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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Aussing up Christmas

As I said before, this year's Christmas baking was a bit of a rushed job, and although I would have liked to try out a new Christmassy recipe, I just kept things simple and made a tried and true crowd pleaser. The final component of this year's Christmas baking parcels, making friends with the Fruit Mince Shortbreads and the Gingerbread Biscuits, was therefore really not at all Christmassy but totally Aus. Macadamia ANZAC biccies.

For those of my non-Aussie (not to be confused with "unAustralian") readers, the term ANZAC refers to Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and ANZAC Biscuits were first made during WWI by loved ones wishing to send treats to soldiers on the front line. This style of biscuit was made as they are quite sturdy and keep well, thus surviving the long journey to the soldiers.

Like most Aussie or NZ things, there is disagreement between Australian and New Zealand sources over where they actually first originated from. I think that given the name we should both claim them equally. I also think that Russell Crowe is totally from New Zealand, and Pavlova belongs to us.

I didn't realise this, but according to Wikipedia the usual protection that restricts the use of the term ANZAC without first obtaining permission from the Minister for Veterans' Affairs is generally excempt for ANZAC Biscuits "as long as these biscuits remain basically true to the original recipe and are both referred to and sold as ANZAC Biscuits and never as cookies". Well, I wouldn't dream of calling these cookies ('twould surely be unAustralian), but I'm a little concerned that the addition of macadamia nuts in my recipe might be seen as not remaining true to the original recipe. Macadamias are at least endemic to Australia. Please don't tell The Hon Alan Griffin MP (dobbing is totally unAustralian).

This recipe is very easy and quick and is always met with cries for more, you can't go wrong with it. The only thing I'd really recommend is to weigh the ingredients instead of measuring, as I find this always creates the perfect consistency, but either way you should get good results.

Macadamia ANZAC Biscuits
From taste.com.au


75g (1/2 cup) whole macadamia nuts
115g (3/4 cup) plain flour
1 tsp ground ginger
165g (1 1/2 cups) rolled oats
165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
45g (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut
2 tbs boiling water
1 tbs golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g butter, cubed, melted


1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 2 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Spread the macadamia nuts over 1 tray and cook in preheated oven for 6 minutes or until lightly toasted. Transfer to a chopping board to cool slightly, then coarsely chop.
2. Sift the flour and ginger into a large bowl. Add the macadamia nuts, rolled oats, sugar and coconut, and stir to combine.
3. Combine the boiling water, golden syrup and bicarbonate of soda in a small jug. Once the mixture froths up, stir in the butter. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.

Mmm beery. In fact, Aus this recipe up even more by drinking a beer as you bake

Add the cooled butter mixture to the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to combine.

4. Place 2 heaped teaspoons of mixture onto 1 of the lined trays and use the back of a spoon to flatten slightly. (I think I use a little less mixture than this for each biccie, I find you need to use your fingers a bit to squish the mixture together a little on the tray, and I am conscious of making sure each one gets at least one chunk of macadamia!)

Repeat with the remaining mixture, leaving about 3cm between each. Bake in preheated oven for 13 minutes for chewy biscuits or 16 minutes for crunchy biscuits, swapping trays around halfway through cooking. Set aside for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool.

What's that Mr Biscuit? You think I need to eat you to make sure the batch wasn't poisoned?

Christmas treat parcels all ready for delivery by the Christmas Fairy (who is thankfully more reliable than Aust Post at the moment, and arguably more attractive too)


Trissa December 23, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

Yes, your packaging is definitely more attractive than what you would get in Australia Post - and also much more delicious!!

Agnes December 23, 2009 at 7:23 PM  

I made a similar recipe this weekend - mine also had macadamias and they were delicious!

Whenever I bake stuff, the Boys always ask if I need help taste testing in case of poisoning too. They are so altruistic! I hope you taste tested the hell out of your batch of biscuits. ;)

Agnes December 23, 2009 at 7:24 PM  

PS: Russell Crowe is totally Australian. New Zealand doesn't want him. Maybe America will if Australia doesn't want him either?

Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) December 23, 2009 at 7:40 PM  

These biscuits with both nuts and oats could be considered healthy, you know =)

Iron Chef Shellie December 23, 2009 at 8:16 PM  

Thanks for the history lesson Conor! I feel slightly more intellimegent =)

Merry Christmas to you, and I'm sure your biscuits (not cookies) will go down a treat!

penny aka jeroxie December 23, 2009 at 8:26 PM  

So much more organise than me. I've NO baking yet. I bet everyone will love the cookies.

Merry Christmas. Eat and drink lots!

Simply Life December 23, 2009 at 8:34 PM  

YUM! I love macadamia nuts but haven't had them in far too long! I would devour these cookies right now if I could! :)

Conor @ HoldtheBeef December 23, 2009 at 10:41 PM  

Trissa - and hopefully not melted to all buggery like they tend to allow!

Agnes - great minds hey? Don't worry, I tested them til they could be tested no more :D
Let's hope America wants him. We can throw in his rugby team for free too.

mademoiselle délicieuse - it's practically a breakfast food! Maybe I could crumble them up and promote them as Little Aussie Bites cereal, for the little Aussie in your life (disclaimer: may possibly cause childhood obesity and an overabundance of dental decay)

Iron Chef Shellie - my pleasure! Glad to fill your head with more food information and probably push out some actual useful information :D Merry Christmas to you too, make sure you set a table place for me (you DO remember your mum is adopting me, right? I have all my things packed)

penny aka jeroxie - You have a pretty bloody valid excuse of having just got your kitchen back! Don't stress! Merry Christmas and I hope you eat and drink lots too (just drink some more if you feel the stress coming on or if the new rangehood falls out or something)

Simply Life - I'd send you some if I could!

Evelyne@Cheap Ethnic Eatz December 23, 2009 at 10:55 PM  

Those cookies look very good, specially with the macadam nuts!

Thank you for explaining the non-Aussie vs unAustralian thing. Gopod forbid I should ever make such a faux-pas. I guess my equivalent of unCanadian would be to shun maple syrup and hockey? 9I hate hockey so I am half screwed!)

Mardi Michels December 23, 2009 at 11:53 PM  

These look great Conor - will be bookmarking this for April 25!

The Food Addicts December 24, 2009 at 1:19 AM  

Hey Conor! Those are great little cookies you have there - especially all wrapped up and ready to be given away! That's the joy of Christmas and giving... love it!!!

Robin, David, Simon and Leo December 24, 2009 at 2:03 AM  

Conor -- beautiful cookies. Healthy, too, which doesn't hurt this time of year!

Betty @ The Hungry Girl December 24, 2009 at 2:04 PM  

Pavolova is totally Australian! Your biscuits (not cookies) look delicious and the perfect little treats for Christmas! Merry Christmas! I hope that Santa is good to you :) xx

Karine December 24, 2009 at 8:21 PM  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella December 24, 2009 at 8:53 PM  

Haha oh no the NZ vs Australian debate. Is it like America and Canada? I love Anzac biscuits I have to admit and I think they could conquer the world seriously. I've converted many an American friend :) I hope you have a gorgeous Christmas and a Happy New Year Conor! xxx

Tasty Eats At Home December 25, 2009 at 4:36 AM  

Macadamia nuts and coconut? I'm so in! Yum! Happy holidays!

cheapAppetite December 25, 2009 at 11:58 AM  

This "ANZAC Biscuits" look phenomenal! But it looks more like cookies to me:) Happy Holidays

Forager December 25, 2009 at 2:59 PM  

Your comment re biscuits and cookies brought back so many high school memories where our legal studies teacher used to tell us off for calling them Anzac cookies. So un-Australian! But this recipe is a great way to get rid of my surplus macadamias. Oh - and a very Merry Christmas to you!

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