Kids in the Kitchen – Anzac Day Biscuits

Anzac Day is coming to a close here and the batch of Anzac Biscuits we baked this morning is also disappearing…I’ll have to put the last few remaining biscuits in one of my ‘hidey spots’ so there will be some left for lunchboxes tomorrow. It’s ironic that Anzac Biscuits were originally devised as a treat that had a long shelf life (in order to be sent overseas to our troops), yet once they are made they really don’t last long – how can one resist those crunchy, golden biscuits cooling on the tray?

It’s also quite interesting (to me anyway!) that there are so many different recipes and variations for something considered an iconic Aussie ‘classic’ – differing quantities of flour/oats/sugar, differing cook times to result in either soft & chewy or golden & crunchy, and possible additions of sultanas or choc chips.

To complicate matters further, my mum’s recipe (which I now follow) seems to be a ‘standard’, yet she often made hers as a slice. She would push her biscuit mixture into a greased slice tin, bake then drizzle the cooled slice with chocolate icing. This seemed sacrilege to me for many years – they are supposed to be biscuits Mum!

Being a parent now myself I think I understand her logic – after getting my kids to help make Anzac Biscuits today I can see how bunging it all in a pan and jazzing it up with icing was so much quicker & easier!

So Anzac Biscuits were on the cards today, of course. After Mia and Mr B. came home from the march in town, we lazed around long enough to get bedsores – at this point it was baking time. Mia donned her apron and Oliver followed…I assisted with measuring ingredients and the stove-top component, and let the kids take over. For a little while…

Mixing the dry ingredients is the easy part…Once the saucepan ingredients are ready it’s time for mum to step in.

Once that exciting chemical reaction between the bicarb and golden syrup/butter mixture occurs it’s time to combine it all…

Those lovely green laminate benchtops? Yes, straight out of the 80’s I know. They’re going one day…I’m not really attached to them you see.

So…back to our biscuits. Once combined, kids are the perfect little helpers to roll the mixture into balls for the tray. This part was quite, uh, fun. And messy. Mia lasted a few biscuits, whereas Oliver (just a tad OCD, our boy) played with one handful then wanted his hands washed. He was also very concerned about the increasing amount of crumbly mixture ending up on the floor.

Can you see our lovely malformed biscuits at this point? Charming is one word I’d use to describe them! Mia knows exactly which ones she made and hones in on them within seconds of spotting the finished product.

The kids lost interest at that point. I love that they can run off and play and leave me with the washing up – my own fault for not encouraging them in those endeavours too!

Out came our lovely crispy Anzac Biscuits – we ate, and we ate, and we ate. Then we had to walk along the beach to compensate for all that butter and sugar. Lest we Forget.

Anzac Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 125g butter
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon Golden syrup
  • 1 teaspooon bicarb soda
  1. Preheat oven to 170 °C. Combine sifted flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
  2. Place butter, golden syrup and water in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until butter has melted. Remove from heat and stir in bicarb soda.
  3. Pour mixture into dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Roll mixture into balls and bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on trays.

It’s Cookies & Cream day!

We’re in full swing of Easter school holidays here, and with Mr B. home as well I have lots of hungry mouths to fill! After spending the morning splashing around at the aquatic centre I spent quite a few hours in the kitchen replenishing supplies. Cupcakes were the first order of the day.
I set my sights on the Cookies & Cream cupcakes – my first recipe out of Vegan Cupcakes take over the world.
As we’re not vegan I modified it slightly, so my recipe came out like this:

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes – Makes 12

1 cup milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
Around 10 chopped Oreo cookies

Frosting
125g butter or marg, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 T milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 cup cocoa
3 Oreo cookies, finely mashed

1. Preheat oven to 175 °C and line muffin tin with cupcake cases.
2. Whisk together milk & vinegar in a large bowl, set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
3. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla and whisk until foamy.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients and whisk into wet ingredients until no lumps remain.
5. Stir through chopped oreo cookies, then pour into cases until 3/4 full.
6. Bake 18-20 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack.
7. Frosting – Beat butter for 6-8 minutes, or until a light, creamy consistency. Add milk & vanilla, then sift in icing sugar and cocoa. Beat until combined. Fold in mashed cookies.
8. Spread cooled cupcakes with frosting, then top with extra oreo cookies if desired.

These were to die for!! Absolutely heaven, and they’ve given me a renewed confidence for the success of other recipes in this book (and more cupcakey goodness in my tummy!)
The only reason the whole batch hasn’t been devoured yet it because whilst I was whipping up the frosting for those babies, I had the food processor working away on some other sweet morsels…
Apricot Coconut Balls
1 cup crushed weetbix
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
250g dried apricots.

Mix together in food processor until sticky & dough-like (great description huh?). Roll into balls, coat in extra coconut then chill until set. So quick & simple, and delicious with your afternoon cuppa!
I’m sure these are served up at every Christmas ‘do’ in my extended family, so they do seem like a special treat, but I was desperate to use up some of the weet-bix crumbs in the bottom of the cereal container (good enough reason, don’t you think?!).
After the dishes were washed the bench reappeared so out came the Zoku. I’m really enjoying experimenting with it and uh, eating the results of course!
After opening the box of Oreo cookies for the cupcakes, I knew it wouldn’t be long before they were found by the little people, so I used my magic skills to make them disappear…into ice-blocks. I used the Cookies & Cream recipe in the Zoku recipe book, but modified it slightly using Lorraine’s suggestion of using custard instead of ‘vanilla pudding’ – these pops turned out so much creamier than any I have made so far, so I’ll definitely stick with the custard. Really nice flavour, creamy texture and the biscuit pieces were a nice ‘treat’ in the middle. This recipe is a keeper!