*Plateful and this recipe was spotlighted on Foodbuzz daily featured (12.10.11). Here's the extract: Today's Foodbuzz Featured: Plateful and ANZAC Biscuits. Seriously gorgeous photos! Take a look: http://ow.ly/6VxUe*
The weather has taken a turn for gorgeousness after the torrid summer heat. Although this seasonal change is not marked by glorious colors of the fall foliage here in the Gulf, it’s hard not to miss the other signs from nature. The afternoons are balmy and more summer like and the evenings pleasant with crisp breeze. Even more amazing is to notice how incredibly quickly and early the night falls. Fall is a season of change, and oh so beautiful.
It’s a beautiful morning. As usual, the kids are at school, hubby is out of town on business and I’m sitting by my desk with a cuppa and a crunchy bite, staring at the screen. This’s what happens when I have a lot of alone time—brooding. Hmm, did you know that “loneliness is associated with increased risk of heart disease, higher rates of inflammatory disease, and diminished immune function?” At least that’s what I got to read while lazing around the web. So what do you do when your day starts off wrong and you feel lousy?
Stop. Reboot. Start over. That’s what I do.
What better way to rid of the doldrums than baking a treat? That’s what I did the other day when things were just going wrong. A little bit melting, mixing and a sniff of wonderful aroma from the oven—voila, I had a delicious crunchy-chewy treat to go with a cuppa—the iconic Anzac bikkies. From the baking to the styling, shooting and then sharing the goodies with my best friend Shaily and a few of my other lovely neighbors, it was extremely rewarding. Suddenly I was all smiles and positive energy, chatting up with my neighbors and basking in the glory of their generous compliments.
These yummy bites were a hit, far more successful than I’d anticipated. The last time I baked Anzac was just before Ramadan. I baked, styled, clicked and left it in my draft with the intention of sharing the recipe with you. But, hmm. This time too I couldn’t help clicking away. There’s so much pleasure associated with trying to frame the ideas bubbling in my mind, I’m totally fascinated.
This is a surprisingly simple recipe for a delicious wholegrain treat. The biscuits are made with rolled oats, golden syrup, desiccated coconut, butter, flour, bi-carbonate of soda and light brown sugar. With the holiday season in tow, bake them and stash them in a tin to enjoy with a cuppa on a lazy afternoon. Oats, the superstar of wholegrains, take away some guilt from biting into these little nibbles of pleasure. The fact that no eggs are used is also a plus.
A bit of history digging and I found that these biscuits were initially called soldiers biscuits and they were developed by anxious Aussie women for the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) serving in Gallipoli during World War I. The ingredients were chosen mindfully for their high nutritional value as well as shelf life, so the use of oats and omission of eggs.
Okay, I don’t want to do the overkill with history lessons. Too much history bores me, at least it did in school. Lol.
I’ve been using this recipe for a while now and it’s always a favorite. Let me share a few pointers for complete success. Don’t use quick cooking oats, it soaks up the liquid leaving the mixture difficult to manage. Use rolled oats. I made it this time with organic jumbo oatflakes and loved the texture better than the other oats—I’ll use this from now on. If the mixture is still too dry to handle, add a few drops of water. The most important point to note is the baking time. Depending on how your oven behaves, adjust the time by a few minutes so that the biscuits are cooked and browned but still soft (not crisp and dry) out of the oven. They firm up as they cool.
Let’s dodge into the recipe, shall we?
(Recipe source: The Australian Women’s Weekly Macroons & Biscuits)
makes 28. prep + cook time 20 minutes
makes 28. prep + cook time 20 minutes
125g (4 ounce) butter, chopped
2 tablespoons golden syrup or treacle
1 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 cup (220g) firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup (40g) desiccated coconut
1 cup (90g) rolled oats (I used jumbo organic oatflakes by Infinity Foods)
1 cup (150g) plain flour (all-purpose flour)
Preheat oven to 160oC/325oF. Line oven tray with non-stick baking parchment. Melt the butter, syrup and water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat, then stir in soda.
Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients—sugar, oats, coconut, flour—in a large bowl using a fork. Pour in the melted butter mixture, stir with a fork and then use your hands to bring the mixture together. Add a bit more water if the mixture is too dry to hold together.
Roll tablespoon of mixture into balls, place about 5cm (2 inches) apart on trays and flatten slightly with the back of a measuring cup. Bake about 15-20 minutes or until coked and golden, but still soft (mine got done in 16 minutes). Cool on trays for 3 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Note that the biscuit should still feel soft when cooked; they will firm up as they cool. Again, do not cook them for too long as they tend to become crisp and dry quite easily.
Biscuits store in an airtight container for up to a week.
In between all the pouring of thoughts, writing the recipe and cooking, how quickly time passed. The kids returned from school and were thrilled to see their favorite prawn roast for lunch. Okay, it's time to stop my rambles and put on the kettle for a cup of tea, then perhaps I'll go for a walk to enjoy this glorious weather.