Friday, 24 April 2015

Anzac Day Soldier Biscuits

A beautiful biscuit this week in honour of Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand. And while Down Under, Australia and New Zealand are into autumn (which where I lived in South Australia doesn't look any different to any other time in the year), my little garden here in Norfolk is blooming! 

If we look out of the window, there are great things happening...

Such beauty coming to life....

Why does Checkmate always look as though he has been caught doing something wrong?

Maybe it is a mistake to look outside when the day is so perfect...

Actually, one more thing before I get down off the soap box...I get REALLY fed up with people always going on about the terrible English weather! It is just wonderful actually. We get some rain which keeps things green (no bushfires either, or snakes) and we get some snow which has to be expected. The rest of the year we get some beautiful clear sunny days with birdsong and flowers. I was never a fan of the Australian weather - the year we left, the temperatures did not fall below 46 degrees Celsius for a week!

The walks in the forest are lovely too and our sandy beaches (here in Norfolk anyway) are wonderful for walking for miles. Rant over and thank you for listening!

Before we get on with the topic of the day, I would like to claim bragging rights on another cover. This time it is in the beautiful Sewing World magazine in the UK and thank you so much to the lovely Julie who is the editor who made it happen. 

That's my cushion right there! It was super fun to make and is so easy. Brings summer into the room.

But back to business. First of all, what is Anzac day exactly? Anzac, or properly ANZAC stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corps and the name forever bonds Australians with their New Zealand neighbours. It is a proud tradition and a day which is celebrated on the 25th April each year with private celebrations and a march of old soldiers down the main street of the towns. It is a time to polish the  medals and very old soldiers are so proud to take part,

Anzac day itself marks the anniversary of the first battle fought together by the Australian and New Zealand troops in the First World War. After having lived in Australia for forty years of my life, I think that I would be justified in saying that the day is dearer to the locals than the official national day, Australia Day which is celebrated with altogether less pomp and ceremony on the 26th of January each year.

I was looking through my grandmother's very old recipe book (from which she taught me to cook) and I found a recipe for Soldier Biscuits. Elsewhere in Australia they are known simply as Anzac Biscuits.The recipe differs slightly from time to time but the essentials are pretty much the same. Anyway, I would like to share my Nana's recipe which is out of this world and easy to make too.
Here is the book itself....

It is very fragile now with age and use.

And here are those biscuits.....

Such golden deliciousness and they will make your house smell divine indeed.

So let's get baking!

1 cup rolled oats
125g butter
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup
1 cup flour
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 tablespoon boiling water

You don't need any special equipment, only a mixing bowl, a saucepan and a tray plus the usual measuring things that you normally use.

Here's how:

Step 1- Place the dry ingredients into your bowl (oats, sugar, flour and coconut).

Step 2- Place the butter and golden syrup into a saucepan and melt gently.

Step 3- Working quite quickly, mix the bicarb soda with the freshly boiled water and then put it into the melted butter and syrup.

Step 4- Stir this magical concoction quickly into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until combined. 

TIP: it is useful, if it feels as though it is too dry, to use your hands like mixing a pastry. this will help it to come together.

Step 5- Place just-a-bit-bigger-than-walnut sized amounts onto a baking paper lined tray, leaving room for spreading as they cook.

Step 6-Cook until golden brown in a moderate oven. Keep an eye on them so that they don't over cook.

Step 7- Cool on trays (they can be a bit of a trial to handle when they are too warm) and then enjoy!

By the way, they will be soft until they are fully cooled and then they are quite crisp and crunchy. The next day (if they make it that long) they will be back to a softness as you would find in a certain sandwich chain. They are still yum.

And our old soldiers? Forever. We will remember them.

Love and hugs
Debbie xxx