Sunday, 15 April 2012

ANZAC Biscuits

ANZAC Biscuits - for my kiwi mommy

My mom made a baking request this weekend and, seeing as she is my most devoted blog follower, my most blindly-positive and over-encouraging taste tester, and my biggest, most committed fan, I couldn't really say no. 

So I was handed the New Zealand baking bible, a book so staple to a kiwi kitchen it is has been iconized in art and commemorated through history. 

Seriously, check it out. It's a big deal. 

And we've had this copy in our kitchen for as long as I can remember, and likely before then too. 

When I was a kid my mom said she would help me make anything from this cookbook that I wanted and, from a wide and comprehensive selection of succulents deserts to savoury meals, I chose mayonnaise. 

Don't ask my why. I was such a strange kid. And it ended up tasting horrible.

I was crushed. 

Anyway, this time I was directed to something much less peculiar. The cookies mom wanted are even more of a definition of Kiwi culture (arguably) than Edmond's cookbook: ANZAC Biscuits.

These cookies are Basic, with a capital B. They were created in 1915 for the purpose of sending to NZ and Aussie soldiers oversees. 

They contain no eggs or milk so they last forever and they are made with only a handful of ingredients, which made them ideal for the wartime ration periods. 

Since then a lot has changed, but these cookies have not! The recipe literally is the same thing. 

Simple, simple, simple.

If you haven't noticed, that isn't really my baking style!

No layers, no caramel, no sweet surprise hiding in the centre of this treat. But I wanted to make my mom happy so I set to work and, as expected, it wasn't really that much fun! 

Except for this part - the making a well in the flour/oats/coconut and pouring the butter in. 

Yup, that was kind of fun. 

But the good thing about these boring cookies is that there isn't anything that can go wrong. which is really good for me, because I have a tendency to make burn things, misread instructions, forget key steps, and forget the recipe and just do it freestyle.

Not the case with these cookies. I could not have forgotten something if I had tried to.

The result: the cookie ended up tasting just as my mom had hoped. 

Allllllriiiiight, so it was worth it. 

I would also like to point out that the recipe calls for rolled oats. My pony club knowledge tells me that what I put in was crushed oats. 

Do supermarkets even sell rolled oats?

Definitely war time stuff. 

And horse food. 

ANZAC Biscuit Recipe 
(a variation of the one from Edmund's)

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup "rolled" oat
1 cup desiccated coconut
5 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Corn Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

Mix together flour, sugar, oats and coconut. 
Melt butter and corn syrup. 
Dissolved Baking Soda in 2 tablespoons of boiling water and add the melted butter and corn syrup. 
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients. Fold together and then spoon out onto a greased tray. 

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 350 F. 

And the day ends with a tin full of these classic biscuits and a happy mama. 

Not too bad. 

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