ANZAC Biscuits

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Tomorrow is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand. ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corp. On April 25, 1915 the ANZACs entered World War 1 at Gallipoli. It’s a national public holiday in both countries; a time to reflect on how those brave diggers fought for peace. Dawn services are held throughout both countries to mark the time the soldiers landed at Gallipoli.

The humble biscuit made from rolled oats, plain flour, brown sugar, coconut, butter, golden syrup, water and baking soda is synonyomous with the ANZAC soldiers for whom they were made during World War 1. The true origin is often debated but, as always with anything that relates to both Australia and New Zealand, both countries believe they invented them. We Aussies consider it our national biscuit along with Tim Tams.

The story I like is that Aussie women made the biscuits to send to the soldiers in Europe. The ingredients mentioned above are long lasting and won’t go off on a long journey. They had to still be edible after a two month ship passage to the war fields.

The other thing about ANZAC biscuits that divides the nation is whether they should be hard or chewy. Personally I prefer mine chewy but it wouldn’t surprise me if the original recipe and travelling time meant they were hard. To make them more chewy you just need to add more golden syrup.

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In a mixing bowl, mix 1 cup of rolled oats, 1 cup of plain flour, 2/3 cup brown sugar and 2/3 cup dessicated coconut.

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If you cook with golden syrup you know it’s quite thick and can be hard to extract from the bottle. To liquify it I place the bottle in a cup of boiling water to soften it. It’s much easier to pour out then.

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On your stove, melt 125g butter, add 2 tbs golden syrup and 2 tbs water.

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Add 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). The liquid will froth up.

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Mix the dry and wet mixtures together.

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Using your hands, make small balls of the biscuit mix. It’s best to keep them quite small because they expand. The ones in the picture below were only about one inch in diameter. Press the balls gently with the heel of your hand to flatten them slightly.

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The last thing you need to do is make yourself a cup of your favourite hot drink, sit down and enjoy them.

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