Today whilst making these biscuits I couldn’t help but think back to their origin, the brave people who they were originally made for and what these cookies actually meant at that time. At their simplest they are a combination of oats, sugar, coconut and flour, they give energy to those who are weary and they do not spoil quickly, meaning they could be eaten over a few weeks and give sustenance when needed. I assume they would also have been a reminder of home, at a time when everyday was uncertain, these cookies could have ignited memories and sparks that reminded those eating them of times when life was more certain and give hope that it will soon return.
I know it's cliché but it certainly is easy to get caught up in our daily lives and forget how lucky we are to have the certainty that so many before us didn't.
Today I actually cancelled plans with close friends because I am weary and exhausted. I wanted to spend quiet time simply at home with my family. I phoned my mum. It’s a little rare that we see each other these days, she still works full time and between Adelaide Bakes, an 18 month old toddler at my feet and keeping house we are busy and exhausted, but today something made me want to spend time with my mum.
I guess it's that sort of recipe really, the one you made with your mum or nanna, the one that brings back memories of childhood. Isn't it amazing how many memories are created around food, especially around cakes and biscuits and the amazing aroma that fills the home. I hope my son, as he grows up, has those memories of me and with me. Baking is such a huge part of who I am that I don't think he'll be able to eat any sweet as he grows without thinking about one that I created. I can only hope really.
And don't get me wrong, I am certainly not evangelical. I get caught up in the daily grind, my temper is sometimes short, my toddler makes doing anything alone a challenge as he loves to 'help' but when I stop to think about it, like I did today, I realise just how lucky we are to have these annoyances, these frustrations, because we are surrounded by our family and it is with very near certainty that we will see them again soon.
These cookies are deliciously chewy and meant to be enjoyed and shared.
Anzac style biscuits with shredded coconut and optional macadamia
125g unsalted butter
2 tbs golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts, roughly chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
3 tbl spoon boiling water
Preheat oven to 160°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Measure the flour, oats, coconut, sugars, salt and macadamias and mix gently together with a wooden spoon in a mixing bowl.
Combine the unsalted butter, vanilla and golden syrup in a small saucepan and gently melt the butter.
In a separate bowl combine the boiling water and bi-carb soda. As soon as the butter has melted in the saucepan add the bi-carb and boiling water solution and whisk gently, being careful as the mixture will froth up.
Pour this directly into the dry ingredients and mix together until completely combined.
Leave the mixture to cool for about 15 minutes, if it's a warm day pop the bowl into the fridge, this will firm the mixture up for rolling.
Using a tablespoon measure out small amounts of mixture and roll them into balls, placing them spaced generously apart on your lined baking tray, this mixture spreads out a lot! This mixture is delicious raw!
Bake in preheated oven for 16 - 18 minutes or until evenly spread and golden. The cookies will still be very soft when the pan is removed from the oven and will crisp up as they cool. Leave the cookies on your oven tray for 10 - 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
This recipe makes 24 - 26 delicious cookies.