Here in Australia, today is ANZAC day. A fact that anyone in Australia or New Zealand or who has ties to this area would know all too well. For those of you in far off lands who might not know, ANZAC day commemorates the day of the first major military action of Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian & New Zealand Army Corps, today is the day that we stop and remember the ANZACs and all that they sacrificed. For more information on ANZAC day and the efforts of the ANZAC soldiers go to the Australian War Memorial Website, which is also where I got the recipe from.
ANZAC biscuits came about because soldiers mothers and partners were concerned about the nutritional quality of the food the soldiers were receiving while away at war. They therefore came up with a biscuit that contained the highest amount of nutritional value they could, while keeping in mind that they would be sent to the soldiers on merchant ships that had no refrigeration. The biscuits also had to be able to last for several months as it took them at least 2 months to reach the soldiers. For these reasons the biscuits didn’t contain eggs to bind them together, using golden syrup or treacle instead.
By todays standards ANZAC biscuits are not really all that healthy. Most people today do not need as much energy as the ANZACs did all those years ago! However, they do contain more fibre than most biscuits do – due to the oats, which also have healthy effects for the heart.
ANZAC Biscuits (Makes approx. 25)
Preheat oven to 180C and grease a couple of biscuit trays. Combine 1C plain flour, 1C sugar, 1C rolled oats & 1C dessicated coconut in a bowl and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl melt together 1/2C butter or margarine & 1-2Tbsp golden syrup (or treacle). Dissolve 1tsp bicarbonate of soda in 2Tbsp boiling water and add to butter mixture. Pour butter mixture over dry ingredients and mix gently to combine. Spoon small dollops of mixture onto the prepared baking trays, leaving plenty of room for spreading. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes (If you like them soft and chewy like I do – the untraditional way – cook for no longer than 15 minutes, if you like them crunchy and traditional-like, cook them for 20 minutes). Allow to cool on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Can be stored in airtight tins for a very long time!