Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lest We Forget

Today in Australia, we honour those members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC's), who fought in World War I and II. For me, this particular ANZAC day is made all the more solemn, as it is the first since my Grandad passed away. For as long as I can remember, our family has spent the day watching him march with his batallion, medals hanging from his chest. This was always followed by drinks, lunch and laughs at the nearest RSL (Returned and Services League). While it was the same ritual every year, it was exactly that, a ritual. And now I find myself sitting here, missing every moment. My Grandad, Wally, fought in World War II at the tender age of 18. When I think back to when I was 18, I cannot fathom walking a mile in those soldiers' shoes. Bravery. Mateship. Lest we forget.

ANZAC biscuits are what childhood memories are made of. They are such an iconic Australian biscuit, that I wonder why they aren't more readily available. It only seems to be in recent years that they have slowly disappeared. When I was growing up, at the local cafe there would always be a jar of ANZAC biscuits next to the Smartie cookies and melting moments. The perfect ANZAC biscuit differs with each person; some like them chewy, while others like them crisp and crunchy. I fall into the latter category.

ANZAC biscuits were first invented during World War I. The soldiers were given 'biscuits' which fondly became known as 'tiles' because they were so hard and tasteless. Loved ones back home made it their number one priority to make a delicious biscuit that would withstand months travelling by ship and wouldn't spoil. The ANZAC biscuit is the end result.

ANZAC Biscuits

(recipe from Bills Sydney Food by Bill Grainger)
Makes 25 cookies

1 cup plain all-purpose flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
125g unsalted butter
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 Tbsp boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Place flour, coconut, sugar and oats in a bowl. Mix well.

2. Place butter and golden syrup in a saucepan over medium heat and melt.

3. Place bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl and add hot water. Stir to combine. Add bicarbonate mixture to saucepan and stir. Pour over oat mixture and stir all ingredients together.

4. Roll teaspoons of biscuit mixture into balls and place on a greased and lined baking tray, leaving room for spreading. Flatten each ball gently with a fork.

5. Bake biscuits for 15 - 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown at the edges. The centers will be slightly soft but will harden when cooled. Allow biscuit to cool slightly on trays before transferring to a wire rack.

6. Store in air-tight containers.


Jo said...

I made these not long ago and it's a great recipe. I thoroughly enjoyed the biscuits.

Barbara said...

I'll bet your Grandad did march today, only in a different place. With his head held high and in the company of his mates who passed on before him.

Anonymous said...

Love the styling and I don't know anyone that would knock back an Anzac biscuit! It's so much more touching given you have a personal connection with them. I'm sure he would be proud of your tribute.

Bria said...

Yes, these ANZAC biscuits were really yummy! Thanks everyone.