I’ve made Gluten Free Iced Gems!! Taking us right back to our 90’s lunch boxes…what’s next? Melody Pops, fruit winders and angel cake?! My Gluten Free Iced Gems use 4 ingredients to make a shortbread base with an icing top and they are lots of fun to make!
You don’t need any fancy flavourings but feel free to add them if you’d like to. This recipe makes about 60 – make at least this many, they go *fast*!!!
The Shortbread Ingredients
Its super duper easy – you just need 3 ingredients and they’re all easy to get hold of.
1) Gluten Free Flour
- Self-raising is my preference but if you’ve only got plain flour in the cupboard, it’ll still work.
- Brand: I like Doves Farm FREEE
(2) Stork Block
- The block of Stork in the picture below is the best if you can get it (you want the one that comes in 250g foil block, NOT a tub, and it says “biscuits and pastry” on the front)
- Stork is naturally dairy free too!!
- If you can’t get Stork:
- You can buy alternative brands but it has to be a vegetable oil based block. Make sure the ingredients states “vegetable oil” (usually 75%). The packet will likely say something like “baking block for biscuits”.
- Don’t substitute with a block of real butter e.g. Lurpak (which is made of milk, not oil) because the results will be very different!!
(3) Caster Sugar
- White granulated sugar would be fine too. Or golden caster sugar (will just result in a slightly browner shortbread)
The Icing Topping
You have two choices here.
- “Royal Icing” (purple box) for which you just need to add water as per the instructions on the box
- Regular “icing” (pink box) for which you just need to add egg and you’ll get the same result!
- What to do: For every 500g of icing sugar:
- Whisk 2 egg WHITES (not the yolk!!!!) until light and fluffy.
- Add the icing sugar and whisk in until its smooth and shiny and reaches stiff peaks when you remove the whisk. It needs to be able to hold the star shapes when you pipe it! (image below taken from source)
- What to do: For every 500g of icing sugar:
With option 1, the Royal Icing, the egg white has already been added to the mix so you haven’t got to do the job but its slightly more difficult to get hold than regular Icing so I usually go for option 2.
Aside from the standard mixing bowl and whisk, all you need is some kind of cutter for the shortbread and a nozzle for piping on the icing.
CUTTER: You could use anything to cut the circular shape (the end of a piping nozzle, a lid cap or even just freehand) but if you want the fluted edges, you’ll need some cutters, something like this: Amazon
NOZZLE: Again, any *small* nozzle would work but if you want the real Iced Gem affect, you want a number 13 “12 point star nozzle” like this
Easy Peasy Iced Gems
- 65 grams Stork Block
- 30 grams Caster Sugar
- 100 grams Gluten Free Self-Raising Flour
Icing Option 1 – *see notes
- 500 grams Royal Icing Sugar - See details in "the Icing Topping" section above.
Icing Option 2 – *see notes
- 500 grams Icing Sugar
- 2 egg whites
- Any flavourings you like
- Any colourings you like
Make the Dough
- Cut the Stork into rough squares and place into a mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar to the bowl too.>We cut the Stork into smaller pieces to make it easier to whisk at the next stage
- Cream the butter & sugar until smooth and fluffy.>Ideally, mix with an electric hand whisk for about 30 seconds. Don't cut this time short because (1) it creates a creamy shortbread and (2) it warms up the butter which makes the next stage easier!>You could also use a wooden spoon but you'll have to really go for it!!
- Add the flour and whisk again. It'll start resembling breadcrumbs like the first picture. Keep whisking and it will then form bigger lumps like the second picture. Stop at this point!>Don't worry about sieving the flour – just tip it in >There should be no white flour showing by the time you've finished this stage, it should be all mixed in
- Use your hands to press the mix together into a big ball
- Transfer the shortbread dough to a big piece of cling film>Don’t worry if its falling apart a little, it'll firm up in the fridge>I go for a sausage shape as it chills more evenly (and quickly!) in the fridge than a big ball
- Wrap it up tightly. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.
- Pre-heat your oven to 175oC (fan)
- Remove the dough from the fridge, remove the cling film.Dust your hands in flour. Play with the lump of dough, moulding into a smooth ball.>You can be quite heavy handed with it again, play with it like its playdough!
- Add some flour to your rolling pin and roll out until its about the thickness of a £1 coin. >If you'd rolled too thin, don't worry just gather the dough together and start again! Add more flour to the rolling pin, work surfaces and your hands.
- Cut out as many circles as possible.>Cutter: I used a 3/4 inch (2cm) fluted cutter I bought cheap on Amazon but you could stamp out with the base of a piping nozzle or cut around a pound coin
- Transfer the circles onto a baking tray and place into the oven for 8 mins. >These biscuits will not brown so don’t wait for the edges to start to colour – stick to 8 mins and they’ll be cooked!
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before touching them as they’ll still be soft.
- Make up your icing (see "The Icing Topping" section in my blog post)
- Divide your icing into as many bowls as you'd like colours. Add the colours & any flavourings you like to each bowl.
- Place your nozzle into your piping bag (I use a 12-point open star swirl nozzle) and fill with the first colour.
- Hold the biscuit with one hand and piping bag with the other. Press the piping nozzle down onto the centre of the biscuit squeeze the piping bag firmly. Pull the nozzle away and release your squeeze at the same time!
- Tap the biscuit on the worksurface to make the icing spread more evenly. Wipe the end of the nozzle between each biscuit.
- Leave your iced gems for at least 30 mins to set before serving. The longer you leave the icing to set, the crunchier it will be.
This recipe produces a slightly softer icing top than traditional iced gems. It’ll hold its shape perfectly but wont be quite as crunchy as the real deal (mainly to save my teeth haha). If you’d like it to be really crunchy, you need to make the icing tops on a piece of baking paper, leave to dry for 24hrs and then stick to the biscuit with edible glue/honey.