Tuesday, April 24, 2012

ANZAC Cookies, I mean "biscuits"

ANZAC Cookies - made April 22, 2012 from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich

April 25 is ANZAC Day.  ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps and April 25 is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand which honors the members who served their countries.  We would call their edible namesakes "cookies" but in Australia (and probably New Zealand), they call them "biscuits".

The ANZAC biscuits I had in Australia were crunchy cookies with coconut, not quite a vanilla cookie but flavored with honey or syrup.  It's not normally my type of cookie since I prefer the thick, chewy, moist, melty-chocolate texture of a chocolate chip cookie but I did like ANZACs.  Of course, it didn't suck that I ate them while I was in Australia on the same day I held a koala and got my pic taken with one.  There aren't many recipes for ANZACs in the cookbooks I have (read: there were none) but I did find this one from Alice Medrich's book, the same one where I got the recipe for Alfajores.  (As an aside, I'm finding it a personal triumph that I haven't broken down and bought this book....yet.  I'm exercising some restraint.....for the moment.)

Because you melt the butter mixture, the dough is quite warm after you mix in all the other ingredients.  It was more like a stiff batter than a cookie dough.  But it does firm enough as it cools that you can shape into logs as the recipe directs.  I laid them out on wax paper, shaping as they cooled and left them on the counter to cool some more before doing a final shaping then rolling the wax paper around each log, putting them in a ziploc freezer bag and placing them in the freezer overnight.

I really liked how these cookies (sorry, biscuits) turned out.  They had a perfectly crunchy texture complemented by the vanilla flavor and the coconut provided some chewiness.  This is one cookie biscuit I wouldn't really underbake because I do think you need to bake it enough for it to become lightly golden and get that nice crunch typical of an ANZAC biscuit.  Another good recipe from Alice Medrich - if this keeps up, I may need to stop borrowing this from the library, give in to the inevitable and just buy the darn thing.

1 cup (3.5 ounces) rolled oats
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup (5.25 ounces) sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons golden syrup or honey (I used maple syrup)
1 cup (4.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (3 ounces) unsweetened dried shredded coconut

1.    Place the oats in a blender or a food processor.  Process just until the oats are coarsely ground but not powdered; set aside.
2.   Combine the butter, sugar, water and golden syrup in a large saucepan and warm over low heat until the butter is melted.  Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, coconut and oats all at once and stir until the flour is completely incorporated.  Divide the dough in half and form two 8 by 2-inch logs.  Wrap the logs in foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
3.   Preheat the oven to 325⁰F.  Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
4.   Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it soften at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Slice the dough ¼ to 3/8” thick with a thin serrated knife, pressing the edges of the cookies together if the dough crumbles a bit, and place the slices at least 1 inch apart on the parchment-lined cookie sheets.
5.   Bake for 14 to 17 minutes, or until golden brown all over.  Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.  Cool the cookies completely before stacking or storing.  May be kept in an airtight container for at least 2 weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Looks great, I love all cookies/biscuits with oatmeal in them, thanks for sharing.