Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Anzac Cookies - from Australia to Ireland - via Africa.

These cookies are old favourites of mine which I first came across over 20 years ago in Tanzania from an Australian friend, who gave me the recipe when I raved about her wonderful flapjacks. The recipe is simplicity itself, and they are utterly foolproof - i.e. I can manage them effortlessly - and they are ready in no time. The key is to use golden syrup and honey or sugar do not work as a subsitute, the texture will be completely different. Of course you can try and maybe you will prefer them this way, but the chewy crunchy texture will be lacking.

There are a few Australian followers of my blog so I hope you will comment and suggest alternatives or tips for this recipe, as I am conscious of somehow hijacking what is probably a national institution in Australia and New Zealand. It is probably akin to reading an Irish soda bread recipe on an Aussie blog! There is always the chance a critical eye will pick up an aberration and think - oh no, that is not how it should be done!

I also think the name is wonderful. When I think of or make Anzac cookies I am always reminded of Anzac Day in April, which I had never heard of until that wonderful anti-war anthem "The band played Waltzing Matilda" came out in the 70s, and I diligently learnt the lyrics and it became my party piece for years at many a sing-song in Ireland and Bangladesh. It has been recorded by numerous artists over the years, including the Pogues, but my favourite has to be the version recorded by Irish singer Liam Clancy. You can see him singing it on YouTube here. It is a powerful ballad on the futility of war and the waste of young lives. Liam Clancy is still singing, around Ireland and elsewhere, he is in fine voice, and lives in Co. Waterford. So there is a local connection to the Anzac cookies, however roundabout it may be it is somehow serendipitous.

And of course Lismore is twinned with Lismore in New South Wales, so there you have more north-south connections!

So enjoy them and enjoy the music to go with them!


4oz/125gm oatflakes (like for porridge)
4oz/125gm plain flour

4oz/125gm dessicated coconut (dried flaked coconut)

4oz/125gm butter

8oz/250gm sugar

1tablespoon golden syrup (inverted sugar syrup)
1teaspoon bread soda (bicarbonate of soda)

(Pre-heat oven to 180degrees Centigrade/375degrees Fahrenheit)

1. Mix Oatflakes, flour and coconut in a bowl.

2. Melt butter, add sugar and golden syrup and stir till melted.

3. Add bread soda/soda bicarb. to mix in pan - watch it fizz up!

4. Pour this mix into bowl and stir well, use mixer stir attachment if available, or wooden spoon.

5. Transfer to greased baking tray(or lined with baking parchment/greaseproof paper).

6. Press mix to 1cm/half-inch thickness (use rolling pin/bottle/back of spoon).

7. Bake until golden brown, about 15mins.

8. Cool on tray for 2-3 minutes, then cut into squares with pizza cutter while still warm.

9. When cold, remove from tray and ENJOY!

These keep fresh for days in an airtight tin, if they last that long. Mine never do!

Thanks to our friends down under for inventing such yummy flapjacks!


Linda said...

Here is my husband's recipe that he had been making when we met in 1984, our family recipe.


2 cups flour
1/2lb butter
2 cups dessicated coconut
1/2 cup golden syrup
2 cups flaked oatmeal
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
2 teas carb-soda

Put water and syrup in saucepan to warm. Take off fire and stir in carbonate of soda. Put in all dry ingredients and mix. 350 or 225oF for 20-25 minutes, (on flat tray as round biscuits, I guess spoonfuls).

waldviertelleben said...

thank you for your visit. so many delicious cookies.

Jeannette StG said...

These sound wonderful and easy cookies, Catherine - when I get in the mood, I'll make 'em! thanks for sharing!

Jeannette StG said...

Maybe you know this. This golden syrup the same as corn syrup?

Linda said...

I have a well deserved award waiting for you at my blog.

Tilly said...

I like your image gallery - lemon meringue pie and a nice cup of tea - heaven!

FoodFunFarmLife said...

What a simple yet lovely recipe - they're always the best ! I, too, have heard of Anzac Cookies and Anzac day but have never tried them. We sometimes get Lyle's Golden Syrup on our shelves here (I spy the tin on your counter top in the photo !) & then I make sure I stock up. Nothing beats it as I can't bear those runny, water sauces masquerading as syrups !

Anonymous said...

one of these blogs i leave with putting on weight
thanks for this pictures
i came with waldviertelleben
and i will be back soon :)))
send you my best wishes

Anonymous said...

hi catherine,
found your blog through another link and tried out your madeira cake [the lemon one] turned out lovely and light as you said,even though i have a fan oven,suffice to say one disappeared before it cooled down!thanks for a lovely easy recipe and the fact i get two cakes for the one bit of trouble!looking forward to more, kathleen cork.

Catherine said...

Thanks for all the feedback, I really appreciate it!
LINDA thanks for your recipe, it seems similar and I just have to get my head around the cups as they seem to be only in Aussie and American recipes. I just need to check the comparisons for quantity equivalents. I have an Aussie cookbook from my Lao days, called Lunching with Style-food for thought and palate. It is a gov. pub. done as a style manual for authors, editors and printers in conjunction with a lunchtime series of presentations with lunches prepared by one Claudia Hyles - and signed by her (1994). May mean something to you - it is an eclectic book and I love it!

Catherine said...

WALDVIERTELLEBEN - glad you like the blog and the cookies, I wonder what your blog name translates as in English! something about wood and life? Keep in touch anyway, lovely to have visitors from all over the world!

JEANETTE- They are easy cookies and Linda's recipe is much the same, I haven't compared the quantities yet as I am not used to cup measures. As for Golden Syrup and corn syrup- check out - this link says they can be substituted for each other. So hope you agree! I don't know what corn syrup is like so I am relying on wikipedia! Another cross-cultural dilemma resolved - we are an example of international diplomacy!

TILLY glad you like the images, there is a bit of a mixed bag there but the cuppa tea and cakes/cookies are always a lifesaver! Keep in touch.

The Cherry Tree Farm said...

Ah-ha! Someone beat me to the question about corn syrup and golden syrup ... I was going to ask if they were the same as well. Over here, we can get corn syrup in light and dark (dark like for making pecan pie); can you do the same with golden syrup?

These cookies look smashing; in fact, I do believe I'm going to make some THIS MINUTE for supper. So far, I've got potato casserole and Anzac cookies planned ... that sounds nicely balanced, don't you think?? kristin

Linda said...

You could use a teacup for the cups, as that is what my Nana did.

Linda said...

Kristin, you won't be hungry after those too lol.

Caroline said...

Hi catherine
Lots of my readers in Europe have been asking me about the shere size of Australia.
So I thought you might be interested by this on my blog. Maybe not though as you are so well travelled yourself.
Cheers Caroline

Catherine said...

This post has generated a lot of feedback - thanks a lot!
KRISTIN - now you know about the corn vs. golden syrup! I hope you enjoyed your potato casserole and Anzac cookies - and that they turned out well. I will try your bread this weekend - too busy at work during the week, I can only knit in the evenings to chillax!

LINDA - that's a nice idea about the cups, I will try it, makes sense. also shapes - I could try putting dollops of mix on the tray. The square ones are all I've done.

Keep on posting and baking!

CAROLINE - I have looked and commented on your post about the relative size of Australia vs. Europe - point well made!

Reader Wil said...

Hi Catherine, thanks for your visit. It's great that you mention that song "The band played Waltzing Matilda" for it's also a favourite of mine.
There are many Dutch people on blogpost, for instance JoAnn, my daughter Thymeline, Dirk from Texel. You can find them with the memes That's My World, ABC Wednesday, Sky Watch and Camera Critters. Thank you for sharing your lovely recipes with us. Have a great weekend and a wonderful Valentine's Day.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you! I've read the Irish legend of St Valentine just now. It's very interesting.

Jeannette StG said...

this is a P.S. to my response to your comment on my blog about the lasagna - thanks you for your recipe of lasagna - also, because you are a nurse, I didn't expect you to suggest food that was not healthy :)(i'm joking)

Jeannette StG said...

Hi Catherine, I finally read that you already gave me a response to my question of golden and corn syrup - thanks!!