Sunday, November 11, 2012
Baking for Remembrance Day
For this Remembrance Day, I will pay my respects by baking a treat called Anzac Biscuits. These biscuits (don’t ever call them cookies) trace their origins back to World War One when women from Australia and New Zealand wanted to send a treat to husbands and sons serving on the front lines in Europe. They needed a biscuit that could survive the long trip and these little cookies, I mean biscuits, did the job. Here’s the recipe:
250 ml (1 cup) all purpose flour
250 ml (1 cup) large flake oats
250 ml (1 cup) desiccated coconut
250 ml (1 cup) brown sugar, packed
125 ml (1/2 cup) butter
45 ml (3 tbsp.) Lyle’s Golden Syrup
30 ml (2 tbsp) water
Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). Line rimless baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, coconut, and sugar. Set aside. In small saucepan, stir butter, syrup and water over medium-low heat until butter melts. Stir into dry ingredients. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheet, spacing 5 cm (2 inches) apart. Bake in centre of oven until light golden on bottom., about 15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer biscuits to wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen. Can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container between layers of wax paper.
I got this recipe from the Winnipeg Free Press, where it was adapted from Canadian Living. Writer Allison Gillmor says it’s important to use the Golden Syrup (either Lyle’s or Roger’s), also known as light treacle. In a pinch, she says you can use corn syrup, but you won’t get the "subtle, slightly toasty flavor". She also recommends using parchment paper to keep the cookies from sticking.
You’ll notice that these biscuits use no eggs and no leavening. That’s because recipes such as this were developed during wartime when shortages forced home cooks to develop recipes that didn’t use some basic supplies. Their creativity lives on in these biscuits.
I want to remember those who fought on the front lines and those who served by fighting on the home front.
Lest we forget.