I have a few very reliable and easy to make biscuit recipes – It is not something that I cook very often because they would be eaten and none of us need to eat more food than we do already. The main stays are Anzac biscuits, mothers biscuits and gingerbread men. I also have some special ones that I produce for Christmas or special afternoon teas that look as good as they taste, and the kids favourite; decorated arrowroot biscuits. One day I will add these to the posts here.
It is tradition in our house to make Anzac biscuits each Anzac Day. This morning Max (3 year old grandson) helped by making his own tray. He produced a variety of shapes, including some cylinders and a mountain, but no matter what shape they started out as each of his just looked like an Anzac biscuit at the end of the cooking time. So much for time spent rolling them into balls and flattening them on to a tray. I now just dollop teaspoons of the mixture on to the trays.
We videod Max’s work and when cooked presented his tray to his parents. Noone who watched the video of them being made actually wanted to try them, his parents, however, didn’t get to see the extent of the involvement of his hands and mouth prior to their tasting.
The recipe we use came from a book put out about 25 years ago by Bankstown Family Day Care. Of course I have made a few modifications over time. It makes about 180 biscuits so you will definitely have enough to share and freeze. Only 12 biscuits fit per tray because they spread while cooking, so there is a fair committment to kitchen time to get the whole batch cooked.
- 4 cups plain flour
- 5 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 4 cups white sugar
- ½ cup golden syrup
- 250g butter
- 1 ½ cups boiling water
- 3 tsp bicarb soda
1 Preheat oven to moderate (170C). Prepare as many trays as will fit into the oven and a couple extra. Cut baking sheets that are a bit longer for each one.
2 Mix together the flour, oats, coconut and sugar. Make a well in the centre.
3 Melt the butter and the golden syrup in the microwave.
4 Add bicarb to the boiling water and stir and add to golden syrup and butter mixture. Add to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
4 Take a soup spoon of mixture and push into a roundish shape and place onto trays leaving room to spread. I like them a little lumpy and rustic but if you want smooth and even then roll into balls and flatten with a fork. Bake for 12 minutes, but check them at 8 minutes, until lightly golden. Rotate about 2/3 of the way through the cooking time to ensure even browning.
5 You see recipes that say to leave them on the tray to cool – that really slows down the process line. I take the tray out of the oven, put it on the stove top, grab both ends of the baking sheet and drag the lot onto the granite bench top to cool. In the mean time I have got the next batch of biscuits ready on a piece of baking paper, so I can pull it back onto the baking tray and get it back into the oven. Turn the cooling biscuits over when set to allow the bottoms to dry out a bit before storing.
I have to stay in the kitchen while baking or I forget and end up with over cooked (read burnt) or unevenly cooked food, so I may as well use the time getting each batch ready in advance. And while waiting for the last batch to cook I get to clean up the mess.