The ANZAC Biscuit - Tradition & Treat
In the new TV series by one of my all time foodie crushes, Nigella, she says "a table is more than just furniture just as food is more than just fuel". It's so true. Well at least to me it is. I find food to be lots of things - it's joy, it's calm, it's sharing love and it's also memories and customs. Many things that we cook and eat hold a place in history and are rich in tradition. Today, the ANZAC biscuit is one of those. It's steeped in the tradition and folklore of our national day of commemoration and also plain delicious.
If you do a little research you will find that ANZAC bickies (not cookies please!) were made during World War 1, as a way for the women back in Australia to raise money for the war efforts. I think for many, this story has been meshed with the knowledge that our Aussie diggers ate another kind of biscuit called a "tack" or "tile" as part of their rations, whilst on the front line. It is said that these "tack" biscuits were so hard they could only be eaten after they had been dunked in a cuppa. Never a better reason to dunk than as a nod to our forebears I say. The ANZAC biscuit made on home soil used the ingredients we know in the recipe today including oats and golden syrup whereas the "tack" or "tile" was made of flour, water, sugar and salt and doesn't sound even a "teenth" as enjoyable.
Today, as a nod to tradition and food history, and to honour one of the most important days on our national calendar I would like to share my recipe for the ANZAC biscuit. My version is a little bit crunchy and a little bit chewy. It is a flatter version than some and has a lovely caramelised flavour, as well as little spice for Sweetpea-ness. The longer you bake it the crunchier it will become and the more pronounced the caramelisation so you can tweak that to your liking but remember it will feel soften when you bring it out and will crunch up as it cools. I hope you enjoy a batch and take a moment to enjoy the freedom that our diggers fought for then, and continue to fight for now.
ANZAC Biscuits (makes 20)
150g plain flour (1 cup)
180g rolled oats (2 cups)
150g brown sugar (3/4 cup)
60g desiccated coconut (3/4 cup)
125g butter (chopped)
4 tbs golden syrup
2 tbs water
1/2 tsp bi-soda
1 tsp mixed spice
- Preheat your oven on Fan Forced at 160°C and line two large baking trays with baking paper.
- Place the butter, golden syrup and water into a heatproof jug and warm at medium level in your microwave for 1-2 minutes or until melted.
- Combine the flour, oats, sugar, coconut and spice in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the melted butter mixture and stir until completely combined and sticky.
- Place 2 level tbs of the mixture onto the tray and squeeze together to make a ball then flatten into a round disc around 1cm thick. Continue with all the mixture leaving space between them.
- Place into the oven on the bottom and second top shelves (you need a space between the trays) and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a dark golden brown. Remove and allow to cool on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a cake rack to cool completely.
- Enjoy dunked in a cuppa or store in an airtight container for as long as they last.
Sally @ Sweetpea Cuisine x