Thursday, 24 April 2014

Baking with 'Baby' 13 - Amazing Anzacs!

Have you heard of ANZAC biscuits? I love 'em! 

Here's some we made earlier...

I first fell in love with these years ago, when I discovered them in Sainsbury's. Of course that was before I had to go dairy and gluten free.

Strictly speaking, they're an invention from Down Under, I believe - originally created by families who sent them to husbands/brothers/uncles/sons who were fighting in the trenches during the First World War. How amazing it must have been for these men to receive a taste of home, when they were so far away from their loved ones and living in the most appalling conditions. 

Nowadays, they're made and eaten as a token of Remembrance. 

I made these for the first time last year. I'd been meaning to make them for some while, however, one of the major ingredients in these biscuits is oats. I know a lot of coeliacs have problems with oats, even when they're gluten free and I still haven't decided how my stomach copes with them. It seems to go through phases. At the moment, I seem to be okay with gluten free oats in small doses, so I decided to have another go at making them.

I meant to post the recipe for these cookies last year, but... other bloggers posted theirs and beat me to it. 

Sigh! The perils of trying to be original!! 

Someone even used practically the same recipe and posted a pic of their biccies in a Kilner jar - which was exactly how I had photographed mine! Great minds obviously DO think alike. 

More sighs!! 

So anyway, I decided to save mine for another day. And just as well that I did. 'Cos I couldn't get my first recipe to go right. I tried and tried, but although the biccies tasted fab, they went flat each time! 


Cookie anyone?

'Oh well!' I thought, 'one big cookie it is, then!'

Doesn't look too good on the blog, does it??

When I returned to try it again, this year, the link was broken. Oops! So the search began again...

And here it is, this one- the second recipe - 'cos I figured that if it was someone's Grandma's recipe... well it MUST be good!  And our biccies came out perfecto!! 

Stick with me here, though, 'cos I found her instructions a bit sparse!

So, here we go... just in time for ANZAC Day, and with a just a little Dairy Free 'Baby' tweak ;)

For a start, I like to line my tray, with baking paper, and set my oven before I start. That way, I have time to check my oven thermometer well before I want to put my baking in the oven, and it gives me time to adjust the temperature and get it just right!

Then you can get out the ingredients.

In this recipe, all the dry ingredients are measured in cups and spoons. This is probably more authentic, in terms of the history of the recipe, but can drive me bappy, as I worry that I'm not as accurate as I'd like to be. However, I think cups are great, when working with little ones - because grams and ounces are all a bit abstract for littlies. If you wish to convert to grams, or ounces, this can easily be done, with the help of this page.

Our measuring cups - a pressie from my lil' sis' :)

I love the fact, though, that this recipe comes to its senses when it gets to the butter part - can't be doing with a cup of butter/margarine/whatever!

So to make this recipe suitable for us, we substituted Doves Farm gluten free flour for the plain flour and Nairn's gluten free oats for the normal ones. We added the sugar and coconut as per normal. 'Baby' couldn't wait to stir!

Pure sunflower margarine made an excellent substitute for the butter and combined well with the golden syrup, over a low heat.

Having read (earlier on in the article with the recipe) that you can go easy on the bicarbonate of soda, I did! I don't know about you, but I'm not keen on the metallic taste it can give. Just under half a teaspoon worked fine. 

I was a bit worried that I didn't get it straight into the margarine and syrup mix and then into the dry mix, as I thought it would affect the effectiveness of the bicarb, but it didn't seem to hurt!

The whole mixture came together well and although it appeared slightly greasy, unlike last year, we did manage to roll it into little balls in our hands. We didn't press them down at all, as some recipes suggest. We just spread them apart well on the tray - as I knew they may well spread!!

Keep them well-spaced - they spread!!

For a finishing flourish, 'Baby' suggested adding choccy buttons. Perhaps she remembered us adding buttons to one of our batches last year. However, only having half a packet of Moo Free to hand, on this occasion, we settled on giving half the batch a topping of three buttons each, before placing them in the oven and setting the timer.

Bang on time I took the trays from the oven and hey presto... 

Huzzah! Not one giant cookie, but lots of  proper-sized ones!



And they seriously tasted GREAT!! Now I'm wondering why they're only kept for ANZACS Day! But what a great way to respect the memory of those who fought so courageously on our behalf, all those years ago.

Lest we forget...

One last suggestion: the recipe said to loosen the cookies before they cooled. I tried but they began to crumble, so I left them to cool on the tray, then loosened them with a gentle twist, once they had cooled a bit.

More dairy free baking adventures can be found by following the links on this page.


  1. Did you still put the lemon in, as well as the chocolate?

  2. Hi Jo!

    No, I used the second recipe - slightly further down the same page. I chose that one, precisely because it didn't have any lemon. Although some do, most of the ANZAC recipes I've seen/tried don't seem to include lemon.

    If you did wish to include some citrus, I imagine orange would be a good choice to go with chocolate.

    Hope this helps!