Strewth! Happy ANZAC Day to all of my Aussie and Kiwi readers and friends! This Saturday, April 25th is a much-beloved public holiday for those DownUnder. The official description, according to the Australian High Commission in Canada‘s website:
“ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces on 25 April 1915 in Gallipoli, Turkey. The anniversary is commemorated annually in Australia, New Zealand and in many countries around the world.“
This year is the ANZAC Centenary celebration (100th anniversary), so it’s a pretty big deal. From what I understand, ANZAC Day, when falling on a weekend day, is celebrated by the younger crowd by having quite a “rave-up” (i.e. getting very, very drunk)…not that any of my Aussie friends ever need a reason to do that!
I wonder how many patriotic Australians will be nursing heavy heads on Monday morning and trying to “chuck a sickie”, what we would refer to as booking a sick day? Since it’s a national holiday, that could mean pretty much all of Australia would be on sick leave that day…hmmm…
In any case, back to the baking! ANZAC biscuits, contrary to popular belief, were not a “hard-tack” bread substitute in the traditional Australian soldier’s mess kit, but in fact this sweet cookie was baked by the wives and families of those soldiers in World War I to be sent to the soldiers in care packages, as well as be served at galas, fundraisers, and other celebrations on behalf of the war effort. Notably, this cookie does not contain eggs in the traditional recipe, for two reasons; 1) most of the poultry farmers had left to join the armed forces and therefore eggs were scarce, and 2) omitting eggs helped increase long shelf life for the voyage overseas to the soldiers.
These cookies (which must legally be called ANZAC biscuits), are a bit plain and overly crunchy for my taste, but they are a great favourite of Australians and New Zealanders; if you have a friend who hails from DownUnder and you want to do something nice, whip up a batch of these and try to get them to sing the Australian National Anthem for a bickie!
**UPDATE: The recipient of these cookies this past Saturday was “well chuffed” (meaning he was thrilled), and gave them out hither, thither and yon the day he received them, with many rave reviews. So even if they’re not quite to my preference (I’m a chocoholic kinda girl), the recipe is a solid one, and I’d make it again…at least for my Aussie friends…heh…**
Original Source: Taste.com.au
Yield: about 26
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1 cup rolled oats (do not use instant oats)
- 1 cup dessicated coconut
- ½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter
- 2 tbsp golden syrup*
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
- Combine flour, oats, coconut and combined sugar in a large bowl.
- Stir the butter, golden syrup and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the baking soda. Add to the oat mixture and stir until well combined.
- Roll level tablespoonfuls of the oat mixture into balls and place, about 5cm apart, on the prepared trays. Flatten until about 1cm thick.
- Bake, rotating trays halfway through cooking, for 15 minutes or until light golden. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
If you can’t find any Golden Syrup, then substitute for golden corn syrup (if you absolutely must…).
So again, Happy ANZAC Day to all who celebrate/commemorate this holiday, and until we meet again…cheers, mate!