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65 responses to “ANZAC Biscuits”

  1. reb of hobart

    Well I’m delighted that the LP “commemoration” of ANZAC Day is embodied in the merits of a good biscuit recipe.

    Meanwhile I’m being torn to shreds for suggesting that perhaps Anzac Day might be approaching some maudlin commercialised farce!!!

  2. Paul Burns

    Right now I’m eating chicken stir fry and vegetables with home-made peanut sauce.
    Guess the Indonesians took the place over after all! :)

  3. Daphon

    Nice piece of seiten or tofu instead of the chicken would’ve made it the perfect dish, Paul. ;-)

  4. reb of hobart

    Hmmm Peanut sauce….. :) with Chicken satay…..hmmmm :)

  5. Daphon

    And to go back to topic, I made these giant ones today:

    http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/536/giant+anzac+biscuits

  6. Katz

    I guess it’s that time of year to remind readers that WWI diggers may have thought they were fighting for some respectable universal values.

    In fact they were unwittingly fighting for the imposition of some particularly grubby secret treaties.

    It’s possible to be both heroic and a patsy, but it’s not possible to be both intelligent and a patsy.

  7. Paul Burns

    Recipe: Quarter of a large cup of crunchy peanut butter.
    Quarter of a large cup of Trident Sweet Chili sauce.
    Add quarter of a cup of boiling water (and I mean boiling.)
    Beat till smooth with egg-beater.
    Pour over stir-fry.
    Put remander in fridge.

    Warning: Do not reheat for more than a few seconds in the microwave. I heated a quarter of a cup for about 3 mins a week or so ago. Result- utter disaster. I actually burnt, like really burnt black something in the microwave the first time ever.

    btw, does anyone have a home-made recipe for sweet and sour?

  8. Craig Mc

    Homemade carbonara and a 97 Riddoch Cab-Shiraz for me. Opened that one just in time too.

    Add another vote for homemade peanut sauce.

  9. Paul Burns

    Should be half a cup of boiling water. Sorry. Wasn’t thinking. Not smoking at the moment so it affects my concentration a little bit.

  10. Eric Sykes

    ANZAC Day/Myth: jingoistic, maudlin, wingnutted commercialised farce
    ANZAC Biscuits: rather like eating cardboard
    Peanut sauce: yum

  11. Polyquats

    Thanks for the recipe Deborah.
    My daughter came home from school once with a list of ingredients she needed to make Anzac Biscuits. The recipe was interesting, but it wasn’t Anzac Biscuits. The confection they were making, which included fruit, nuts and eggs, wouldn’t have kept for a week, let alone the long ocean voyage to Europe.
    The teacher couldn’t understand my objections.

  12. Saint Furious

    I was wondering if anyone knows of a gluten-free recipe for ANZACS that is okay? My sister is a coeliac [sp??] and she can’t eat oats and has tried various alternatives to no avail.

    It occurred to me recently, that apart from my Mum, of the people that I eat out with regularly, every one of them has some special dietary requirements. They seem to think it’s my job to find decent restaurants for them too. It drives me ’round the twist. Last time I ended up eating some weird soy protein thing with a Buddhist friend….there is no way that stuff is good for you. Firstly it’s fried, it’s covered in some kind of glumpy sauce and also it all just seems so processed and well…white. I’m sure my great aunt used to lecture me about eating too much white food because it’s not good for you. It’s probably a myth, but somehow it makes sense.

  13. anthony nolan

    Another ANZAC day. The long lived peace movement is the greatest testament to the fact that they haven’t died in vain. As it is I’ve also spent the day peacefully cooking and teaching my teenage son, now a full inch taller than me, to cook Italian meatballs properly. BTW: catch the film “Welcome” if you can. One of those brilliant French humanist films that emerge every now and then.

  14. Polyquats

    Saint Furious @ 12
    Quinoa flakes, rice flakes and for those that can tolerate them, millet flakes.
    Sp is correct.
    Most restaurants these days have gf options. Some are better than others.

  15. Saint Furious

    Thanks Polyquats. Quinoa flakes have been mentioned, I’m not sure if it was in the context of having tried them, or whether she was thinking of giving them a go. She tried rice flakes and wasn’t all that happy with the results.

    I agree, most restaurants seem to offer more GF choices than vegetarian choices, and I’ve noticed that the staff are usually quite well informed about it.

  16. Nabakov

    Well I just celebrated ANZAC Day in what I thought was an appropriate way. By attending a barbeque for someone who’s just joined the Australian Army and reports for duty next weekend.

    And he’s Chilean. And has only lived in Australia for a few years.

    So, over some bottles of very crisp yet still nubile Chilean plonk, I donned my tipsy Military Historian manqué hat to tell him about some of the more interesting moments and people during Australia’s various passages of arms. (By the time we were staggering around the kitchen trying to make pisco sours, my martial monologue had basically collapsed into “Monash good! Blamey bad!”)

    Anyway, at one point I gently speculated out loud about his knowledge of the rigours of military life.

    Me: “ So just gently speculating out loud here, have you thought about the rigours of military life?”

    Him: “I did my national service in the Chilean Army. They have bastardization too, except a lot more people die of it.”

    Me: “OK, righto. Carry on.”

    His game plan is to get his hands dirty as a ranker during his first tour – as a Field Specialist (Ordnance) – ie: delivering ammo and fuel into the battlespace and saying “Have you tried hitting it with a hammer? I’ve got one in the back”.

    Then in his second tour, he wants to go for Officer School and an Intelligence billet. After that he reckons his proven experience in moving matériel and information around fast under pressure should stand him in good stead working in logistics in the private sector. And get him citizenship too. He really, really wants to have kids and grow old in Australia.

    Me: “What happens if you’re ordered to Afghanistan?”

    Him: “That would be interesting. But besides I am Chilean! I have what you call a wog complexion and I have to shave twice a day. If it turns to poo, I just throw a blanket on my head and go native.”

    With that kinda sense of humor, I’d reckon he’d fit in fine with the ADF. Also the fact he’s built like an Inca shithouse, certainly not adverse to a drink or five and really knows how to quickly and efficiently set up and run a barbie Latin American style (lashings of marinade) couldn’t hurt either.

    Personally I think he should stay on in the Army after his initial tours. He has the right mixture of irreverent bonhomie and command attitude coupled with a sharp mind and worldly eye that would make for very good senior officer material. And he’d also bring some great Latin American élan to the job as well.

    And not like there’s no precedent for this. It was Irish and English adventurers that got Chile’s first armed forces into shape. So why not a dashing Chilean leading some of the more pointy and useful bits of Australia’s military?

    And also, having grown up in the dog days of the Pinochet regime, he’s totally against the military getting involved in politics. Which is an attitude always worth cultivating in one’s armed forces.

    Anyway I just thought that on ANZAC Day t’would interesting to share this thumbnail vignette of the Australian Army’s latest recruit – a jovial yet shrewd Chilean who thinks Australia is good enough to be worth fighting for (or at least supplying the fighters) and is quite prepared to start at the bottom of the ADF in order to get to at least the middle.

    I’d certainly follow him into battle, if only for the barbie afterwards.

    Nah, on second thoughts I’d go straight for a cushy Intelligence job, pushing virtual pins into Google maps, selecting drone targets and “liberating” spoils of war.

    As I’ve said before, I’ve long felt that Remembrance Day is about how fucking awful war is and ANZAC Day is about those Australians (and ahem…New Zealanders) who went through such a fucking awful thing on our behalf.

    Let’s all have a biscuit in their memory. And then WHISKY!*

    NB: iTunes random shuffle just threw up the most totally inappropriate ANZAC song, at least title wise, as I prooffed this comment. ‘Quiet Life’ by Japan. Oh wait, now it’s Jeff Beck playing “Love Is Blue”. Which may be less inappropriate but is still fucking weird given the topic.

    * See Spike Milligan’s war memoirs for why that word should be capitalised and with an exclamation mark.

  17. wilful

    olyquats, your story is odd, because as deborah stated, ANZAC bikkies have been pretty well settled since the 1920s. Oats, golden syrup, butter are pretty much the definition.

    Just waiting another ten (make it five) years until we’re all eating ANZAC cookies.

    My railing against creeping americanisms isn’t going terribly well.

  18. Saint Furious

    wilful, the first recipe linked to at the war memorial site [the ANZAC tile or wafer biscuit] doesn’t include oats or golden syrup.

    You’ll be pleased to know that the use of the word cookie is forbidden under the protection of ANZAC regulations.

  19. Helen

    Down with the word cookies. We will fight them on the beaches, we will fight them in the tuckshops, which regretfully are now canteens, but we will fight them anyway. We will never surrender our use of the word biscuits to denote a small and round or rectangular portable baked comestible!

  20. wilful

    Saint Furious, the first recipe is also disgusting (well I suspect so).

  21. Saint Furious

    seconded, wilful!

    Helen, this year they started selling Tim-Tams in the states as cookies. Just aint right.

    But it should be said that in the USA….at least in the southern parts where it seems to be a common breakfast item…a biscuit is indeed a small[ish] round portable baked comestible. Not so portable if you have the traditional biscuits ‘n’ gravy. I never did work out what the ‘gravy’ actually was, it looked like white sauce with sausage bits in it.

  22. Nabakov

    And speaking of Jeff Beck, imagine if this lineup of the Jeff Beck Group (with Nicky Hopkins!) had kept their shit together. Would have been bigger than Led Zeppelin.

    And if everyone in that clip had been born a generation earlier, they have been climbing into Lancasters, boarding Flower class corvettes and loading 25 pounders in North Africa.

    Robert Hughes opened his great TV series “The Shock Of The New”* by walking through a WW1 cemetery, waving his hand at the endless neat white crosses and saying “Imagine if these millions of young men had lived. Art, politics, the economy, everything now of the West would have been quite different”.*

    *Obviously I’m ignoring here for the sake of plugging a tasty clip, the millions of women, children and other non-combatants who also had their lives totally shredded by war.

    War! What’s it good for! Absolutely nothing!

    Well, except perhaps when you really truly have no other choice. In which case you should do whatever you can to win and no more.

    And apparently incidentally, aside from the ANZAC biscuit, can anyone think of a tasty foodstuff named after a military grouping or epic combat? Beef Wellington doesn’t count here.

  23. verity

    may I suggest, on the important topic of Anzac biscuits, that the use of RAW sugar is essential to make an authentic recipe. Mine was handed down from my grandma who reckons raw sugar develops the right crunch! CHEERS

  24. Katz

    Waterloo cheese.

  25. Paul Burns

    Tim-Tams are biscuits. Canteens are where American soldiers go on R&R. Tuckshops are where Aussie kids buy cream-buns, chocolate elairs, meat pies with sorz, fairy bread and vegemite sandwiches.Which is why they grew up so healthy.

  26. danny

    Nab@22: “a tasty foodstuff named after a military grouping or epic combat” …
    Not strictly a grouping or combat, but perhaps an entry in the “c’est carbohydrtae mais ce n’est pas le guerre” stakes: Named for a general?

    In Australia, mille-feuille is known as ‘vanilla slice’ … In France, a Napoléon is a mille-feuille filled with almond flavoured paste.

  27. Deborah

    @ verity – I’ll try the raw sugar variant. Especially as it has the required degree of authenticity (i.e. handed down by grandmother).

  28. Steve at the Pub

    Nabakov #22. I’ve endured “The Shock of the New” from start to finish, & am prepared to swear on a whole stack of bibles that there was no war cemetery scene anywhere.

    Was it a “header” recorded as a preface, or perhaps the more recent “The New Shock of the New”?

  29. skepticlawyer

    Another one to add to my recipe collection, Deborah; most excellent.

  30. Fine

    Just have to add that Tim Tams were named after a horse who won the Kentucky Derby in the ’50s. So, the great Australian icon has a USA connection. Just sayin’

  31. Helen

    Taking a batch of Anzacs to work with me today – a bit too big as usual (each Anzac, I mean.) I always do that!

    My recipe uses brown sugar, which is a different animal to the raw sugar and I think gives a deeper flavour.

    I was expecting a Thread of doom to break out over chewy vs crisp. I’m a chewy!

  32. Daphon

    “I was expecting a Thread of doom to break out over chewy vs crisp. I’m a chewy!”

    I like them really crisp so freeze them and eat them frozen.

  33. joe2

    I heard somewhere that the crisp ones were known to cause severe damage to our boys teeth and gums and from the an insidious recipe propagandised by the enemy to fool mothers and wives back home.

    Probably, add half a cup of tar and let set for one month before sending , or something.

    Bastards!

  34. j_p_z

    The problem is, if you guys call cookies “biscuits,” then what on earth do yez call biscuits?

    A bigger problem might be that maybe you don’t have actual biscuits. That would be a sore privation indeed. Or maybe biscuits are scones, who can say, it’s all so confusing.

    As to baked goods named for massive armed conflicts, I think you’ll find that the croissant has its origins in one-thousand-years-and-counting of brutal Islamic incursions into the West.

  35. Helen

    Japerz, I think your biscuits are indeed what we call “scones”, but they are eaten in a different way. We don’t put them on the plate with a main course, they are things which are eaten as you would eat muffins, as a snack or light afternoon meal. They can be sweet (traditionally with jam and cream) or savoury with herbs or spinach or other stuff in them.
    The nearest thing to your “biscuits” in the way they are eaten would be Yorkshire pudding,, but Y.P. isn’t really scone-y because they have eggs and no butter.

  36. Deborah

    NwN asked me the chewy vs crisp question. I said:

    I prefer them just a little soft in the middle. Crunch through the outside to a softer inside. I don’t always achieve that; sometimes they end up crisp all the way through. I find that a slightly wetter mix helps, and undercooking just a little helps. They usually puff up into a rounded shape in the oven; if I take them out just as or just after they shift back down to a flat top, they seem to end up about right (to my taste, that is).

  37. Liam

    As to baked goods named for massive armed conflicts

    I really like this idea, JPZ, and might get out my cookbooks this evening and make some a Sherman’s March To The Sea Teacake (“hurrah, bring the jubilee”), or perhaps a batch of Great Patriotic Biscotti (“Not One Almond Back”).
    What’s it say here? Preheat the oven to 1812…

    I think you’ll find that the croissant has its origins in one-thousand-years-and-counting of brutal Islamic incursions into the West.

    Well if it’s the 19th century French imitation of the “kipferl”, an Austrian, differently-curved, baked pastry. Or if it’s the Hungarian-Yiddish version “rugelach”, specifically not at all Austrian. Calling all paleo-pastrybakers (or can Zoe sort this one out for us)?

  38. Katz

    “Biscuit” literally means “cooked twice”.

    US “biscuits”, at least those I encountered in the South were, as Helen observed, like little scones, and definitely not cooked twice, unless you count an indeterminate period of time under a display case heat lamp as “cooking”.

    And then of course there is the famous Vietnam-era dish Frag Bolognaise.

  39. Paul Burns

    How do you eat Anzac biscuits with false teeth? Dip in a cuppa tea?

  40. Katz

    I think you’ll find that the croissant has its origins in one-thousand-years-and-counting of brutal Islamic incursions into the West.

    That’s a furphy, Japerz.

  41. Guido

    I always thought that the biscuits were called ANZAC because when under the heat they stick together.

  42. Liam

    Speaking of furphies, Katz, considering the origins and their co-option by Australians, I’ve always thought of ANZAC biscuits as the Crowded House of the food universe.

  43. Helen

    How do you eat Anzac biscuits with false teeth? Dip in a cuppa tea?

    That is a very excellent suggestion!

    I always thought that the biscuits were called ANZAC because when under the heat they stick together.

    Ha – never thought of that! Also what Liam said!

  44. Katz

    But Crowded House was founded in Melbourne after its members fled New Zealand, wheres Anzac biscuits stick to the roof of your mouth.

    Apart from that, they are almost impossible to distinguish one from the other.

  45. Nabakov

    Yo SATP@28,

    I thought it was “Shock of The New” but last saw it decades ago. Your recollection is probably better than mine. If it wasn’t that, then it was another one of those big BBC art and history epic series with Jacob Bronowski, Kenneth Clark or Simon Schama pouncing about on location.

    Anyway, whoever it was, they made a great point visually about the intangible and generational costs of war.

    Also re the crunchy or chewy ANZAC biscuit debate – well in NZ they are crunchy yet slightly chewy and in Aus, chewy yet slightly crunchy.

    Besides, if you dunk an ANZAC in a steaming cuppa, it always comes out hot, brown, soggy and tasty, regardless of who you are or where you are.

  46. Nabakov

    And re the croissant issue, my understanding is it was basically invented by the Austrians as a “fuck you” to the Turks and imported into France by Marie Antoinette.

    Now in Paris, some of the best croissants are baked by proud Franco-African musselmen in Chateau Rouge and Belleville. History’s funny like that.

  47. Nabakov

    “As to baked goods named for massive armed conflicts”

    If I had one more swig of the Dalwhinnie 15, I could well respond with:

    ‘Crepes Flambe au Dresden’

    ‘Waterloo Rolls’ – for that farm fresh taste!

    ‘Coral Sea Cookies; Your tongue is the flight deck.’

    ‘Jutland Souffle: What goes up must come back.’

    ‘Kursk Kookies’ – only comes in packets of several thousand. The Red Army accepts no responsibility for putting anything in your mouth.

    ‘Passchendaele Pastries – Total mouth wipers mate.’

    ‘Suez Rolls – made in Eden! Banned by Ike!’

    ‘Beef Wellington’ – I don’t know what effect it will have on the guests, but by God it frightens me.

  48. Nabakov

    Also the idea that the term ‘furphy’ comes from a now five generation old family of water tank makers in Shepperton is not a furphy.

  49. Helen

    And the water tank makers are actually related to Joseph Furphy AKA Tom “Such is Life” Collins.

  50. j_p_z

    re #47 let’s not leave out…

    Kruppcakes: to commemorate German industry’s many fine contributions to world wars of all shapes and sizes.

    Le Pain au Lepanto: when you’ve just gotta rebuild that fleet pronto, this bread is hard as rocks AND it floats!

    Masada Tostada: sharp enough to fall on, but savor that sabor *before* you leap!

    Tai-p’ing Toasties: Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, and kill!

    I’ll let somebody else write the copy for Pol Potstickers…

  51. dylwah

    lol, if i may,

    Salamis Salami, you don’t want to know whats in it.
    Thermopole Thermadore, a little goes a long way.

  52. Katz

    Nagasukiyaki

    London Blintz

  53. FDB

    This can only end in a Battle of the Bulge.

  54. Helen

    Baklava

  55. GregM

    My recipe uses brown sugar, which is a different animal to the raw sugar and I think gives a deeper flavour.

    Quite right Helen. That’s the way my mum made them and it does make all the difference.

  56. GregM

    To those who don’t know it’s the molasses in brown sugar that gives it the the deeper flavour – along with all sorts of vitamin and minerally goodness.

  57. Katz

    Hellfire Pastrami.

  58. j_p_z

    Hee hee.

    I’m inclined to award Helen @ #54 the Samuel Beckett Special Jury Prize for witty economy and terseness (well at least I hear those things have something or other to do with wit, but I’ve never learned watt, exactly) but OTOH Katz’s “London Blintz” entry is quite a comer in that regard.

    Perhaps Helen and Katz should mud-wrassle to see who wins. Might make a fine charity event for MSF or somebody.

    (Lesser contribution but in keeping with earlier Islamic incursion theme:

    Bey-gels.

    Yep yep I know, try the veal and tip your waitress…)

  59. Brett

    ¡No pastarán!

  60. Katz

    Suvlaki Bay

  61. Ambigulous

    Jack D Ripper mushroom omelettes

  62. Lefty E

    For some reason I want to say ‘Muffin Tumble” – despite it not exactly fitting the bill.

    And I still reckon ’24-hour Chapati people’ MUST one day exist as an all night Indian fast food chain.

  63. Liam

    Muffin Tumble

    This is my souffle this is my bun
    This is for rising this is for fun

  64. j_p_z

    Chapati wa naan desu-ka?

    (runs away)

  65. Pina

    Great recipe, although standard in just about every household in Australia (I’m amazed at the consistency in instructions for these biscuits: I guess they are that simple).
    I like ‘em soft and chewy, so I lay out the mixture in a baking dish, and cook for 3-5 minutes less. They need a while to cool then cut up into slices.