Continuing with the middle-aged housewife theme during lockdown, I’ve taken to handwriting letters to friends and including a recipe. The bonus being that I occasionally get one in return.
I can’t tell you how delighted I was to receive this recipe for ANZAC biscuits from my friend Vicky. It’s a true Hand-Me-Down-Recipe as it comes from her late mother’s recipe binder which she passes to me in her mum’s memory as she was “a big letter writer”. This is just so lovely.
I couldn’t wait to try making them but true to form I just couldn’t resist a little tinker. I substituted sultanas for dark chocolate chunks. This is why they look so dark in this photo – they’re not burnt honest! They made a delicious elevenses treat and taste much better than they look in this photo.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and Wikipedia has it that these biscuits were made to send to ANZAC forces serving in WWI. This connects nicely with the story of how I came to know Vicky. My husband found her first when back-packing around Australia in the 1990s.
Vicky’s Mum’s ANZAC Biscuits
- 2 tablespoons of golden syrup
- 125g of butter or margarine (I used butter)
- 100g of caster sugar
- 100g oats
- 50g of desiccated coconut
- 100g of plain flour
- 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
- 50g of sultanas (I used the same amount of Lindt dark chocolate cut into small chunks)
- 1 tablespoon of hot water
Preheat the oven to 170oC.
Melt the syrup, butter and caster sugar in a pan.
Then stir in the remaining ingredients (except the chocolate chunks if you are using, the mixture needs to cool a little first if you are using these otherwise the chocolate melts as I found out the hard way).
Roll into 16 balls and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes (mine were done after about 13). I needed two trays to bake 16.
Cool on the tray until they are firm enough to transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
They keep for several days in the tin.
PS. I am embarrassed to admit to the recipe I have been including in my letters because it’s so bog-standardly middle class and apparently the most googled recipe during lockdown! But, for posterity, here it is (no photo I’m afraid but you can use your imagination).
Elizabeth’s easy-peasy banana cake
- 2 on-the-turn bananas, mashed
- 140g of caster sugar
- 55g of Stork margarine (or for purists use butter)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 170g of self-raising flour
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
Line a loaf tin (approx. 22cm long, 11cm wide, 6cm deep) with baking parchment.
Mix all the ingredients above together in a large mixing bowl. Then, using an electric hand whisk, mix until just incorporated.
Tip into the prepared tin and bake in an oven preheated to 170oC fan for 30 minutes.