Here in New Zealand, we celebrate Fathers’ Day this coming Sunday (September 6th).
When I think of my Dad, I often think of a particular snack he LOVES; the mouth-watering, and classic Belgium Biscuit. These biscuits (or ‘cookies’) for those of you who don’t know; are made of two crispy cinnamon-spiced biscuits, sandwiched together with a berry (usually raspberry) jam, iced on the top side by a firm icing sugar concoction, and topped off with a sprinkling of red-coloured sugar. And they’re amazing!
As we were growing up, Belgium Biscuits would appear on Dad’s birthday, around my parents’ wedding anniversary, and each Christmas. They were either made by my wonder-of-cook Mother or, most often, by our pseudo grandmother; a beautiful older lady in our church. Each time he received a box of these delights I would hang around like a fly, sharing in his gift, always hoping for and extra 🙂 They’re soft, sweet, warmly spiced and oh-soooooo-good!
For some time now I’ve been working on a ‘Hungry Cub’ version of these delicious morsels… And now, just in time to celebrate Dads, here they are! Of course these are a bit different to the original. The standard icing sugar icing is replaced by a coconut mousse, dried fruit is in place of coloured sugar, and a homemade chia jam sandwiches it all together. But I hope it hits the favoured spot for you (and especially my dad!) and goes down a treat 🙂
So this Sunday; I send a big “Happy Fathers Day” to my great Dad, who taught me with patience, kindness, many laughs, lots of care, and the odd Belgium Biscuit share. And also; “Happy Fathers Day” to my wonderful husband who’s loving fathering brings me delight anew each day ❤
*NOTE: I recommend assembling these on the day you eat them because – it looks and tastes best this way. If you don’t want to eat them all in one go then store the biscuits in a sealable container plus the jam and icing in the fridge.
Belgium Biscuits (Quantity will vary depending on which cookie cutter you use – I made 22 completed biscuits with this amount)
1 cup ground almond
3 tbsp tapioca flour (or arrowroot flour)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
Jam: *make the night before*
1 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
pure maple syrup, to taste – optional (I find I don’t need any at all but it’s about taste preference so test a little and add some if you like)
1x can coconut cream, refrigerated overnight (I like to use a small tin of AYAM Coconut Cream for this – found in Countdown international isles for all you kiwis 🙂 )
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
freeze-dried or dehydrated raspberries or strawberries, to finish
For the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 160’C. Line 1 or 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper. In a mixing bowl, mix together the ground almond, tapioca flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup then stir to combine. Get your hands in at the end to work it into a dough-like consistency. Roll this out between two sheets of baking paper then use your chosen cookie cutter to cut shapes. Transfer each shape to the prepared baking tray. Roll offcuts again and keep cutting shapes until you have used up your biscuit mixture. Place the trays of shapes in the oven and bake for 8-10mins until turning a light golden brown (keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Once cooked, remove them from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. When cooled, store in a sealed container.
For the jam: If you use frozen raspberries, allow them to defrost first. Place the raspberries in a bowl pour the chia seeds over top. Blitz this with a stick blender until the raspberries have broken down (put it all in a stand blender if you don’t have a stick contraption). Stir it all a little (some of my chia seeds like to shoot up the sides of the bowl!), add some maple syrup if you like, then place in the refrigerator overnight.
For the icing: I recommend putting this together just before you assemble the biscuits. Scoop 4 tbsp of thickened coconut cream from the top of the can, place in a large bowl (for splatter guarding). Add the maple syrup. Whisk together well – I usually use the whisk attachment of my stick blender but a good amount of elbow grease with a normal whisk works just as well too. Set aside for assembling. Refrigerate leftovers.
To assemble: Take two biscuits, jam together using a teaspoon of your prepared jam. Take about half a teaspoon of the ‘icing’ and dollop it in the middle of the top biscuit (you may wish to flatten it a little with the back of the spoon). Repeat with all the biscuits until you have the amount prepared you desire. (Note: as I mentioned above, I recommend only preparing the amount you wish to use that day to ensure the best looking and tasting results. Store leftovers well – biscuits in sealed container and jam plus icing in the fridge, to assemble at any other time you wish to devour them) Sprinkle over freeze-dried or dehydrated raspberries or strawberries to finish then serve 🙂