Tuesday, October 17, 2006

ANZAC Biscuits

Sadie's class is traveling around the world -- not literally; public school systems rarely have that kind of money... Groups of four to five kids are assigned a country, research their given topic (flora/fauna, food, culture, etc.), and present their work to the class.

On Friday, the class is exploring Australia. For the food portion, I was asked to bake ANZAC biscuits. ANZAC day is annually observed in Australia and New Zealand on April 25 to honor the bravery and sacrifice of the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).

According to Wikipedia,

The cookies are a re-named version of the time-honored "Rolled oats biscuit." Many myths have grown around the ANZAC biscuit. It has been reported that they were made by Australian and New Zealand women for the [ANZAC] soldiers of World War I and were reputedly first called "Soldiers' Biscuits" and then "ANZAC Biscuits" after the Gallipoli landing. The recipe was reportedly created to ensure the biscuits would keep well during naval transportation to loved ones who were fighting abroad.

I used Haalo's recipe from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once. The result? Delicious. They're a kind of oatmeal cookie, but the coconut and butter (lots of butter) give them a different flavor. They're plain, simple, and homey -- tastes, I imagine, a soldier far from home would greatly appreciate. And me. And the kids. And Shane.

Haalo's look much prettier than mine -- I just dropped a scoop of dough onto the cookie sheet and smushed it down with my fingers. For a more lovely appearance, follow Haalo's instructions below.

The recipe calls for golden syrup, which I wasn't able to find at Tops, so I substituted a mix of honey and corn syrup. Wegmans does carry it, so the next time I'm there, I'll pick some up and make these again. The cookies (OK, biscuits) are terrific now, but with the added caramelly depth-of-flavor the golden syrup will add, they'll be fantastic.

ANZAC Biscuits

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
2/3 cup raw sugar
¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 Tbsp. golden syrup
8 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. hot water

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together the oats, flour, sugar and coconut. In a saucepan, melt the butter with the golden syrup, mixing well to combine. In a separate bowl or mug, mix the baking soda and hot water together. Add the soda/water mixture into the melted butter mixture, then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir well and scoop out tablespoonfuls of the mix. Roll in your palm then flatten into a rough circle. Place on a baking paper lined tray, leaving space for the biscuits to spread. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until a golden brown. Cool on the tray before placing on wire racks.

Grade: A -


Brilynn said...

I love anzac bickies!
And what a great treat for the class.

Lis said...

That is a great way for kids to discover a new culture. I wish my school would have done things like that when I was a kid! The Anzac "biscuits" look very tasty and I like the rustic look of them as well. Will other mothers cook for the different countries the kids investigate or are you doing all the food making?