ANZAC Biscuits have held a special place in my heart since Shawn introduced them to me years ago. ANZAC commemorates the Australia – New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who landed in Turkey on April 25, 1915, incidentally the day after start of the Armenian Genocide. ANZAC biscuits are so-named, because they were baked by mothers, girlfriends, wives for their sweethearts who were far from home on foreign battlegrounds. They have a crunchy, chewy texture from the oats and coconut and an irresistible caramel aroma from the sugar and butter.
Made without eggs, these biscuits travel well across long distances. Just pack them in an old cookie tin and hand them to the postie.
The original recipe calls for golden syrup which is made from sugar cane, but may be a bit challenging to find in the States. Look for it at a British import shop or Indian grocer. Mine are made with honey which is more widely available, in honor of our newest residents.
Where the Queen Goes
We have a holly tree in front of the window above the kitchen sink. I like to watch the bees hopping around the berries when I’m washing dishes. One day, Shawn noticed a swarm of them all over the branches. He didn’t think much of it and went about his day as usual. It wasn’t until he was out back, checking on the passionfruit vines and fruit trees that he heard some loud buzzing. It was coming from the side of our upstairs balcony. The queen must have left the hive and found her way into a crack in our wall. Where the queen goes, the colony goes. Shawn has since moved them into a proper hive and we hope they will love their new home enough to stay. So far, they appear to have settled nicely. Shawn even managed to capture an image of a baby bee emerging from his cell. By summer, these little hardworking creatures may have enough of that precious honey to share.
Obey Your Cravings
Thinking about fresh honey suddenly brought on an undeniable craving for ANZAC biscuits. Sure, let’s blame the bees. Putting the batter together is a snap. It’s so easy and great to do with the kids. Daisy loves rolling the dough into balls and dropping it onto the cookie sheet. Then, she watches the “oven window” to see them bake. Their thin, crunchy, chewy texture and that sweet butter toffee smell makes them such a comforting treat. It’s so easy to satisfy that craving when it strikes, unless you’re at work, of course, where there is no oven.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
The microwave is the one kitchen appliance that I could happily forego. I believe in cooking the Caveman way, with fire. Unfortunately, the nuker is the only means of heating food at the office. When cookie cravings strike, a sweet-tooth will stop at nothing to feed it. I had some leftover ANZAC biscuit batter which I packed into a plastic sandwich bag and took to the office. I dropped some batter into my coffee mug and popped it right into the microwave. Timing was an issue. 45 seconds was too long. The inside of the cookie was incinerated and inedible. 30 seconds was just right. The cookies turned out more moist than those baked in the conventional oven. I can’t say I like the microwave version more than the old-fashioned oven-baked. Cookies are great any time you can get your hands on them. Make them and see what you prefer.
[yumprint-recipe id=’18’]Sugar, butter, oats, coconut come together with honey and the magic of fire. The hardest part is waiting for the cookies to cool, especially if you make them at the office. Ceramic mugs retain heat very well. Be patient, Grasshopper. These oatmeal cookies will soon be yours. ANCAC Biscuits are so romantic, considering how they came about. To this day, whenever someone packs a homemade batch into a tin and sends them to a friend or relative, they continue to join hearts across the miles.