ANZAC Biscuits w Wattleseed

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ANZAC
biscuits are fast and easy to make so they’re a great way of engaging your kids
with cooking – and they’re delicious! With Anzac Day coming up later this
month, these biscuits are also a great opportunity to talk a little with kids about
the servicemen and women of Anzac Cove in World War I.

I
went searching for recipes for Anzac biscuits quite a few years ago and found
many variations but some commonalities too. All have rolled oats, desiccated coconut,
and golden syrup, added to plain flour, with the whole mixture lifted by the
addition of bicarbonate of soda mixed with water – which bubbles up in a very
pleasing way!

Some
have spice, some don’t, and while most don’t have any dried fruit added, I
quite like the addition of some finely chopped dried apricots, which I found in
one recipe. The other interesting thing is the vast difference in quantities
from recipe to recipe: some have only 1 cup of oats while others have twice
that with the same amount of flour! Personally, I think this makes the mixture
a bit too dry and crumbly.

And
to get back to spices, well, there’s no way I’d make them without spice! One
year I made them with a new spice I’d never seen before – roasted wattleseed.
It gives a glorious warm, richness that tastes something like allspice but with
an almost coffee-like edge to that really kicks the flavour of these humble
biscuits up a notch and makes them even more Aussie than they already are!

ANZAC Biscuits

Makes about 24 biscuits

Ingredients

125g
butter

1T
golden syrup

1
cup plain flour

½
cup Rapadura sugar* (or soft dark brown sugar or raw sugar)

½
cup desiccated coconut

1
cup rolled oats

3T finely chopped dried (Australian) apricots

2T
roasted ground wattleseed (or use 1T allspice + ½t nutmeg + ½t cinnamon)

1t
bicarb of soda

2T
boiling water

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Line two baking trays with
    baking paper (or grease the trays) and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter and golden
    syrup in a small saucepan over low heat. 
  4. Meanwhile, mix all the
    other ingredients together in a large bowl, except the bicarb and water.
  5. Once the butter mixture is
    melted leave it to cool slightly while you put the bicarb in a small container
    (a measuring cup is perfect), and add the boiling water. It will froth up in
    spectacular fashion!
  6. Add the foaming bicarb mixture
    to the butter mixture – it will foam up too – then add it to the dry
    ingredients and mix well.
  7. Use a dessertspoon to form
    small balls of mixture and place about 12 to a tray with space between them. Press each ball lightly
    with the back of the spoon to make small discs. (They can be reasonably thick, not squished flat. This recipe doesn’t spread much when cooking.)
  8. Bake for about 12-15
    minutes until golden, then leave them to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes before cooling them a
    wire rack.

Cool
a little before eating. Cool completely before storing. They’ll keep for at
least a week in a sealed container but they’re best eaten fresh with a friend
and a nice cup of tea.

* It’s worth using Rapadura sugar if you can get it as
it adds an extra dimension to these biscuits. I buy mine from my local food
co-op but you can probably get it from health food shops and specialty food
shops. It’s a less processed sugar that contains molasses but it’s less dense, dark,
and sweet than soft dark brown sugar.

©
Palitja Moore, text and image, 2016

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