October 10, 2011

Anzac Biscuits — syrupy, chewy, crunchy Aussie classic; eggless too

*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?
Anzac Biscuits

(Recipe source: The Australian Women’s Weekly Macroons & Biscuits)

Ingredients
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)

Directions

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.

53 comments:

  1. Lovely clicks,with the cutest props,biscuit recipe sounds very nice!

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  2. crispy and mouthwatering cookies , stunning clicks and great presentation i every pic

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  3. Hi...you back with a bang...The cookies look beautiful and delicious...awesome clicks...lovely presentation and props

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  4. gorgeous clicks! i love these cookies!

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  5. you have a very beautiful way of presenting your food in many setups. love these cookies and lovely clicks.

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  6. your every picture has a lesson in food photography for me.. By the time i read through the post and enjoy every photograph, the number of comments have doubled :-)
    Love these biscuits, they sound a lil similar to the oats cookies i make, with additions of golden syrup and coconut.

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  7. you said it...there's nothing like baking to keep blues at bay!! i especially get a high when i mix the batter...the experience is always sensual for me...

    i liked the trivia you added!

    if it were cooking oats i was in...but rolled oats...not now.

    babe you really know to ramble....me passeth the baton to you prima donna!!!

    click click click...green green green ;P

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  8. too good .. n awesome is the word.. too too good..

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  9. wow! I envy ur photography skills...amazing work!! and cookies looks utterly butterly tempting.

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  10. Beautiful clicks for very cute looking biscuits, loved it absolute.

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  11. awesome....jus love all the clicks.....amazing dear.....looks really yummy

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  12. wow amazing biscuts and looks yummy !! well presented and wonderful clicks !!

    Ongoing Event - CC-What's For Friday Dinner??

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  13. I never get enough of your photographs! These look lovely!

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  14. ok seriously girl .. stop reading those silly things about 'loneliness' !! But whenever i am down and lowsy .. i watch some happy movie .. honestly, watching few episodes of FRIENDS have always made me laugh .. works all the time for me :)
    So glad to see a new post here ..and the photos are just so so so amazing !!

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  15. Hey nash!How u doing?....Its been a while alle?....great pics and love the cookie too:)...lots of sunshine!how i miss that now, Thats something that i hated once. Its offficially fall here with trees getting bare!!not happy seeing the winter comin with nights soon sweeping in.

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  16. Sounds and looks so yummy and your presentation and clicks are brilliant as usual.

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  17. WOW!!! I am amazed how unique each one of your photos are!! Love how you have styled it! I wish I had your patience! lol...
    If I had caked these i couldn't have gone beyond 2 photos and then i would be sitting back and enjoying them with a cup of tea!
    Cookies look perfect!

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  18. I was wondering where you went :)

    Lovely clicks, as always! Love the pic of the biscuits with the monda by it's side.

    BTW, I've come across golden syrup in many recipes. What is it exactly? Do you know if I can substitute it with something?

    Thanks,
    Indu

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  19. LOVE those photos! Yum!

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  20. Lovely clicks and perfect biscuits.

    Vardhini
    Event: Halloween Fiesta

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  21. I love Anzac cookies. Yours look so yum!!! I love the way you present the food. The props and the photographs are just brilliant :)

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  22. Those are lovely cookies! I bet they are really addictive.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  23. Looks very tempting...luv those shots

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  24. Crunchy chewy anzac biscuits are always my fav,lovely clicks..

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  25. This is a real treat to the eyes! Simply fantastic.....

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  26. you are back..yaaaay..and what lovely pics on your previous post..and soo green...im missing home now.
    Cookies look fab, as usual, and i have bookmarked another version of the same..should keep this too on my list..
    Btw im on twitter Nisha@loadstodote :)

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  27. Pretty as a picture. I would love a couple of them with my coffee right now.
    Btw why do you have to browse about such stress inducing stuff?
    Check out cool stuff like this - http://imgur.com/r/pics/IWjTF

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  28. Yumm !!! I really missed your posts esp your pics , I LOVE them , too bad we couldn't meet but I think I was back in Dubai by the time you had gone for your vacation . Insha allah either you come to dubai or we will meet in Qatar :).

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  29. Cooking and baking is therapeutic alle!! love reading you every time Nash!
    and pics wow! wow! so creative and simple! would love to munch on those cuties when i Visit you sometime ;), as you know i am a bad baker ;)

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  30. Those biscuits look gorgeous.. and so many beautiful clicks!!
    Richa @ Hobby And More Food Blog

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  31. Your presentation is just awesome dear,gorgeous pictures..mouthwatering cookies,can't wait to try this

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  32. The biscuits look yummy!! can't believe they are egg-less. Nice pics, great lighting on the photography

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  33. You & lonely...Nah...not with your flair for baking,writing and photography too.What a visual treat...loved every bit of the anzac along with all the pride with which it was presented.SUPER!!!

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  34. Baking cookies always lifts my spirits as well, cookies just have a way of making everything better.

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  35. This is my first time here and I'm already in love with your beautiful site! Your photos are so clear abs beautiful and I'd love to have some of these cookies!

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  36. Hey Nashi, only YOU can make even simple cookies look absolutely stunning! And if you are ever lonely, come over for a loooong vacation and we can bake together!

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  37. Perfectly chewy, mouthwatering cookies..Hats off to you for setting up, taking so many beautiful clicks and then posting them with so much detail!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  38. Awesome cookies. Perfectly baked. Wonderful clicks.

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  39. Adorable pictures - you've styled them really well. I've never tried Anzac cookies - I think I'm missing out big time. :P

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  40. Those cookies look scrumptious Nashira! Love that they recipe is eggless...
    Oh that small jug and brass pot(?) - love those cute props..

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  41. I made these recently too and absolutely loved them!!! Your pics are gorgeous!!

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  42. Yummy cookies and once again your pics are rocking :)

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  43. Oh God I'm dying of hunger now. Your photos are insanely good. I want me a crunchy buttery cookkaaaay.

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  44. this is almost healthy right? I can eat more of it!

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  45. Before I get into the actual comments on the post, I am truly sorry for being so late. The truth is I wanted to devote complete attention and time for your blog, and always told myself, when I have complete leisure I will savour your post one by one and slowly. But as predicted,with the recent changes, I couldnt !! I feel like kicking myself for thinking so..

    -Luvvdd the use of kindi !! Way too cool
    - How did u get such perfect shaped cookies? cookie cutter or hand?

    Other bloggers might kill me if they know I being in such proximity to you have just met up with you once ! We will meet for sure and SOON !
    Keep posting meanwhile and good to see your weekly frequency has gone up :)

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  46. Beautiful blog and your photographs are stunning! Love I will look forward to visiting this blog frequently in the days to come! Loved your use of props and your styling is excellent!

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  47. Thank you all for your truly wonderful comments--makes me so happy to read all this!

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  48. Yummy ! First time here , Happy to follow you . Check out my blog in ur spare time
    Frosting Cupcakes - Todays Recipe
    Follow Foodiee

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  49. Nice blog.. Thanks for sharing this information with us

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A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi