Thursday, 23 April 2015
The history of the original Anzac biscuits is not clear. They may have been biscuits sent by mothers and wives to soldiers at the front, in World War 1, or, they may have been made and sold at cake stalls, as fund-raisers for the same boys, by the same women. There have even been suggestions that the soldiers may have made these biscuits themselves, from their fairly basic rations, but this seems rather far-fetched!
Origin aside, they are delicious, easy-to-make biscuits which are not at all temperamental, and are likely to withstand inexact measurements, cooking times and oven temperatures
For 40–50 biscuits:
1/4 cup golden syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup coconut (or extra rolled oats)
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons water
Turn the oven on to 170°C or 160°C fan-bake, with the rack just below the middle.
Measure the butter and golden syrup into a large pot over low heat. Warm the pot until the butter has melted, then take it off the heat.
Add the measured sugar, oats, coconut if used and flour, stirring after each addition. (You can use instant or regular rolled oats, and fine, medium, coarse or shredded coconut.)
Measure the baking soda into a cup, glass or small bowl, add the measured water and stir until the baking soda dissolves. Pour this into the biscuit mixture then stir well. If the mixture seems too crumbly to form into balls with wet hands, add extra water, a measuring tablespoon at a time, until it is easy to work with.
Roll the mixture into small balls and arrange these on a baking tray covered with baking paper or Teflon liner. Leave enough space between balls to allow for spreading. Flatten the balls with your dampened hand, until they are twice as big across as they were originally.
Bake biscuits until they are evenly golden brown, from 10–15 minutes. Watch them carefully during the last few minutes, so they do not brown too much.
While they are still hot and soft, lift them onto a cooling rack by sliding a spatula or other flat-bladed utensil under them. They should become crisp when they are cold. (If you like biscuits with a chewy middle, cook the next batch for a minute or two less! Store in airtight containers when cold.
Photography: Lindsay Keats Photography