How could I not? It's Anzac Day here in Australia, the public holiday to commemorate the landing of the troops in Gallipoli. I honestly was going to have a blog break today (as you'll find I normally do on public holidays and weekends). I had my biscuit bonanza recently, but failed to include Anzacs in that rotation. It was only fair I pulled up my socks today and whipped up a batch of Australia's national biscuit.
These biscuits find their origins in World War I. Anzac (or Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, the group of soldiers that landed in Gallipoli) were, it's safe to say, pretty far from the creature comforts of home while fighting in Turkey during the war. The women knew little food sent over would remain edible after around two months in a ship at sea. So rather than using eggs or milk, they bound the biscuits with golden syrup. Oats and coconut were fairly nutritious and flour and sugar would not spoil.
Australians enjoy the biscuit all year round, but particularly on April 25 for Anzac Day. This is my Mum's recipe. We'd float into the kitchen on the treacly smell and find the hot biscuits cooling on newspaper. We'd pinch as many as our greedy little hands could manage, the biscuits leaving darkened rounds on the paper where the steam had set in. Mum would shoo us out: the biscuits were usually for some kind of church fete or shearers. Those shearers got all the good stuff; I'm surprised bent over a sheep with pair of clippers today (most of my life choices are guided by my belly).
Apparently the sign of a good Anzac is in its crispness. I have to say, I'm the opposite. I love them straight out of the oven when they're still soft and pliable. The melt into your mouth and that golden syrup: just wow. I'm growing more partial to them as I get older. I imagine that, at this rate, when I'm in a nursing home they're have to liquidize them for me.
This isn't the last you'll see of Anzacs. Tomorrow, I make an interesting little cake from these babies. You won't regret popping back for a visit. But I predict your bathroom scales will: it's totally outrageous. But until then, enjoy the simplicity of these biscuits. They're totally worth it.
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line a baking sheet with paper.
Combine flour, sugar, coconut and oats in a mixing bowl. Heat the butter and golden syrup over low heat until all the butter melts. Combine the baking soda and 2 tbsp water and pour into the melted butter. It will foam up. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
Roll into balls and place around 5 cm apart (these babies spread). Bake for around 15-20 minutes or until deep golden in colour.