This recipe from Down Under is a poignant reminder of the hardships the Forces endured during World War I. Wives, lovers and mothers would make these oaty biscuits to send to Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) troops fighting thousands of miles away at Gallipoli in Turkey. There was no refrigeration on the ships, so the biscuits required a good shelf (or ship) life to ensure they didn’t go off during the two-month voyage.
- Yield: 12
- 125 g plain flour
- 100 g medium oatmeal or porridge oats
- 100 g light soft brown sugar
- 50 g desiccated coconut
- 100 g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp golden syrup or honey
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp boiling water
- Large baking sheet, lightly greased or lined with baking parchment
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3. Sift the flour into a medium mixing bowl. Add the oatmeal, brown sugar and coconut and mix together thoroughly.
- Put the butter and golden syrup or honey into a small saucepan. Place over a low heat until the butter has melted. Meanwhile, put the bicarbonate of soda into a cup and pour on the boiling water to dissolve.
- Next, stir the bicarbonate of soda mix into the melted butter; be very careful – the mixture will rapidly fizz and foam up. Pour the frothing mixture into the dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, quickly mix together to form a thick batter.
- Place generous tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, allowing room for spreading. Gently flatten the tops with the back of a fork. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Leave the biscuits on the baking sheet for 10 minutes to firm up before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Stored in an airtight tin, they will keep for up to 3 months.