Recipe: Anzac biscuits

Anzac biscuits

Makes: approximately 20

Prep time: 10-15 mins

Cooking time: 20-25 mins

Bake at: Gas Mark 4 / Electric Oven 180C / Fan Oven 160C

Ingredients

115g (4oz) plain flour, (ideally sieved)

115g (4oz) caster sugar

80g (3oz) rolled oats

80g (3oz) desiccated coconut

115g (4oz) butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 tablespoons of boiling water

Notes

Apparently these biscuits were made to be sent to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (hence ‘Anzacs’) when serving in Gallipoli in WW1.

This is a childhood favourite. I remember Mum making big trays of these (and me happily crunching away on the hardest/crunchiest/slightly burned ones from the sides). I think that ‘melting method’ cakes/biscuits are the most fun to make – melting butter and syrup in a saucepan smells lovely, and you avoid having butter and flour stuck to your hands for ages (as can be the case with ‘rubbing in’ method recipes).

I tend not to make these as individual biscuits anymore, as Mr E. prefers them slightly softer and chewier, as produced when cook them like flapjacks (in a baking tray). I will always at least double, if not triple the quantities used in the basic recipe as the biscuits are very, very moreish.

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix together the flour, caster sugar, oats and coconut.
  2. Melt the butter and golden syrup together in a large saucepan (yes, a large one, – see step 3!).
  3. Dissolve the bicarb in boiling water and then stir into the melted butter. (The mixture will bubble and expand – if your saucepan is too small, beware….)
  4. Pour the melted mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring well to combine.
  5. If making individual biscuits, place dessertspoonfuls of the mixture onto greased baking sheets/ sheets lined with greaseproof paper. If you would like to cook them like flapjacks, find a large baking tray, line with greaseproof paper and half-fill with mixture. (Make sure that the baking tray is at least ¾ inch deep. The mixture does expand – and you don’t want the Anzac mixture to end up on the bottom of the oven…. Of course that has never happened to me … oh no…).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes (if biscuits), probably 30-35 minutes (if like flapjacks). The mixture will likely still be a little soft when it comes out of the oven – don’t worry, as it will firm up as it cools.
  7. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool.

Like most of my regularly-made cake recipes this is taken (and lightly adapted) from “Best Kept Secrets of the Women’s Institute – Cakes and Biscuits”.

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