Today we celebrate the Anzac landing at Gallipoli in 1915. It is a day to remember all those who served and lost their lives in the wars or during peacekeeping operations. It is a day of reflection.
I find myself following in my Mother’s foot steps and I make a batch of Anzac biscuits this day each year. I am a ‘chewy’ Anzac biscuit kind-a girl and that is exactly what this recipe gives. I wanted to explore though why we bake these biscuits on Anzac day. What do they symbolise in terms of our soldiers in war times? Well, it turns out the soldiers carried with them a biscuit called a hard tac biscuit (or Anzac wafer). These biscuits were incredibly tough on the teeth and were a substitute for bread given bread was not easy to come by. They had a very long shelf life as they contained no egg or dairy and required no refrigeration. Soldiers carried these biscuits in their ration packs and some soldiers used to break up or grate the hard tack to make a porridge by simply adding water or powdered milk and I guess perhaps this is the reason why oats are added today.
I think you are either a chewy Anzac biscuit kind-a girl or you prefer the flatter and crunchier kind. I am most definitely in favour of the chewy Anzac and so here is my recipe to share with you that always delights as is not over the top with the acidic taste from the bicarbonate soda like some recipes can be.
Anzac Day is a day to acknowledge those who suffered and still suffer from the effects of war. A day to remember the strength of the human spirit and the value of mateship, but above all else, it is a time to remember those who have fallen.
Lest we forget.
Anzac biscuits (the chewy kind)
This makes exactly 21 biscuits for me each time – not very conventional but true !
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup dessicated coconut
220g caster sugar
2 tbs golden syrup
1.5 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1-2 tablespoons hot water
Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
Line 2-3 baking trays with baking paper.
Sift flour into a large bowl, add the oats, coconut and sugar. Stir together without over mixing.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and golden syrup together over a medium heat until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda. The liquid will and should froth up as the acid from the bicarbonate of soda chemically reacts to another acid – in this case, it is the golden syrup.
Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined. You will need to add 1-2 tablespoons hot water to bring the mix together.
Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on trays about 5cm apart (to allow for them spreading). Press with a fork lightly to flatten slightly.
Bake for 15-20 mins or until lightly golden brown. (If they are too brown, they will become hard and not-chewy when cold.)
Remove from oven and allow to stand on trays for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
These will store well in an airtight container.