Today is Anzac day, the day when New Zealand and Australia commemorate all those who have fought and died in war and also honours returned servicemen. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign where the Anzac (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) troops were pretty much sent to the slaughter. The campaign was a flop and many troops were lost. While the number of Anzac troops that died at Gallipoli was actually quite small compared to those lost in other battles, the event has become a really significant part of our national identity. This morning Dan and I went to one of the dawn services. It was really special to be surrounded by thousands (yes, it was absolutely packed!) of others as the sun rose, remembering and honouring those who sacrificed so much so that we could enjoy the freedom we have today.
Anzac biscuits are a traditional biscuit from that era that were made from relatively cheap ingredients and could endure the long journey from New Zealand to the front lines without ending up as a bunch of soft crumbs. I suspect that the kind of biscuits we eat today are fairly different to what they used to make, but I love them!
I decided that I wanted to add a hint of orange to my biscuits, so added some orange zest and juice. It’s pretty subtle, so you could add more zest if you wanted a stronger flavour, or perhaps even some orange essence. You can add all sorts of other things into the basic oat and coconut mix – nuts, seeds, raisins, chocolate… you name it! Golden syrup is pretty common in Australasia, but if you can’t find it you could try substituting in honey or maple syrup, the flavour would be a bit different, but still tasty! And finally, make sure you leave enough space between your biscuits, they will spread (see below)!
Anzac biscuits with a hint of orange
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- zest of one orange
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 125g butter
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line two oven trays with baking paper.
- Combine oats, flour, sugar, coconut and zest in a large bowl.
- In the microwave or in a small saucepan, heat butter, orange juice and golden syrup until butter has melted. Stir in baking soda.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.
- Roll into small balls (a bit smaller than a golf ball) and place on the tray with enough space between them to allow for spreading. Flatten slightly with a fork. This recipe should make about 18 biscuits.
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool on the tray to allow the biscuits to harden.