Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Anzac Biscuits

So we've finally settled into our more permanent apartment. We were lucky our studio is equipped with a full kitchen including a dishwasher, oven, and stove top. Most studios in Sydney consist of a kitchenette... if you can call it that. I've visited some places that just have a portable burner, bar fridge, and half a sink. Although our kitchen is small and not equipped for much fancy cooking, I've decided that baking biscuits is a good start.

Anzac biscuits must be made from flour, oats, sugar, shredded coconut, butter, golden syrup, baking soda, and water. The name is strictly protected by Australian and New Zealand law. (ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.) Wives sent them to soldiers during WWI since it consisted of inexpensive ingredients and had a long shelf life. No eggs are used to make Anzac biscuits since eggs were scarce. Keep in mind, they must be referred to as a biscuit and not a cookie!

These biscuits are soft and fragile when warm from the oven and firm up to a nice chew once they cool down. They are really quick and easy to throw together. The aroma in my apartment as I was baking these was intoxicating. The combination of the honey, coconut, and oats baking together was really something I've never experienced before. Bake a batch and you'll know what I mean.

There is also a bridge close to my place called Anzac Bridge. I walk pass it almost everyday to and from work :p

*A little update: I was talking to the owner of the chocolate shop and he mentioned baking Anzac Biscuits for charity for Anzac Day. They wanted to brush chocolate on the bottom (since they were a chocolate shop, they had to incorporate some type of chocolate), the charity denied it because it contained chocolate.

Anzac Biscuits
Makes about 16 biscuits
The biscuits are best baked when the dough is fresh.  The dough tends to get too crumbly to shape when it sits overnight in the fridge since the oats and coconut soak up a lot of moisture.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp golden syrup or honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp boiling water

Preheat oven to 320'F.

In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, coconut, and salt.

In a small pot, heat the butter, golden syrup or honey, and vanilla extract on low heat just until the butter is melted.

Combine the baking soda and water and pour into the butter mix. (The mixture will foam a bit). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.

Roll and press the dough into a golf ball size and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 1" between each cookie. Flatten slightly and bake about 12 minutes, or until the cookie is a nice golden brown all over.

Cool on the baking sheet before transferring the cookies.

Enjoy with a hot coffee or a big mug of tea!

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