Digestive Biscuits

For such unassuming ingredients, these make remarkably well received biscuits (Am: cookies). Well known to Brits as a slightly sweet, slightly salty biscuit (cookie) often adorned with chocolate, they aren’t frequently found this side of the pond. I can’t say I’ve ever seen them commercially in gluten free format. Normally, if they’re not smothered in chocolate, they are good with cheez, or cream cheez and a dollop of jam. They are also traditionally dunked in cups of tea regardless of chocolate status. Just don’t make them while under the illusion that they’re a health food!

Digestive biscuits coated with dark (dairy free) chocolate.

Digestive biscuits coated with dark (dairy free) chocolate.


When they first come out of the oven, they will still be soft, and you’ll have to wait about 15 minutes while they cool and crisp up. I have a problem keeping them around for long enough to do that here, and my husband reckons they could be rolled 1/2″ thick so they stay soft. Yes, they’re good like that, but I was trying to make digestives! Rolling these no more than 1/4″ thick allows them to crisp up as they cool, so they have a satisfying snap.

I recently had an epiphany regarding the preparation of these treats. I realized that if I turned my cookie sheet upside down, I could roll the dough out to the size of the sheet (between the pieces of parchment paper) without bumping into the raised edges. If I then used a cookie cutter on the dough, but didn’t remove the excess from the edges, it was easier for me, and folks that wanted to nibble before the biscuits had cooled could do so around the circles, and leave the circles intact ready for proper presentation later on.

1/2 cup (4 oz) margarine
3/4 cup (4 oz) brown sugar
1 cup (4 oz) buckwheat flour
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) brown rice flour
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) cornstarch/potato starch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup almond or rice milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). It doesn’t take long to make these cookies.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl or food processor, cream together the margarine and the sugar.

Sift the flours and salt over the margarine, and stir.

Stir in the milk until mixture forms a thick paste.

Cookie Dough

Kneaded dough

Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth (not needed if you used a food processor).

Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to approximately 1/4″ thickness. Remove the top piece of parchment.

Cut the dough into rounds with a cookie cutter about 2 1/2 inches in diameter, or just cut into squares with a pizza wheel.

Transfer to a cookie sheet (or two) and prick with a fork.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden. Do not overcook. Let cool on wire rack.

To make chocolate digestives, melt some dairy free chocolate in the microwave, and spread the top of each cooling biscuit with chocolate (with the help of a knife), and allow to cool/set.

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3 thoughts on “Digestive Biscuits

  1. Kendra says:

    Hello, So I got to the “thick paste” part, but could not figure out how to roll it out. It even stuck to the parchment. I just spooned the batter onto a greased cookie sheet, and they were delicious. Maybe I made a measuring error, but I was wondering how sticky your dough usually is. Also, mine are a lot darker than your picture. Thanks

    • Yes, mine were indeed sticky. They stuck to the parchment paper, but I didn’t find it too hard to peel them off … although the parchment paper was unusable for anything else by the time I’d finished. I think if they were soft biscuit like by the time you’d finished, and you found them delicious (which I also did), you’ve got them right. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed them!

    • I made some more cookies, and updated the blog with a picture of the kneaded dough. Hope that helps!

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