ANZAC biscuits need no introduction for Antipodeans - these cookies are inextricably linked to our World War I soldiers and are supposed to have been baked and mailed by the soldiers' wives due to their long shelf life. Caramelised with golden syrup and chewy with rolled oats, it's not difficult to understand why the recipe has persevered. I made them this week to share with an overseas visitor at my workplace.
I haven't made a lot of ANZACs in my time, and I find it challenging to get the texture right. I want them golden - which takes time - yet chewy, which requires that they're not overbaked! Baked for 12-14 minutes, these were perfect warm out of the oven, then very crunchy once cool.
I've seen chocolate-chipped variations around and I'm sure they're very tasty (and an absolute luxury when compared to the biscuit's origin). One of my colleagues mentioned adding wattleseed to the mix, which appeals to me both for its likely flavour and its Aussie endemism.
(a widespread traditional recipe,
which I accessed from the New Zealand Woman's Weekly)
1 cup plain flour
1 cup castor sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 tablespoons boiling water
Preheat an oven to 180°C. Line a couple of baking trays with paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats. Make a well in the centre.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt together the butter and golden syrup. Pour them into the dry ingredients stir everything together.
In a mug, stir together the bicarb soda and boiling water. Add them to the biscuit mixture and stir thoroughly to combine.
Roll the mixture into balls, about an inch in diameter, and place them on the baking trays with a couple of inches space between each one.
Bake the biscuits for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.