Today, 25th April 2015, marks the centenary of the first major military campaign fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. They landed on the shores at Gallipoli and after eight months of fighting, when the allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula, more than 8,000 Australian soldiers had been killed. My great-grandfather was amongst those who fought at Gallipoli. His family were informed that he had been killed in action, when in fact he had survived and been sent to the Western Front, where he was captured and ended up in Germany as a prisoner of war. He spent months in a London hospital after the war ended and didn’t get home to Australia until late 1919. One tough cookie. I feel immensely proud when I think about him.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. These biscuits were originally made to send to soldiers abroad because the ingredients didn’t spoil during naval transportation. I can remember my mum making them for us when we were children; this is her recipe.
3.5 oz jumbo oats
2.5 oz plain flour
2 oz caster sugar
4 oz margarine
1 dessertspoon golden syrup
0.5 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a baking sheet.
Place the oats, flour and sugar in a bowl and mix together. Melt the margarine and golden syrup together in a saucepan over a low heat.
Mix the bicarbonate of soda in a cup with 1 tablespoon boiling water, then add to the melted margarine and syrup (watch it froth!). Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir everything together.
Put spoonfuls of the mixture on the greased baking sheet, leaving plenty of room for spreading. Bake for 10 minutes then leave to cool on the tray before transferring to a wire rack.
Mine were heaped teaspoons and the cooked biscuits were around 9cm in diameter.