Thursday, November 5, 2009

Anzacs with a twist...

Anzacs are a real Aussie tradition. They began supposedly during the first world war, when care packages were sent to the troops. As Australia is a long way from Europe, bread and other goodies tended not to last on the journey there. Rather than just send socks, the Aussie women left behind began baking using ingredients that would not perish. So no eggs, not just flour, and something that would work dipped into a hot cup of tea. Thus the ANZAC biscuit was invented. ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp, and is the general name given to the Australian war/fighting spirit. And the biscuit is a childhood staple for many.

My mother used to make Anzacs just before we got home from school. They were hot and soft and delicious. Unfortunately I was put off them after a Home Ec class in year 7 of my education. These bickies get harder the longer they are left in the oven, so hard they can break teeth. I didn't believe the teacher when she told us this, and I cooked my batch for far too long. They were inedible. And I stopped making them.

This recipe though was made before I realised what I had actually done. It was only when there were in the oven that I realised I had just created. I was shocked. No eggs, lots of flour, being held together with golden syrup. I had made the great Aussie biscuit without knowing it! It was the figs that sucked me in, if the truth be known. I love a dried fig, and wanted a "healthy" treat for a work morning tea. And thus I've been converted back to the Anzac fold - so long as there is dried fruit embedded in them!

Figy Anzacs
Makes around 16 biscuits

1/2 c. plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
75 g raw sugar
75 g oats
100 g dried figs, finely chopped
75 g butter
2 tbs golden syrup

Pre-heat oven to 170 o C. Ensure oven shelves divide the oven into thirds.
Sift flour and bicarb together into a large bowl. Add the sugar, oats and figs. Stir to combine.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and golden syrup. Stir occasionally and wait until they have melted together. Remove from heat and leave to sit for around 3 minutes.

Pour the butter mix into the dry ingredients. Stir well to combine. Using your hands, shape the mixture into golf ball sized rounds (or just slightly smaller). Place onto lined baking trays.

Bake in oven for 13 minutes, rotating the trays after 8 minutes of cooking time. Remove from oven, cool slightly on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Adapted from Delicious Magazine Nov 2003. Original recipe by Jane Clarke.

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