It's ANZAC day today! I decided to be very predictable and unoriginal and bake Anzac biscuits. They are traditional, bog-standard and unadorned. I never used to like Anzac biscuits as a kid because they were too boring and dry. Now that I'm loving all things oats, the idea of oats, coconut and golden syrup is endlessly appealing.
It also helps that I had Homer Hudson ice-cream in the amazing Digger's flavor (based on Anzac biscuits) that gave me an oatmeal cookie craving since.
I looked around for recipes online and most were pretty standard. I ended up following the one from Exclusively Food (because I've had excellent results from their other recipes) but shamelessly QUARTERED the original recipe. That's right. It was insanely difficult to mix 1/8 tsp of bicarb with 1/4 tbsp of boiling water and I probably got the proportions all wrong just because of the amount of golden syrup that got stuck to the bowl and refused to go in the oat mixture... but it was that or end up with 25 cookies and only eat 2-3.
Yup it sure is difficult baking for only two people when everyone else you know is diet conscious, lives 40min + away or doesn't like sweet food. It's a good thing I keep my basic maths skills polished.
Chewy Anzac Biscuits
Makes 5 (for original quantities to make 25, click here)
- 30g butter
- 1/2 tbsp golden syrup
- 1/4 tbsp boiling water
- 1/8 tsp bicarb (I just half-filled a 1/4 tsp)
- 1/4 cup plain flour
- 1/4 cup rolled oats (not the instant kind)
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
- 40g caster sugar (about 2 tsp less than 1/4 cup)
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Melt the butter and golden syrup together in a small bowl. I just popped the bowl in the microwave on high for 10 seconds and then stirred until it was mostly dissolved. It needed another 5 seconds to be completely dissolved. Depending on your microwave strength, you might need different times but it's safe to do it in 5sec intervals.2. Mix together the boiling water and bicarb. Add this to the butter and golden syrup mixture.
3. Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, coconut, oats and sugar).4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together. At this point, I felt like my mixture was a bit on the dry side so I added a dollop of golden syrup to bind it all together. I think that's because when I was transferring the wet to the dry, lots of the wet ingredients stuck to the sides of the bowl. When you're making such small quantities, those stuck bits make a difference. If you're making the full batch of 25, it probably won't matter as much.
5. Roll small balls (about 5cm across) onto a non-stick paper on a baking tray. Keep them 5cm or so apart.6. Flatten the balls slightly with a fork. 7. Pop them into the oven on the middle rack for 16-19min. The longer you bake them for, the more crisp they become. I wanted crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside so I waited about 16min till the outside was nice and golden.
8. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. I noticed that straight from the oven, they're really soft so be careful not to break them. They harden up rather quickly as they cool down.
I ate these Anzac biscuits when they were still sort of warm - lovely and crisp on the outside, soft and sticky inside. Although they were a tiny bit too sweet (I accidentally put too much sugar), they tasted amazing!
This is another one of those situations where the smell of them baking alone will drive you crazy with impatience. The chewiness of the oats are great and the coconut gives it a nice flavor and texture. We polished off the 5 cookies in no time at all.