Anzac Biscuits, for Anzac Day

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Anzac landing on Gallipoli in 1915. Its a day that, now, is a national day to remember Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

Traditionally, across the country there will be Dawn services, marches, ceremonies where we pay our respect.

Personally, I can't help but watch the Dawn services televised from Gallipoli and more recently from Villers-Bretonneux in France. A few years ago on Anzac Day I watched a brilliant interview with a nurse from WWII, which just goes to show that its no longer 'just' a WWI day of remembrance.

Of course, food becomes part of any kind of event, and for today, it has to be Anzac Biscuits.

The story goes, that women made these sturdy, long-shelf-life, biscuits to send from Australia to our boys fighting so far from home. There's no dairy other than butter (which never goes off) so we could take comfort that they would survive the long long long boat ride. There are endless recipes, but they are much the same, rolled oats, flour, coconut, golden syrup, butter, bicarb and sugar. Some add fruits, some use treacle or swap brown and white sugar around.

Its been a long time since I'd made them. But I decided, in honour of the 100 year anniversary it was high time I made them again.

My first trial batch made on a weekend went well, made 28 biscuits and we happily munched on them all week. They were the perfect combination of chewy inside and crunchy outside.

The next batch I made on Tuesday night, and well, lets just say I left out one ingredient (I blame listening to Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter for distracting me) and they were baked at the same time as our dinner.

Moroccan Chicken flavoured Anzac Biscuits are very strange. Very. Strange. They also had a weird consistency.

Round three, last night, I was still listening to Mr Fry, however, the oven was empty and I laid out all my ingredients to be sure I didn't forget any. Much more of a success and today we have an excellent batch of these to chow down on.

My receipe came from the May 2015 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Although I did swap out half a cup of rolled oats for half a cup of shredded coconut, and I used brown sugar insted of white.

Anzac biscuits, makes about 28

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 Tbsp hot water
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method

Preheat the oven to 150C. Line 4 trays with baking paper (or like me, you can cook in two batches).

Put flour in a large bowl and stir in the oats and sugar.

Put butter, syrup and hot water in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Stir occasionally until butter has melted.

Stir bicarbonate of soda into syrup mixture and remove from heat (it'll go all puffy and awesome).

Add warm syrup mixture to oat mixture and stir until well combined.

Shape tablespoons of the mixture into 28 balls. Arrange on prepared trays about 8cm apart. Press each ball lightly with your fingers to flatten slightly.

Bake, in batches, for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on trays.

Be careful when you pull them out of the oven, as the biscuits will be very soft, they harden as they cool.

 

 

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Madelines…on a mingy day

The weather is finally starting to turn. Which means maybe I can start making pastry without crying soon. Maybe.

In the Christmas sales, one of the very few things I bought was a madeline tray. A friend of mine makes them fairly regularly, and its one of those things in my ‘I should do that’ list.

So with an empty house and a few moments to myself I picked a receipe and had a go. I think they might be just a touch overdone, so another attempt will be made as soon as I have some more lemon and limes for rind.

You can find the receipe here, and can I suggest a cup of good coffee (or tea if you’re that way inclined) a comfortable chair and a good friend to share them with. Or taken to your sister for afternoon tea, when she’s having a bad day.

 

 

 

 

 

Brownies, to make up for a long absence.

I know. Its been a very long time. I've had a half written Valentines Day post for two months. But its too embarrassing to post it now.

What I find amazing is how quickly time can fly by. One minute your happily chowing down on chocolate brownies with your sister at Jamie's Italian, the next two months have past and you're finally able to share your own version of it.

We inhaled that brownie (we did share it). It was amazing. Dense, dark, chewy, with a crispy edge, and ice cream and chocolate sauce to make the perfect dessert.

And you can make it at home. Like I did. Twice so far. Jamie put it in one of his cookbooks (which is where I found it), and he also posted it online because he's a champion.

Heads up, it makes a LOT of chocolate brownie. We served it with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and chopped peanuts. How do you like yours?

Recipe is over here (we omitted the cherries and nuts, but next time…ahh third times the charm) but tell me, why aren't you already making this?