Friday, April 25, 2008

ANZAC biscuits

Today is ANZAC Day. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The
Australian War Memorial website defines ANZAC Day as marking:

... the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

Even though the military action referred to above, being the battle at Gallipoli in Turkey, was lost, the AWM website states that it is important because:

... the "ANZAC legend" became an important part of the national identity of [Australia and New Zealand]. This shaped the ways they viewed both their past and future.

On ANZAC Day, we remember those who fought for Australia in all wars, not just at the battle of Gallipoli. Dawn services are held in cities and towns across Australia to commemorate ANZAC Day, followed later in the day by street marches of present and past members of the armed forces and their families.

A type of oatmeal cookie has been named after the ANZACs, and it is made, not just to commemorate ANZAC Day, but all year round in Australian and New Zealand households. It was originally made by women to send to their soldiers hundreds of miles away, and consequently contains ingredients that do not readily spoil. You can read more information about the history of the ANZAC biscuit here.

As with any traditional dish, there are numerous recipes for ANZAC biscuits. Mine are pictured at the top of this post, and were made using Maragaret Fulton's recipe from The Margaret Fulton Cookbook. This recipe makes soft, chewy cookies, but presumably you could make them crisper by baking them for longer, if preferred. The recipe is as follows:

125g butter or margarine
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup sugar

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Melt the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan on the stove top, then remove from the heat. Combine the bicarbonate of soda with the boiling water in a cup, and pour into the melted butter mixture. This will cause the butter to foam up. add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and combine well.

Grease 3 or 4 cookie sheets. Drop teaspoonfuls of ingredients onto the cookie sheets, leaving plenty of room for spreading between each biscuit. If you make them too big, the biscuits will spread into one another and you will end up with one enormous cookie! Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes until golden. Remove the biscuits from the oven and cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before carefully placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

These biscuits are absolutely delicious, and are a favourite of my work colleagues. Funnily enough, because Mum made them regularly at home, as a child I didn't think much of them. However, maturity has caused me to reflect on ANZAC biscuits in a different light, and I now adore them.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


Silvia - Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

Thanks for the recipe! They look delicious!

Rosie said...

I adore Anzac biscuits so easy to make and so yummy to eat!! Yours look wonderful Cakelaw :)

Rosie x

giz said...

I've just learned about this custom today viewing it on a few of the blogs. I think it's fantastic and love the idea. Your cookies are terrific.

Pixie said...

I really like the sound of this cookie, they look great!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Sylvia, I promise that you'll love these unless you have an aversion to oatmeal.

Thanks Rosie, Giz and Pixie :)