The Biscuit of a Nation – ANZAC Biscuits

I wrote this post 2 years ago, way back when I only had a handful of people following my blog…and that handful were all family! So, for this poignant day in Australia’s history, I’m doing a repost again (I reposted it last year as well – why rewrite what’s already fine) to a substantially bigger amount of inboxes!!

It’s not about art, school holidays can do that to a mum that paints…but it is a goodie.

As we head into ANZAC day, I wish you and yours happy munching on freshly baked biscuits, with thoughts for our fallen soldiers. Enjoy. ANZAC Day – 25th April – is without doubt Australia’s most important national occasion. It is the day we mark the anniversary of one of the first and most bloody military actions by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps of the 1st World War, when the ANZACs landed on Gallipoli and suffered such horrendous loss at the hands of the Turkish defenders. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers were killed during this 8 month campaign.

This loss and the news of the Gallipoli campaign had a profound impact on the Australian people. The 25th of April soon became the day on which Australians remember the sacrifice of those who died in the war, which was numbered at 60,000.

It became a national public holiday in 1927 and now has many rituals associated with the day – Dawn vigils (it was dawn when the first soldiers landed and were slaughtered on the beaches of Gallipoli), marches and memorial services.

On a more personal level, Anzac day has become a day for family reunions, neighbourhood gatherings, BBQ breakfasts and the greatest culinary memorial – The baking of the ANZAC biscuit. ANZAC biscuits stand for something more than just a good cookie – they stand for the founding of a nation, the landing of our soldiers at Gallipoli, the ANZAC legend and for the powerful link to a woman’s role on the home front.

ANZAC biscuits have become one of the most enduring forms of public memory and have become firmly embedded in Australian traditions and culture. It is said that they are the recipe of the Australian woman; the mothers, daughters, sisters of the soldiers and possibly developed from a Scottish oatcake recipe. They do not contain egg which is similar to the oatcake, but the Australian originality is the use of golden syrup. Egg was not included to keep the biscuits fresh on the long journey to Gallipoli and the Western Front. The packages of biscuits took several months to arrive and with the inclusion of the golden syrup as a binder, their freshness could be maintained over many, many months it took them to reach the soldiers .Oats were used to make a biscuit with as much nutritional value as possible, that was easy to make, economical and tasty and would survive the long journey.

Anzac biscuits are a powerful reminder of our past and a link through the generations. They are the perfect biscuit for Dude and the girls upon arriving home from the Kings Park dawn service that Dude takes the girls to each year (Daddy/ Daughter tradition and a 4.45am get up!)). Even though they are a more historic bake for the 25th of April, they are an all year bake in our house. My girls love them and they are a regular biscuit in my baking routine.

All the original motivations are still there for making these biscuits…they travel well in a lunch box and have better nutritional value than some biscuits, to give my girls energy for their busy day. And they taste amazing!

Enjoy! Mia x

Thermomixer Anzac Biscuits: from the Thermomixer ‘Everyday cooking’ recipe book: (I doubled the quantity – Makes approx. 45 biscuits)

240g Butter

200g Golden syrup

2 tsp Bicarb soda

200g rolled oats

300g Plain flour

150g Raw sugar

150g Dark Brown sugar

100g Desiccated coconut

Pre – heat oven to 160 degrees celcius. Line biscuit tray with baking paper.

Place butter and golden syrup in TM bowl. Heat for 3 minutes – 60 C / speed 2 until fully dissolved. Place Bicarb soda into bowl and mix for 5 secs on speed 3.

Add remaining ingredients, set dial to closed lid position and mix for 30 -35 seconds/ interval speed. use a spatula to help incorporate the ingredients. Repeat 2 or 3 times until it mixes. (Because of doubling the recipe it is quite thick.)

Place tablespoons of mixture onto 3 lined trays and flatten slightly. Leave space for spreading.

Bake 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool fully.

No Thermomixer – No worries:

Melt butter and golden syrup in a medium-sized pot over medium heat until fully dissolved. Add in bicarb soda – stir until mixed.

Add in remaining ingredients – stirring until combined.

Follow instructions above to place mixture onto biscuit tray and bake.

Easy!! Enjoy!

Mia x

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