April 25, 2007

One of NZ Famous Fours: Anzac Biscuits

My first bite of the biscuits was at my Mum-in-law's servery where we were all gathering for an afternoon tea. The biscuits were soft and were less sweet. Later then I found that there are many recipes to make Anzac biscuits and none of them has the very original formula. I mean who invented this biscuits which is named after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) and what's the exact measurement of ingredients, I would never know. At the past, they are made and sent to the Anzac troops in Europe during WW I by grandmothers, mother, sisters, or sweethearts which then could be dunked in tea or coffee—a habit my Dad-in-law still keeps doing until this very day.

I have tried many recipes and come to experience the different results coming from different resources. There are some version with softer texture, some were sweeter and chewy, and others are in between. The biscuits sold in the supermarket tend to be hard. Perhaps that's why the soldiers need (or like) to dunk it into their drink.

There are some recipes I have tried using same ingredients: flour, rolled-oats, coconut, a pinch of salt, sugar, golden syrup, baking soda, boiling water. Some people may add chopped dried fruits or dip the baked biscuits in cooking chocolate are just more personal taste.

I think when you use less sugar and increase the golden syrup instead, then your texture will become softer than those which use both at more or less equivalent measurement. And when you use more white sugar than golden syrup, you may end up liking the finished product of hard and crispy biscuits. Sometimes adding more water will cause different texture which can be softer and will spread larger. I once substitute the golden syrup with treacle which probably responsible to the darker finished. I like to come to my own version though: crumbly, lots of coconut, not too sweet, not too soft, and up to now, to my surprise, I haven't come to the same results, slightly similar with the previous ones. So, you play the texture by simply playing with the ingredients. Another thought: perhaps it's the mood which can take you to another level of satisfaction, but hey like I said there's no original formula as it's only the matter of one's taste (and mood).

To this very day: let's make peace and no more war.

Arfi's Anzac Biscuits

1 cup plain flour,
1 cup rolled-oats,
1 ½ cups desiccated coconut,
½ cup white sugar,
a pinch of salt,
3 Tbs golden syrup,
120g unsalted butter,
1 tsp baking soda,
2 ½ Tbs boiling water

Preheat the oven to 170C. Put the flour, oat, coconut, sugar in a bowl. Melt the butter and golden syrup in a saucepan. Mix the baking soda with boiling water, then add it quickly into the mixture of butter and golden syrup, and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined and roll into balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly on the baking tray, then remove to cool completely on the wire rack. Store in an airtight container.


Chris said...

Lovely post, Arfi. And a recipe to match!

Arfi Binsted said...

Thanks, Chris.