January 26th is Australia Day – think 4th of July Down Under – complete with Southern Hemisphere summer time grilling and fireworks. In honor of the occasion Minty is celebrating at school with her Australian teacher Miss Helen and her 3rd grade classmates by all dressing in the national colors of yellow/gold and green.
I asked my friend Curtis Stone, Australian celebrity chef, for a recipe from his homeland and he kindly sent over this one for Anzac biscuits; soft and chewy oats, coconut and golden syrup make this the perfect cookie. Minty and I baked enough for her class and Rémy’s (we doubled the quantities).
These handmade sweet treats were sent by loved ones to soldiers serving in the Australian New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War I. Since they don’t contain egg the care packages could survive the long distance from Australia to Europe.
So there’s more to Australian food than a vegemite sandwich – the equivalent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to an Australian kid and made famous by Men at Work in the eighties.
There are all the hunky sunkissed surfer dudes grilling on the beach, there are the meat pies and chips (french fries) slathered in ketchup and washed down with amber nectar – more a beverage than a food, although some Aussies might beg to differ as they crack open another tinny and throw another shrimp on the barbie!
Other Aussie treats to explore: Pavlova, in the running for the national dessert – a large meringue topped with whipped cream and fresh seasonal fruit.
And then there are dainty Lamingtons and the acquired taste of Violet Crumbles.
But perhaps the most iconic cookie from Down Under is the Anzac biscuit.
Thanks for sharing Curtis and G’day mate – you made a little girl, her buddies and their Aussie teacher very happy.
CURTIS STONE’S ANZAC BISCUIT RECIPE
MAKES ABOUT 3 DOZEN
WHAT YOU NEED:
1 cup rolled oats
3?4 cup desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
1 cup flour, sifted
1 cup sugar
4 ounces butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup (available from Gelsons)
1 1?2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water
WHAT TO DO:
• Preheat oven to 300F.
• In a large mixing bowl combine oats,coconut, flour and sugar.
• Heat butter and syrup over low heat until melted.
• Mix baking soda with water and add to butter mixture.
• Combine wet with dry.
• Use a dessert spoon to portion batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicon mat and allow room for spreading.
• Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
• Cool on tray.