Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Anzac Biscuits

This week I am bringing you a very special recipe, given to me by my future father-in-law, that is full of sugar, stories and sweetness. Being a fellow craftsman in the kitchen I knew his recipe would be a keeper, but what I didn't know was that the story behind these cookies would be a recipe of wisdom in itself.

The Anzac biscuit might be a mystery to us Americans, but it's history to those with roots in Australia and New Zealand. This treat dates back to 1915 when the wives of soldiers in World War I made these cookies for their husbands to take on the road with them for sustenance (to read more about the meaning of Anzac Day and the story behind these treats, click here). What once started out as simple biscuit whose only function was a long shelf life, has now crossed generations to remain a sweet staple that not only tastes good but also delivers a piece of the past with every crunchy bite.

This biscuit is chock full of everything we love in the average cookie - oatmeal, coconut, butter and sugar - so read up, bake up and eat up this special new treat.

1 cup rolled oats (not the instant variety)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup coconut
1 tablespoon golden syrup (this ingredient is a bit hard to find...you can check your local grocery, order it over the internet or substitute it with light corn syrup and molasses in a 2 to 1 ratio)
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
1. In a large bowl, mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut together - set aside
2. In a small sauce pan, melt butter and golden syrup together
3. While the butter mixture is melting, mix together boiling water and baking soda in a separate bowl
4. When butter mixture is melted, add the baking soda mixture and stir
5. Combine wet mixture with the dry ingredients by slowly pouring over the top of the dry mixture
6. Stir together with fork
7. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto greased or parchment lined cookie sheets about two inches apart (cookies will spread almost flat)
8. Bake in oven at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes
9. Cool on tray for a few minutes, then remove to cooling racks until transferring to air tight containers