Friday, April 22, 2011

Cooking With No-One: Anzac Biscuits

   Every year I end up making stacks of Anzac Biscuits. Even though I don't actually care for them. (I'm not a fan of oats or coconut, and I hate the taste of real butter. I would be happier if we honoured our soldiers with choc-chip mars bar cookies).
  The other day, after chatting about the Anzac biscuits with someone from work, well not much of a chat really, it was basically them saying "you are making them this year, right?" and me saying "yes", I was wondering why we use those particular ingredients. A quick session of googling and I found a page that said the oats were because mothers, wives and girlfriends of soldiers were worried that the rations weren't nutritious enough, and the other ingredients were because it could sometimes take up to two months for care packages to make it to the fighting men, so the biscuits had to be able to stay edible over a long period of time. Golden syrup was the binding agent because eggs were scarce during the war.

  Today I'll be sharing my recipe for Anzac biscuits.


   2 cups rolled oats          2 cups plain flour        2 cups desiccated coconut
   1 and a 1/2 cups sugar (recipe calls for caster sugar, I often just use plain white sugar, because I've forgotten to buy the other kind. The biscuits still turn out fine.)
  250g butter                    4tbs golden syrup       2tsp bicarb soda
  4tbs boiling water

 Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees celsius. Lightly grease baking trays.

 Step 2: Sift flour into a large bowl. Add oats, coconut and sugar. Stir to combine.
Step 3: In a small, heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter and golden syrup over a low-medium heat.

Step 4: Mix the bicarb soda with the boiling water in a small bowl, then add to butter-golden syrup mix. The mix should change colour slightly and look all frothy. My picture does not show the frothiness very well.
Step 5: Pour the liquid mix into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Step 6: Shape the mixture into small balls and place on baking tray. I'll take a moment here to say, I swear my trays aren't dirty they are just old, and half the non-stick coating has worn off. That's why it looks like that.
Step 7: This is one of the most important steps - squash the biscuits flat. A lot of people like to leave them as balls (heh), because they are going to spread out anyway, but I find when they are left that way, in order to make sure they cook properly in the middle, the outside ends up far too hard.
             If you squash them flat, they stay nicely crisp on the outside without getting hard, and chewy on the inside, while still being cooked through. And because they will still spread a bit, you end up with giant biscuits.
Step 8: Baking time! I won't give an ultra-specific time because all ovens cook differently. So bake for around 12-14 minutes, until nicely golden-brown. It's fine if they are still a tiny bit soft on top when you take them out of the oven as they will firm up over the next few minutes.
*Either I have a dirty mind or baking really does have a fair amount of vaguely pornagraphic sounding phrases.*
 Leave biscuits on tray for around 2 minutes after taking out of oven, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
Step 9: Store in airtight container. Anzac biscuits will actually last for quite a few weeks if stored properly, although they may get eaten before that becomes an issue.
Step 10: Give some Anzac biscuits to the friend who has threatened to murder me in my sleep if I don't make her a batch of biscuits.
**step 10 may apply only to me.


River said...

Step 11: give some to your mother who can't be bothered (I don't say arsed in public...)making her own. Hi friend!

Toni said...

Anzac bikkies last about 13 seconds in my house.... even less if hubby is home.

prisonbreak said...

mmmm Anzac biscuits. I can't seem to find my stash here at the prison but I guess they will be here soon XX

Marie said...

Your mum sent me here to look at your ANZAC biscuits. I love them (being a great lover of oats and eating porridge every morning for breakfast). I've found that you can use the el cheapo baking margarine in them and that it is better than butter. I also add a teaspoon of ginger for a bit of a bite.

I hope you took some to your mum :-)

no-one said...

Marie I will be trying the ginger next time I make them. I gave some to mum when I saw her for easter.
Prisonbreak, you & B will get yours next Monday when I'm back at work.

Esse Devi said...

Yummmmmmmm! And thanks for the tip about Squishing them flat - I always wondered how to get them chewy, not crispy. :-)

Aspiring...something said...

They were very yummy! You managed to survive another year.... I just hope you make them next year still, for your sake.. Hehe!
Hi River!

no-one said...

And here I was just thinking that next year someone else could make them.