Anzac Biscuit

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This Saturday is Anzac Day. A day to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I.

I still remember one of the very first job in my career years is to build the Australians at War website for the documentary series broadcasted on ABC back in 2001. (Look! My name is on the credits!) My task was to build the interactive side in Flash, back in year 2000. Have to say I am quite proud of the effort and how it turned out despite that flash development was still pretty new in the cyberworld nine years ago.

That’s nine years ago, I don’t make any war websites to commemorate the Anzac Day anymore; instead like a good ole foodblogging trooper, we make Anzac Biscuits.

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For those who don’t know what Anzac Biscuit is – Anzac Biscuit is a sweet eggless biscuit with rolled oats as the basis of the recipe. It is biscuits issued to soldiers by the Army referred to as ANZAC tiles or ANZAC wafers differed from the popular ANZAC biscuit. ANZAC tiles and wafers were hard tack, a bread substitute, which had a long shelf life and was very hard; so the biscuits kept well during naval transportation to loved ones who were fighting abroad.

Of course the Anzac Biscuits these days doesn’t have to be hard and have long shelf life. The recipe evolved after so many years and the Anzac Biscuits these days are crunchy on the outside, with a chewy center. It has become a well-loved biscuit by many Australians.

I decided to bake my own Anzac biscuit this year. Even though it cost more to make the biscuits myself, but they definitely taste so much better than those in the supermarket. It is very easy to make and tasty, I can’t see why shouldn’t you give it a go and make some of this biscuit on the Anzac day this Saturday.

Here’s the basic recipe that I revised for my own version. As I don’t have golden syrup, so I substituted with honey which probably taste better than the syrup in my opinion. And I want it to be more chewy and oat-y, so I added more oat into the recipe. So what are you doing this Saturday? Pay tribute at the morning service? Play two-up at the local water hole? or bake yourself some yummy chewy anzac biscuits?

Ingredients (yield 15 biscuits)
1 cup (150g) self raising flour
1½ cup (130g) rolled oats
1 cup (85g) Ward McKenzie desiccated coconut
3/4 cup (155g) brown sugar
150g butter
2 tbs honey (you can use golden syrup)

Tip: If you don’t have self raising flour, just use 1 cup of plain flour, then add 1 tsp of baking soda into the honey, butter mixture before pouring into the dry ingredients.

Tip 2: Please don’t try to put any whacky ingredients and ruin a good traditional recipe!

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

2. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the oats, coconut and brown sugar.

3. Put the butter, honey and 2 tbs water in a small saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until melted.

4. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.

5. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls about the size of golf balls. Flatten it slightly between palms almost resembles the size of a tennis ball. Place on the trays, about 5cm apart.

6. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

7. The biscuit will rise a little once baked. Use a spatula to flatten it slightly again. It the edges crumbles, push it back into biscuit and let it stick together. Once cool, it will harden and become one piece again.

8. Set aside on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack so it cools completely.

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