Lest we forget

It's ANZAC day here on Wednesday, which is like Remembrance Day but just for New Zealand and Australia. ANZAC day is one of those holidays that feels really special so James and I always try to attend a memorial service (and then go for breakfast afterwards).

This year for the first time I decided to make my own homemade ANZAC biscuits. I used a traditional recipe that has baking soda instead of baking powder and loads of golden syrup. 

One of the food items that women in both countries sent to soldiers during the First World War were these hard, long-keeping biscuits that could survive the journey by sea, and still remain edible. These were known as Soldiers' Biscuits, but after the Gallipoli landings in 1915, they became known as ANZAC Biscuits.

Soldiers themselves made a similar form of biscuit from ingredients they had on hand: water, sugar, rolled oats and flour. How cool is that?!

The traditional ANZAC Biscuit is hard and flat - ideal for dunking in tea and then eating. The recipe I used made about 30 biscuits! Which seems like a lot but they last for ages.

This is the recipe I used, it's from Allyson Gofton's book 'Bake'.

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
175 grams butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water

1.  Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Lightly grease 1-2 baking trays or line with baking paper.
2.  In a large bowl, sift flour with a good pinch of salt. Stir in the sugar, rolled oats and coconut and make a well in the centre.
3.  In a saucepan, melt the butter, golden syrup and vanilla essence together.
4.  Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water. Mix into the melted butter and quickly pour into the well. Mix all the ingredients together quickly.
5.  Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the prepared trays. Flatten with the tines of a floured fork.
6.  Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until the biscuits have flattened out and have become a reddish-brown colour.
7.  Transfer to a cake rack. They will crispen as they cool. Once cold, store in an airtight container.