Sunday, 26 January 2014

Anzac Biscuits

ANZAC biscuits are steeped in history and were first made to send out to the soldiers in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War I. Original recipes for the biscuits were plainer than they are today and did not include butter, golden syrup or desiccated coconut. They were made without the addition of eggs to improve their keeping qualities on the long sea journeys when they were being shipped out to the soldiers. These biscuits are traditionally served on ANZAC Day - a national holiday celebrated annually in Australia and New Zealand on the 25th April.
 
Although they look like quite a simple, plain biscuit their no-nonsense appearance belies how delicious they are. I first tried them as a young child when we were living in Brisbane, Australia and have always enjoyed them. The oats and coconut combination is extremely tasty and the inclusion of golden syrup gives the finished biscuits a slightly chewy texture.
 
You could drizzle the finished biscuits with some melted chocolate, but to be honest, I really don’t think that this is necessary… sometimes less is more!
 
The biscuits are incredibly simple to make and there is no creaming or rubbing-in required. Make sure to leave plenty of space between the cookies when you place them on the baking tray – they spread out a lot.

Ingredients:

150g plain flour
165g caster sugar
100g rolled oats
90g desiccated coconut
125g butter
90g golden syrup
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tblsp boiling water
 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan Oven 160C/Gas Mark 4. Line two large baking trays with non-stick baking parchment and set aside.
2. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar, oats and desiccated coconut. Give the ingredients a stir with a wooden spoon to mix them and then make a well in the centre.
3. Place the butter and golden syrup in a medium sized, heavy-based saucepan. Stir over a gentle heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat. Separately dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the boiling water and immediately add into the melted butter and golden syrup. The mixture will immediately expand, but don’t be alarmed this is meant to happen. Quickly pour this into the dry ingredients and stir using a wooden spoon until everything is well combined.
4. Divide the mixture into 22-24 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place on the prepared baking trays leaving a generous amount of space between each ball of dough. Flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass.
5. Place in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes until the biscuits are a lovely golden colour. Leave on the trays for about five minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 22-24 biscuits.