I love Anzac biscuits. Apparently they were made for the Australian and New Zealand troops overseas in WW1 because they kept really well, containing no milk or egg.
A friend posted a link to the New Zealand Women’s Weekly recipe earlier this week, so I thought I’d have a go and see how they turned out. Well, they tasted yummy, but were nothing like the Anzac biscuits of my childhood. They were also nothing like the picture on the NZWW’s website. (I am intrigued as to how they managed to make theirs so perfect and circular…)
I knew I had to consult an expert. My mum is the one who taught me how to bake, and would let me loose in her kitchen on Saturday mornings. Sometimes there were several of us kids in there, creating foodie
magic chaos. Occasionally, things didn’t work out quite like we expected, like the chocolate fudge that never set and had to become chocolate sauce for ice-cream.
Mum and I discussed the NZWW recipe. “Too many rolled oats”, she reckoned. And she passed on the recipe she got from her mum, my Nanna, who I figure is more of an authority than the NZ Women’s Weekly in this case, as she was alive when the ANZACs landed at Gallipoli.
Nanna’s Anzac Biscuits
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup coconut
1 tsp baking soda
2 tablespoons cold water (I used hot water)
1 tablespoon golden syrup
4 oz (113g) butter
Mix flour, sugar, oats and coconut in a bowl. Dissolve baking soda in water. Melt golden syrup and butter. Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix well. Form into balls and place on greased tray, allowing some room for the biscuits to spread while baking. Bake about 15 minutes in 180C oven till brown. Cool on tray for a few minutes, then place on wire rack to finish cooling.
Anzac biscuits – recipe from my Nanna, Jean McGonnell
These turned out lovely!
My mum also suggested Alison Holst’s recipe which is similar, and good if you want a slightly less buttery tasting biscuit.
So, what is the real history surrounding the Anzac biscuit? Fiona Rae in the New Zealand Listener has delved into the magazine’s archives and shares (the awesome) Lois Daish’s investigations into this humble Antipodean treat, along with three more recipes to try.
Let me know if you have a fab recipe you want to share!
Family Recipe Friday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.