If you’re Aussie or a Kiwi, ANZAC day is a big deal. April 25th is a day Australians and Kiwis alike celebrate the sacrifices of our armed services, past and present. It’s a humbling day, but also a day of celebration. Here’s what Wikipedia says about it:
Anzac Day /ˈænzæk/ is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.” Originally 25 April every year was to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.
To me it’s a day of ANZAC ceremonies at dawn, bugle calls, games of 2 up at the pub and most importantly ANZAC biscuits.
My high school had been around for over a 100 years by the time I turned up. This meant that some of our old boys had served in the Great War. To mark their deaths, the school had planted a memorial forest on the farm. Our ANZAC ceremonies were often held there, weather permitting. Now ANZAC Day usually fell in the school holidays so sometime we’d have the ceremony after the holidays and more often then not before. This meant that we’d catch some of the blistering heat, still present at the beginning of April. Our school school cadets had the dubious honour of standing guard at these events. While we sat, somewhat shaded by the memorial forest, the cadets, dressed in their gear would stand, head bowed, holding heavy guns. It wasn’t long before they started to fade, and by fade I mean faint. Many a cadet would fall victim to the unforgiving heat.
History says that the original ANZAC biscuits were made by wives at home to send to their men on the front as the ingredients contained did not spoil easily. This means that once made, these babies will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Browned butter just adds a little extra depth to this already amazing biscuit.
On this special day LEST WE FORGET.
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 brown, 1/2 white)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
- 150g butter
- a pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (add a little more water if mixture is too dry)
Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).
Place the oats, flour, sugars and coconut in a bowl and mix to combine.
Place the golden syrup and butter in a saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until melted. Once melted cook the mixture until the butter has “browned”. It will go from lovely golden to lovely caramel brown. Don’t be alarmed by the bits at the bottom, that’s normal. The mixture should smell nutty and buttery… oh and delicious.
Combine the bicarbonate of soda with the water and add to the butter mixture. The mixture will froth and foam. Again, perfectly normal.
Pour into the oat mixture and mix well to combine. If the mixture is a little dry at this point, add a some more water.
Place tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper, allowing room to spread. Flatten the biscuits out a little. (I forgot to do this, but went back and flattened them with a spatula)
Bake for 8–10 minutes or until deep golden. Allow to cool on baking trays for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Notes: If you like your biscuits chewy, make all the sugar white. If you prefer a crunchy, crisp texture, stick to brown. I’m undecided so I went half/half.