Beautiful and unique, these easy, crisp Blackcurrant Biscuits are intensely fruity. Made with freeze-dried blackcurrant they are the real deal. Think of them as Ribena in cookie form! Gluten free, egg free, nut free, soy free, optional dairy free and optional vegan.
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Real Blackcurrant Biscuits (gluten free)
I love biscuits that contain berries and these real Gluten Free Blackcurrant Biscuits are no exception. There is always something a little virtuous in their fruitiness… As if eating something really good for you. In the grand scheme of biscuit-things, these particular cookies are probably a lot better for you than some… Because they are made with real fruit, with all the gorgeous summer nutrients it brings.
But the blackcurrants are not the standard wet berry variety. They are freeze-dried and ground to a powder… And that’s just perfect for my Blackcurrant Biscuits… Why? Because they provide a deep and fruity full-on blackcurrant experience while staying crunchy and fresh.
Perfect for children and grown-ups – Blackcurrant Biscuits are super-yummy
One of the things I most love about my Blackcurrant Biscuits is their beautiful colour. That too comes entirely from the freeze-dried blackcurrants. All natural! And while children in particular are drawn to their unique and unusual hue (which is great for getting in extra vitamins), so are adults.
If you are wondering what they taste like… The best description I can give is that they are like eating a crunchy biscuit version of Ribena blackcurrant drink.
They melt in the mouth… Have a rich and unmistakable blackcurrant flavour and fragrance… And are crisp and creamy, sweet and tart all at the same time. The white chocolate drizzled over the top provides extra decadence and complements the tang of the blackcurrant perfectly.
Why freeze-dried fruit is so amazing
If you have never used freeze-dried fruit in your baking, you’re missing a trick. It’s an incredible ingredient for so many reasons:
- The depth of natural flavour is locked-in by the freeze-drying process allowing serious intensity when used in baking.
- It adds fruit to recipes without adding extra moisture… Making them perfect for drier bakes such as crisp cookies and Blackcurrant Biscuits.
- Nutrients too (including Vitamin C), are locked in by the freeze-drying process, making it better for you than most other dried fruit.
Where to buy freeze-dried fruit to make Blackcurrant Biscuits
Heads up… Apart from tiddly and over-priced pots of freeze-dried strawberries and raspberries that are occasionally found in some supermarkets, freeze-dried fruit can be difficult to source. While some good wholefood stores may offer it, it’s more than likely that freeze-dried blackcurrants will need to be bought on line. But don’t let that put you off. The aroma and flavour are so natural as to be comparable to picking fruit off the bush. The effort is worth every fruity blackcurrant cookie mouthful!
In the UK, I usually buy freeze-dried fruit from Healthy Supplies (aka Sussex Wholefoods). They honestly have the best range I have seen anywhere (both whole, diced, sliced and powdered). And cost less than many other places. But you can also source at Amazon too… This is the same product that I use.
If you can only find whole freeze-dried berries, that’s fine. Just pop what you need in a blender and grind to a powder!
Are these gluten free Blackcurrant Biscuits safe for Coeliacs (Celiacs)?
Absolutely yes! There are no gluten-containing ingredients in my Blackcurrant Biscuits, making them 100% safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac Disease). In fact… The flour blend used has been uniquely formulated from a handful of gluten free flours, to get the best blackcurrant biscuit texture alongside the fruit. If you are used to blending your own, all the flours used are already likely to be in your larder.
Can I use a different flour blend to make these Blackcurrant Biscuits?
Although I haven’t tried making Blackcurrant Biscuits with an alternative gluten free flour blend, I know from experiments with a similar recipe for Strawberry Biscuits, that they should be fairly versatile. My Gluten Free Alchemist Blend A worked pretty well for those, so should be fine here… And there is no reason why a commercially-available flour blend wouldn’t work too, although the texture may vary dependent on the flours in the mix.
Different flour blends may require slight moisture adjustments to the recipe. This is best done via the coconut cream (or milk) ratio… So, add very carefully a little at a time and really work into the dough, until happy with the consistency.
If you are not gluten free, then the recipe should also work with plain white wheat flour. As above, the moisture content may need a slight adjustment.
Personally, I would avoid wholegrain flour blends for this recipe (such as Gluten Free Alchemist Blend B or Free From Fairy Flour). This is simply because they are significantly darker in colour. And darker flours will affect the hue of the cookies (which is part of their appeal).
Can this recipe also be made dairy free and vegan?
Yes. The only dairy ingredient in the base recipe is butter. This can be easily subbed for a good vegan block alternative (such as Stork Baking Block or Flora Baking Block). And there are no eggs either… So, using dairy free ‘butter’ will also mean these Blackcurrant Biscuits can be vegan too!
If choosing to decorate, the melted white chocolate and any sprinkles will also need to be gluten free and vegan-safe.
Have you made my Blackcurrant Biscuits?
And that’s it… Intensely-fruity, crunchy and delicious gluten free Blackcurrant Biscuits. Will you make them?
If you have any extra questions, do get in touch and I’ll try to help as best I can.
Other recipes at Gluten Free Alchemist made using freeze-dried fruit
Blackcurrant Biscuits – Gluten Free
- flat-bladed knife
- cookie cutter(s)
- microwave/heatproof bowl and saucepan (for dipped chocolate)
- 30 g fine white rice flour
- 60 g cornstarch (UK Cornflour)
- 30 g potato starch
- 60 g tapioca starch
- 20 g sorghum flour
- 120 g unsalted butter (or dairy free block alternative) cold and cubed
- 50 g icing sugar confectioners/powdered sugar
- 30 g caster sugar superfine sugar
- 20 g freeze-dried blackcurrants finely ground into powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tbsp coconut cream or milk if you have no coconut cream
- cornstarch to dust (UK Cornflour)
- 100 g white chocolate (DF as required) to decorate (optional) – make sure gluten free
- sprinkles of choice optional – make sure gluten free
- Line 2 to 3 baking sheets with baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- Weigh and mix together all of the flours, making sure any lumps are broken down.
- Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add and stir in the sugars and blackcurrant powder.
- Add the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of coconut cream and using a flat knife, stir and ‘knead’ to bring together as a dough.
- Add the rest of the coconut cream a little at a time so that you have a damp (but not wet) dough which is soft and smooth.
- Using your hands, gently knead the dough into a ball and then place on a cold surface which has been liberally dusted with cornflour.
- Ensure the top of the dough ball is also lightly floured and then use a rolling pin to roll the dough to about ½ cm in depth.
- Use your favourite cookie cutter to cut shapes from the dough and place each dough-cookie onto the baking sheets with a small gap between each.
- Bring together any remaining dough and re-roll, repeating the cutting process until all the dough has been used.
- Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, checking half way through and swapping the trays round in the oven to ensure an even bake. The cookies should remain even in colour.
- When baked, turn off the oven and open the door for a minute or so to cool it slightly (but leave the cookies inside the oven).
- Leave the cookies to cool inside the cooling oven (this enables them to become crisp without burning).
- When the oven has cooled to just warm, you can remove the cookies and leave to go completely cold on a wire rack
- When cold, use melted white chocolate and sprinkles to decorate the cookies as you wish.
© 2019-2022 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist