Saturday, April 25, 2009
New Zealand and Australia share a tradition of Anzac Biscuits. Both countries claim to have invented them, but Anzac Biscuits are similar to many other older biscuit recipes that are designed to produce crisp, hard and nutritious biscuits that keep well.
One of the food items that women in both countries sent to soldiers during the First World War was a hard, long-keeping biscuit that could survive the journey by sea, and still remain edible. These were known as Soldiers' Biscuits, but after the Gallipoli landings in 1915, they became known as Anzac Biscuits. Soldiers themselves may have made a similar form of biscuit from ingredients they had on hand: water, sugar, rolled oats and flour.
The traditional Anzac Biscuit is hard and flat - ideal for dunking in tea and then eating. During the First World War, some soldiers used broken biscuits to make a form of porridge to add some variety to their diet.
Over the years, softer and chewier versions of the biscuit have appeared. There are many recipes for Anzac Biscuits. Common to most is the inclusion of rolled oats, coconut, butter and golden syrup. Eggs almost never feature. This may be because eggs were in short supply during the First World War. Many varieties of biscuit do not have eggs, however, and like Anzac Biscuits rely instead on chemical rising agents such as bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).
GIANT Anzac Biscuits (Cookies)
Recipe from Taste Au
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar
125g butter, chopped
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Sift flour into a large bowl. Stir in oats, coconut and sugar.
Place butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until melted. Remove from heat. Combine bicarbonate of soda and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Stir into golden syrup mixture (mixture might become frothy). Add immediately to flour mixture and stir until well combined.
Roll mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, into balls. Place 4 biscuits on each baking tray. Flatten to about 12cm (diameter) round, allowing room for biscuits to spread. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, swapping trays after 10 minutes, or until biscuits are golden. Allow biscuits to cool completely on trays.
These are crisp Anzac biscuits. If you prefer them chewy, flatten biscuits to 10cm (diameter) rounds and reduce cooking time by 1 to 2 minutes.
**I halved most of the mixture and made smaller cookies, which I baked for about 12mins.
***My husband rated these as the best EVER.