Novel Anzac Biscuits – squares not circles

Are you going to clean up that mess?

I liked cooking. Well I did when I was young, pre-kids kind of young. I had a go at all sorts of fancy things; beef wellington, lemon meringue pie, Cornish pasties with home-made pastry,

chicken liver pate … I embraced dishes you could set alight – Crepes Suzette, Bombe Alaska. But my cooking wasn’t really appreciated. ‘Are you going to clean up that mess?’  was a fairly standard question Dad would ask as everyone was chowing down.

Speaking of Dad, he cooked a lot. I cleaned up after him too as was
expected of a farmer’s daughter in the 1960s.  He had his favourite dishes he used to cook; Aberdeen sausage, kangaroo patties, mince, scrambled eggs with cheese. I repeat his favourites. However, the coconut ice and the Baker’s toast were delicious. Baker’s toast is like the inside of a Crunchie or Violet Crumble bar. Mum’s culinary skills weren’t great but then she didn’t really have to cook. Dad did all the cooking. And everything else. Except the washing up.

Moving forward to a time when my kids were very young

I hated cooking. This was because my three kids combined were allergic to everything known to man.  I’m not talking about the pimple on the end of the nose ‘allergy???’ after eating a walnut. I’m talking about anaphylaxis. I’m also talking about chronic asthma and excema.  Trying new foods was always so stressful. I didn’t know which kid I was likely to eliminate. Unfortunately, it was most likely my son. He got the trifecta I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Anaphylaxis, asthma and excema.

The non-allergenic scones 

Just to cook a single, non-allergenic meal that all three could safely eat involved a lot of trial and error. It was always a trial really and the error usually ended up in a fast trip to the hospital. But scones were on the menu for the obligatory after-school chow down for three starving little kids. Lovely non-allergenic scones. When I was onto a good thing I stuck to it so I made lots of them -often. Two types in fact. Scones with sultanas or scones without sultanas. All washed down with a glass of water or two.


And the ANZACs

And then there were the ANZAC biscuits. They were always a winner. Friendly and palatable ANZACS. So I made lots of them too. The kids inhaled them.  They were usually demolished before the trays had completely cooled down. No-one seemed to mind that they didn’t turn out like the round crunchy ANZAC biscuits you can buy. I ended up with a slab of chewy ANZAC even after carefully moulding the dough into balls all roughly the same size and placing them evenly on the trays before cooking. Sometimes a circle indent remained so I could cut around with a knife and get biscuits that vaguely resembled a circle. Other times I just gave up and cut the slab into squares.

Oh really??

ANZAC experts had their theories ‘too much golden syrup’ or ‘too much butter’. I reckon it was too much of both because I never weighed anything. I didn’t have the time.
Apart from making ANZAC biscuits all year round, I went all out every 24 April in preparation for ANZAC day. Even though 2020 has been the strangest ANZAC Day ever with no visiting rights to families, I stuck to tradition and made my mandatory batch of ANZACs. For the first time ever, I weighed everything and followed a proper recipe and ended up with shop quality ANZACs. Check them out!

Round, delicious and crunchy ANZACs

Bragging Rights

I sent this photo to my daughters as you do these days and these are the responses I got.

“They look delish. 10/10” and “Oh yum! They look amazing!!!! Can’t wait to eat some tomorrow”.

So my hopes of not having to share them were dashed by one photo.




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