Ozzie-Os

Delicious little chocolate flavoured biscuits/cookies sandwiched together with a creamy icing. I have developed the biscuit base to be free from some of the major allergens - they are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free & if you make a small substitution refined sugar free. They are definitely not flavour free.

One of the hardest things I found to make when designing the recipe was the creamy icing! The icing needs to be creamy yet be dairy free & it is absolutely essential it keeps the biscuits crunchy.  Another prerequisite, according to my children, was that you have to be able to twist the top biscuit off so that you can lick the icing off. Lastly I wanted it to be easy to make. It took me a couple of days & a lot of batches of dud vanilla creme icing but I am finally happy with it. For variety I have included other icing recipes, some of which are not nut free or dairy free.

  Ingredients

Biscuit base

85 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

15 g Maize starch

55 g Brown sugar

20 g Cocoa*

1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Baking powder

30 g Hot water

35 g Oil (I used Rice Bran oil)

* The colour, fat content & quality of cocoa will vary between brands.

 

Icing

Vanilla creme

3 tsp Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

50 g Icing sugar

25 g Hot water

10 g Vanilla essence

20 g Glucose syrup

50 - 75 g Copha*

 Copha contains soy lecithin. At least 50 g of copha is needed to make the icing creamy but with this amount the mixture starts to split a little (this means the biscuits may not stay as crunchy). The amount of copha added will depend; on the season (eg in Winter you may need to add less, summer a bit more) & where you live (in Australia further north you may need more copha). 

Chocolate creme

  3 tsp Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

50 g Icing sugar

5 g Cocoa

30 g Hot water

10 g Vanilla essence

20 g Glucose syrup

80 g Copha

Copha contains soy lecithin. At least 55 g of copha is needed to make the icing creamy but with this amount the mixture starts to split a little (this means the biscuits may not stay as crunchy). The amount of copha added will depend; on the season (eg in Winter you may need to add less, summer a bit more) & where you live (in Australia further north you may need more copha).  

Peanut butter whipped icing

100 g Smooth peanut butter

pinch of salt

40 g Icing sugar

25 - 40 g Copha*

* Copha contains soy lecithin. The amount of copha added will depend; on the season (eg in Winter you may need to add less, summer a bit more), where you live (in Australia further north you may need more copha) whether you want a really creamy whipped icing (add the 40 g) or your children's taste. 

Explosive chocolate icing

Chocolate of your choice*

Popping candy

Oil- I use Rice Bran oil

Milk, dark, white, flavoured or coloured chocolate. 20 g of the chocolate & oil mix will fill 3 biscuits.

# Start with using ~15% oil based on the weight of the chocolate (Magic Chocolate Topping), for example if you are using 120 g of chocolate you will need 18 g of oil (120 g x 15/100 = 18 g). The amount of oil you use will vary on for example; the type of chocolate (eg. dark vs white), the brand of chocolate, where you live (colder climes will need more oil), how soft you want the icing to be or whether you want the top biscuit to twist off.

Popping candy, how much you add is up to you. Packet sizes vary, some contain 2 g others 6 g. They can contain lactose. 

Method

Biscuit base

I have tried making these biscuits completely in my Thermomix & KitchenAid but the biscuits are better when they are made by hand. They really are - they are lighter in texture & the crunch is great. Regardless of the method the last part of the recipe needs to be made by hand, consequently I am only putting in the hand made method.  

Sift the cocoa into a small bowl (a cereal bowl).

Add the just boiled hot water & mix to form a paste. The hot water helps to release the chocolatey flavour & the final biscuit will have a darker colour.

In a mixing bowl sift together the Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour, maize starch, salt, baking powder. If possible sift in the brown sugar as well.

If the brown sugar wasn't added in the step above stir it into the dry ingredients now. 

Add the cocoa paste to the dry ingredients & mix it in by hand. At this stage you may want to wear gloves. It will resemble bread crumbs.

Add in the oil & mix to combine. It will still look like bread crumbs. It will look like there is no way the sandy mix will ever turn into cookie dough.

Grab some of the mix and squash it together with your hands, it will start to stick together & then fall apart again. Keep on squashing it together with your hands. Eventually it will come together in a number of different sized pieces.

Prepare a work surface for kneading & rolling the dough. It is best to use something that can lift off your workbench; I find a silicon pastry mat excellent.

Transfer the still crumbly biscuit mix to the pastry mat. You don't need to dust the surface with extra flour. Bring the mixture together with your hands & squash it together. At this stage the dough probably has no sheen & has a mottled appearance.

Knead the dough. It may still crumble just bring it together again. Use some of the larger clumps of dough to pick up smaller pieces. Knead until the dough has a glossy appearance & is uniform in colour.

The dough is ready to be rolled out.

Put a piece of baking paper on top of the dough, ensure it is large enough to cover the dough when it has been rolled out. The baking paper stops the dough sticking to the rolling pin - the dough really sticks if you don't have it on top. To ensure the dough is an even thickness follow this tip. Find 2 pieces of cardboard (2-3 mm thick) place one on either side of the dough. I have thrown away my cardboard pieces & now have stainless steel spacers 1 mm, 2 mm & 3 mm thick - they are much easier to clean. For the Ozzie-Os pictured I used my 2 mm spacer. When rolling out the dough ensure the rolling pin is wide enough to span the dough and part of the top of the placemats/cardboard. My rolling pin is large – 61 cm from handle to handle. If your rolling pin is smaller it may be easy to half the dough. Initially when rolling the pin may not necessarily rest on the cardboard, however, when the dough is the same thickness as the cardboard it will. At this stage the dough should be all the same thickness.

Line 2 trays with baking paper.

Turn oven on to 150 C.

Optional - use a stamp to create a pattern in the dough. Ensure there is a sufficient distance between them & that the pattern is small enough for the cutter.

This dough is best to work with when it has just been rolled out. If left for too long (~ 20 mins) after rolling out the dough will start to be crumbly - if this happens bring the dough together, knead it & roll it out again.

Cut out as many shapes as possible with a cutter of your choice. I used a scalloped cutter (48 mm diameter). 

Transfer the cut outs to the baking tray. An easy way to do this is by lifting up one side of the pastry mat (if right handed use your left hand to do this) & roll the mat under until the first cut shapes are close to the edge. We want to pick up the shape with our right hand (if right handed). I use one of the fingers on my left hand to gently "poke/stroke" the shape from the underside of the mat so that the edge of the shape comes off the mat. I roll the mat under a little bit more & then use my right hand to pick up the shape & transfer it to the tray. The whole process is a bit like peeling a sticker off its backing paper, the edges are the hardest to pick up. It is much easier to pick up shapes without scalloped edges & without a stamped pattern. If the cut out shapes break simply put them with the left over dough ready to be re-rolled.

When as many shapes as possible have been transferred to the tray bring the dough together again, knead it slightly & re-roll it. I fold the pastry mat in half leaving the dough in between & then squash down on the dough to make it easier to pick up. Continue cutting out shapes & re-rolling the dough.

Put trays in the oven & bake for ~12 mins. The time will vary depending on the size & thickness of the biscuits and on your oven. I made 50 single biscuits (25 iced Ozzie-Os) with the scalloped cutter (48 mm diameter) & a spacer of 2 mm.

Bring the trays out of the oven & allow to cool. Leave the biscuits on the tray. Let the oven cool down. If you live in a humid climate put the biscuits back in the oven - when it has cooled down.

Making the icing

For the Ozzie-Os to stay crunchy we need an icing that has minimal water & that this water is bound up with other ingredients. Commercially produced "creams" for biscuits contain emulsifiers; these keep the fat, sugar & water together without affecting the crunch of the biscuit. Fat & sugar normally don't mix & if the majority of sugar hasn't dissolved (in water) the resulting icing will taste gritty & fatty. A couple of easily obtainable emulsifiers are powdered whole egg or soy lecithin. I had success in making Vanilla creme icing with the powdered whole egg but not with the soy lecithin (I didn't persevere). However I wanted to make the icing egg free. Although it's emulsifying powers are not the same as whole egg powder, to make the icing egg free I have used Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour as an emulsifier.

Vanilla creme icing (& Chocolate creme)

Melt the copha in a small saucepan. Leave it on the stove.

In a microwaveable bowl sift together the Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour & the icing sugar (& cocoa).

Add in the hot water, vanilla essence & glucose syrup. Glucose syrup is very sticky & it is very slow to pour. I dip a knife into the glucose, bring it out, twirl the knife & then let the syrup fall off the knife into the bowl. When enough syrup has fallen off I twirl the knife again & scrape the remaining back into the syrup container.

Taste a little of the mix - Is it gritty? If it is gritty gently microwave (low - medium low power) the mix to dissolve the sugar. When most of the sugar has dissolved the mix will be clearer & slightly brownish (from the vanilla extract).

Add in ~25 g of the melted copha. Stir (a fork or spoon is fine) until the mix has a uniform consistency. 

Repeat the step above.

Add in the remaining copha & continue to stir the mix. Set it aside briefly.

Bring out the trays of biscuits & turn half of them over.

Optional - attach/fit a size 11 nozzle to a piping bag.

Stir the icing again. We want to continue to stir the icing mixture until the copha is close to setting. I live in a cold climate & it was 8 degrees C outside when I was making this icing. So to cool it down I went outside for a couple of minutes while stirring the icing. Stirring the icing while it is cooling gives the icing a "creamy" texture not a fatty one. To cool down the icing you may need to put it in the fridge for ~1 min then bring it out again. It will start to thicken & turn whiter when it is cooling. Transfer the icing to the piping bag if you think that the icing would hold its shape. 

Before the icing sets pipe some of the icing onto the upturned biscuits. Alternatively spoon some of the icing mixture onto the upturned biscuits. Put the top biscuit on & gently squash it down. The amount of icing will depend on how much you want to put on them. 

If the icing sets simply warm it in the microwave (~10 sec on low) & stir it again (while cooling).

Peanut butter whipped icing

Melt the copha.   

Put the peanut butter in a microwaveable bowl.

Gently warm the peanut butter until it has "melted". It will lose its shape.

Sift the icing sugar, add it & the salt to the peanut butter. Stir to combine.

Add the melted copha to the peanut butter mix & stir until it has a uniform consistency.

Continually rapidly stirring the mix while it is cooling will produce a creamy (whipped) icing. My daughter asked if she could have the icing on a sandwich. My reply "Not happening".

Bring out the trays of biscuits & turn half of them over.

When the icing can hold its shape transfer the mix to a piping bag & pipe some of the icing onto the upturned biscuits. Alternatively spoon some of the icing mixture onto the upturned biscuits. Put the top biscuit on & gently squash it down. The amount of icing will depend on how much you want to put on them.

Explosive chocolate icing

If using couverture chocolate follow melting instructions on the product package.

Microwave

Put chocolate & oil into a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for short bursts on a low setting, stirring in between bursts. The actual time to melt the chocolate will depend on the amount of chocolate you use & your microwave oven. 

On Stove

Put chocolate & oil in a metal bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Use a low heat to keep the water hot but not boiling. Ensure no water or steam gets into the chocolate/oil mix. Gently stir the chocolate & oil until all chocolate has melted. 

When the chocolate has melted add in the popping candy. Popping candy will pop in contact with water. If you live in a humid climate open the packet just before you put the candy in to the chocolate.

Bring out the trays of biscuits & turn half of them over.

When the popping chocolate has cooled down a little spoon some of it onto the upturned biscuits. Put the top biscuit on & gently squash it down. The amount of popping chocolate will depend on how much you want to put on them.

Simply enjoy.