Thursday, May 5, 2011

Vegan Anzac Biscuits

Vegan Anzac Biscuits
Anzac Biscuits are a traditional Australian and New Zealand sweet biscuit. Normally the American translation for sweet biscuits is cookies, and I only mention this to give my American readers a frame of reference, because in this case, the term ANZAC is protected and revered under Australian and New Zealand law and is only officially allowed to be used in conjunction with the term "biscuit" and never "cookie," which is considered foreign in origin. In addition, in order for the name allowance, the biscuit must largely keep to the traditional recipe.

The word, or rather, abbreviation ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Anzac Day, April 25, is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand which originally honored the soldiers who fought at Gallipoli, Turkey during World War I. These days it more broadly commemorates those who have died and served in military operations for both countries.

The story is that the biscuits were created because eggs were scarce during World War I, these biscuits being eggless, and because they kept well, so they were often sent in packages to ANZAC soldiers. The biscuits are still very popular in Australia and New Zealand, and are commonly found in coffee shops and bakeries.

I don't remember exactly where I got this variation of the recipe since I have had it for years now, but I can say these biscuits are mighty tasty and easy to make.

Anzac Biscuits

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons non-dairy margarine
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup or agave nectar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheets (or use a Silpat or parchment paper).

In your main mixing bowl, mix together oats, flour, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a microwave-safe bowl, put margarine, sugar, and golden syrup. (Hint- for the golden syrup or any sticky syrup, spray the inside of the measuring cup with cooking spray first and all the sticky stuff will slide right out.) Microwave until the margarine is melted, about 45 seconds, and stir every 15 seconds while heating. Mix together until blended.

Pour the margarine/sugar/syrup mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix together until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

Pinch off small balls of the dough, and compress into 1 inch balls, and place on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Don’t be afraid to handle this dough and moosh it together, because it’s fairly crumbly.

Bake for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown. Take out of the oven, and let stand on baking sheets for a few minutes, and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

Makes about 35 biscuits.

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