Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Anzac Biscuit Day.

Every patriotic home in Australia will have (or should have) Anzac biscuits on the table today.  In a long-ago post on the now-defunct Companion site (here), I gave a recipe for Anzac biscuits, which I give again, to start us off on the right foot. The recipe appears on the Australian War Memorial website, and is a “popular version” provided by a Gallipoli veteran, Mr Bob Lawson.

Anzac Biscuits.
1 cup each of plain flour, sugar, rolled oats and coconut, 4 oz butter, 1 tablespoon treacle (golden syrup), 2 tablespoons boiling water, 1 teaspoon carbonate soda (add a little more water if mixture is too dry)
Melt butter, add syrup, water and soda. Combine dry ingredients and teaspoon onto tray
Bake in moderate oven for 10-15 minutes.

There are minor variations on the theme, of course, but one must not stray too far from the basic idea. The following recipe seems to be acceptable to me: it is from the Sunday Times (Perth), of June 14, 1936

Anzac Slices.
Take 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon dripping, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 cups oats, ¾ cup sugar, 1 cup cocoanut. Mix dry ingredients together and pour melted butter and honey [and dripping] into them, grease baking dish, press down flat with spoon and bake till a golden brown in a slow oven. Cut in slices while hot, and leave in dish till cold.
The Argus (Melbourne) Septem,ber 22, 1920.

And in case your sweet tooth is still not satisfied, or you want to seriously theme your Anzac day picnic, here are a couple of other ideas for the tea-table.

Gallipoli  Cake.
Three cupfuls flour, one cupful sugar, two eggs, one tablespoonful butter, one cupful and a half of milk, one teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda, two teaspoonfuls cream of tartar, one small teaspoonful salt. Beat the butter and sugar to a cream. Beat in the eggs, then add the milk and other ingredients. Put the cake into a large, shallow tin, then rub together half a cupful or flour, quarter-cupful sugar, two ounces butter, and one teaspoonful ground cinnamon. Spread this mix ture over the top of the cake. Bake from thirty to forty minutes.
The Argus (Melbourne) September 22, 1920

Gallipoli Tea Cake.
Make mixture for top of cake first:
½ cup flour; ¼ cup sugar, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and scant 2 oz. butter.
Rub all together till it looks like breadcrumbs.
Cake Mixture: 3 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 ½ cups milk, 1 teaspoon carb. Soda, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, pinch of salt.
Beat butter and sugar to a cream, add eggs and beat well, then sifted dry ingredients, and lastly milk. Put into greased and papered baking ti (13 in x 10 in x 2 in deep), sprinkle top mixture over, press in lightly with the flat of the hand, and bake in moderate oven about ¾ of an hour. Serve buttered slices when cold.
Australian Women’s Weekly, July 6, 1940.

Quotation for the Day.

“It is easy to think of biscuits without an army, but of an army without biscuits – never”, began the writer of a tongue-in-cheek article on Army biscuits in ‘The Anzac Book’, published in 1916.

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