Recently, David posted a recipe for cranzac cookies — they’re a riff on anzac biscuits, he said. I’d never heard of anzac biscuits, so I looked them up. Apparently, they are a thin crunchy oatmeal cookie that originated in Australia during WWI. The women would send them to the soldiers in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps — ANZAC.
Curious, I made them for myself, except I followed a pared-down, basic recipe from King Arthur Flour. I figured I ought to know what authentic Anzac biscuits were supposed to be like before I started messing around with them.
The biscuits remind me a lot of lace wafers, an oatmeal cookie that I used to make as a child. The difference is that lace wafers, in the oven, spread out until they are thin and crispy, almost like caramel. Anzac biscuits, though, have more umph. They are still crispy and caramel-y, but less delicate. They have an ever-so-slight chew and a snap that is not unsimilar to the tacky-snap of toffee.
Dry and crunchy, I think of them as the Australian version of biscotti. They’re made to be eaten with a cup of coffee or tea, or, come hot weather, with iced tea or lemonade.
Adapted from a recipe from King Arthur Flour.
Now that I know what Anzac biscuits are, I think David was on to something with the craisins. These cookies are built for add-ins. A little vanilla, maybe? Some chopped pecans and coconut? A drizzled cap of chocolate?
Also, these work well as a gluten-free version — just use a gluten-free all-purpose substitute in place of the regular flour. The dough will be more crumbly and dry, but it bakes up fine.
1 cup each rolled oats and flour
¾ cup each sugar and coconut
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1½ teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water
Stir together the oats, flour, sugar, coconut, and salt. Melt the butter with the corn syrup (microwave or stove top, your choice). Combine the baking soda and boiling water in a small bowl and add to the melted butter. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
Spoon the dough onto greased baking trays and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until they are a nice golden brown. Let them rest for several minutes on the baking tray before transferring to a rack to cool.
This same time, years previous: freezer coffee cake, Marta’s picadillo, quotidian (5.2.16), the quotidian (5.4.15), the quotidian (5.5.14), creamy avocado macaroni and cheese, the definition of insanity, burning the burn pile, how to get your bedding/house/kids clean all in one day.