It’s not ANZAC Day, it’s not Australia Day. I am not someone from Australia or New Zealand. But back when I lived in Iceland, my best friends were Australians, and we sometimes celebrated Australian events, and I adopted the habit of baking ANZAC biscuits pretty much all the time. They are quite simple and keep/mail well. Given that I was extending the experiment of mailing cookies to other offices on other continents, it seemed wise to include hardier, sturdier cookies in the mix. I have no idea whether the cookies I make in any way resemble actual ANZAC biscuits, but people eat and love them regardless. I am not terribly concerned with authenticity.
Of course, the concept of “baking authenticity” is sort of interesting. I remember promising to bake cookies for an old friend in Iceland. When I finally did, he took one look at the cookies, made a rather unpleasant face and said, “Those aren’t cookies, those are American.” What did he expect? That I would make the hard little dog biscuits Icelanders call cookies? I AM American after all.
For me, authenticity probably comes mostly from the intent of the baker. Even if they are baking from (heaven forbid) a mix, it is more about whether they enjoy what they are doing. While I eschew the evil baking mix, I encourage baking of all kinds.
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats (oatmeal), uncooked
1 cup coconut
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 Tablespoons golden syrup (or honey)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
2 Tablespoons boiling water
Preheat oven to 350F/180C
Combine flour, oats, coconut and sugar in a bowl.
Melt the butter and golden syrup or honey in a saucepan over low heat.
Mix the bicarb of soda with the boiling water and add to the butter and golden syrup mixture.
Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Spoon tablespoons of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving space between to allow for spreading.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. (Mine usually take less than this, so keep an eye on them.)
Cool on a wire rack and seal in airtight containers.