Some include sugar and other potential allergens, some don't, but check them all out for inspiration!

Allergy-Friendly Easter Candy Recipes

 And a few other Springtime confections...

Now, without further adieu...

Take this recipe from spring through the rest of the year with different cookie cutters.

Oatmeal-Carrot Tea Biscuits (gluten free, vegan, ACD)

adapted from Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

yield approx 2 1/2 dozen biscuits

If you require a gluten-free diet, make sure to use pure, gluten-free oats, which are tolerated by most gluten-sensitive individuals. Some celiacs, however, will not be able to tolerate even pure oats, and you should discuss any concerns with your doctor. Bob's Red Mill, Gluten Free Oats, and Cream Hill Estates all make certified gluten-free oats.  You can order all of these online if you can't find them locally at grocery stores or natural food stores.

3 cups GF oatmeal 
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 cup coconut oil (my oil was melted, but you could use it softened as well.  If you can tolerate ghee or
butter, it would be delicious to use that instead of coconut oil)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp stevia liquid
2 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract or alcohol-free vanilla flavoring
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the dry ingredients into a food processor fitted with the "s" blade. Process until very finely ground (not as fine as oat flour, still a little coarse).

Add wet ingredients and shredded carrot, and process until the mixture forms a cohesive ball. It may take a few minutes but it will happen. I had to pulse and scrape quite a bit, so as not to kill my processor.  

Remove dough, finish forming into a ball with your hands. Chill the dough if it is too soft for 20 to 30 minutes. Then place on parchment or waxed paper for rolling. Roll out dough. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter.

Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes (Ali's original recipe took 15, but mine took 20), until golden and crisp. Cool on a wire rack.  Serve as is, or spread with a thin layer of coconut butter icing.  If icing, you can serve immediately or let icing set.  Store in an air-tight container.


Coconut Butter Icing (gluten free, vegan, ACD option)

Sweet and just a little tart thanks to vitamin C crystals, this was a spur-of-the-moment attempt at making icing.  It reminds me a little bit of cream cheese icing before it dries, but when firm, it is a lot like that classic powdered sugar icing.  If you can tolerate citrus, go ahead and use a little lemon instead of the vitamin C crystals.  I included maple syrup to appease my coworkers more sugar-hungry palettes, but feel free to omit and use stevia if you cannot tolerate sugar.  I was naughty, and ate it anyway, maple syrup and all.  I am excited to make this icing again; I think you could probably pipe with it for detailed decorations using a piping bag and icing tips!  

2 Tbsp coconut butter
3 Tbsp non-dairy milk
1 Tbsp arrowroot starch
1/8 tsp vitamin C crystals 
1 1/2 tsp alcohol-free vanilla flavoring
20 drops stevia
2 tsp maple syrup (omit and use more stevia if on ACD)

Melt together coconut butter and non-dairy milk and mix on high with a hand mixer until smooth.  I did this by putting them together in a bowl, and placing the bowl on top of the stove while the cookies baked, and just mixing right there on the stovetop.  It worked perfectly!  Add remaining ingredients to coconut butter-milk mixture, and continue to mix until smooth and thick.  Set aside.

Once cookies have cooled, spread a thin layer over the surface.  Eat immediately, or let dry for 1-3 hours.  Icing will become firm to the touch, just like real icing!  I imagine you could probably make a larger batch, and put it in a piping bag and pipe with it...  more icing experiments to come!