Don’t tell the biscuit police

20190424_113223_002It’s Anzac Day. The day we Australians remember past and present servicemen and women, along with our cousins in New Zealand. The original Anzacs fought for the British Empire in World War One and the relationship between our countries has changed considerably in the 105 years since. But the Anzac values of courage, resilience, initiative, discipline and mateship still feature strongly in the Australian psyche today.

This is the day we remember and recognise the military personnel who have often endured challenges unimaginable to most civillians. I find it incredibly touching to see veterans of any age at the dawn service – people who would often blend into the background on any other day of the year. The local dawn service this morning was well attended with many veterans and active personnel with their young families. It was really lovely to see large numbers of attendees from the local sporting teams, too.

I make a point of attending the dawn service every year, but am less disciplined with baking Anzac Biscuits  which is another fabulous tradition at this time of year. The files in my memory are often dusty, but I recall learning at primary school that these biscuits were easily made from rations during WW1. The ingredients are pretty basic but the result is always outstanding.

Years ago, in my London life, I made a few batches of these and a British friend basically inhaled the entire lot. He’d never had them before and was suitably impressed with their sweet, crunchy goodness. These calorific biscuits are so loved, particuarly at this time of year, that we now have ‘biscuit police’ to ensure all commercially sold products adhere to the original recipe. I’m not even joking.

I’m not selling my biscuits, so I think it’s OK that I’ve gone off-piste with the recipe. I found some macadamia nuts and glace ginger in the pantry, so added those and I’m pretty happy the result. Everything tastes better with a macadamia nut and the ginger gives a lovely warming flavour to the biscuits.

Anzac Biscuits

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup desicated coconut
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • ¼ cup chopped glace ginger (always Buderim)
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 125 grams butter
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg. Line a couple of trays with baking paper.

Mix the dry ingredients well. Set aside.

Put the butter into a small pan and add the golden syrup. Stir over low heat until melted and well mixed.

Combine the bicarb and boiling water. Add to the butter blend.

Finally, add all the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix well. The resulting batter will be quite dry. If it’s too wet, add more flour, oats or coconut.

Roll the batter into small balls and press until almost flat on the baking tray. These will expand considerably during cooking, so leave a good few cms between each one.

Bake for 10-15 minutes. The biscuits will be a little soft when removed from the oven. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes and you’ll get a nice crunchy Anzac to enjoy with a cuppa.

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