Culinary traditions come to the forefront in times of great sadness, such as the horrific incident in Christchurch, New Zealand.
King Arthur Flour has this recipe for ANZAC biscuits. “These chewy-crisp, buttery oatmeal-coconut cookies are native to Australia, where they had their origin back in World War I. Legend has it that wives and mothers would mail them to their soldiers in ANZAC — the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps — because, without eggs and being quite sturdy, they traveled and kept well,” reports King Arthur Flour.
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour
¾ cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup shredded or flaked sweetened or unsweetened coconut
½ cup (8 tablespoons) butter*
2 tablespoons golden syrup or dark corn syrup
1½ teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water
*If using unsalted butter, increase the salt to a heaping ¼ teaspoon.
What to Do
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with parchment paper.
Stir together the oats, flour, sugar, salt, and coconut.
Place the butter and syrup in a small saucepan or microwave-safe container, and cook or microwave until the butter has melted and the mixture is bubbling.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the baking soda and boiling water, then stir in the hot butter. Be prepared: the mixture will bubble up energetically. This is why you’re using a medium (rather than small) bowl.
Stir the butter mixture into the dry ingredients.
Drop the dough, by teaspoonfuls, onto the prepared baking sheets. A teaspoon cookie scoop works well here. Leave at least 1½” between them; they’ll spread quite a bit.
Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes, until they’re a deep mahogany brown; the cookies are meant to be crisp/crunchy and dark brown, not chewy/light brown.
Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool them right on the pan. Store, well wrapped, for a week or so at room temperature; freeze for longer storage.
Yield: about 3 dozen 2 1/2″ cookies.
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