Happiness. I was back in the kitchen recently after a fairly long hiatus. For the past few months, I’ve spent pretty much all my waking hours furtively tapping away at my laptop trying to wrap up my PhD thesis. Thankfully, it’s all bound and parcelled now; it’s probably sitting in the in-tray on some grey-haired examiner’s desk many miles away.
My copious thanks to Emily for holding the blog fort while I was occupied elsewhere.
So what did I decide to cook on my first day back?
And why? It’s not the most interesting story, but I’ll share it anyway. A few weeks ago, I met an English girl at a conference, who asked me where she could buy a genuine Anzac cookie around ol’ Melbourne town.
I honestly could not think of one good place to buy an Anzac cookie. There must be some little bakery that sells them, but I don’t know where it is.
What I do know is that my grandmother makes a mean Anzac cookie – as I’m sure most grandmothers do. I remember chewing on them as a kid, stuffing one after the other into my mouth.
I dug out my grandmothers’s old recipe to try to recreate her Anzac cookie greatness. In true retro style, the recipe quantities were vague. It called for ‘a large cup of oats’ and ‘a small cup of sugar’. I’m pretty sure they weren’t metric cups either! A few phone calls to relatives have since revealed the standard cup in my grandmother’s recipes is “Auntie Win’s breakfast mug”.
Undeterred, I set out to recreate her cookies. I made four batches. Fail after fail, after fail.
The first batch resembled oats lodged in hard toffee. (We established that *someone* forgot to add the flour. I blame Emily, but she says it was my fault. I maintain she was in charge of the dry ingredients!)
Batch number two, which included the missing flour, looked and tasted like chalkey oatey rocks.
The next batch was too syrupy. The final batch was ok, but I burnt them. After that, I did the honourable thing and gave up.
I’m going to tackle these little babies again one day, hopefully in time for Anzac day in April – the traditional time of eating.
What about you out there in blog world? Any tips for next time I tackle the Anzac cookie?
Here is the recipe that I used. Any suggestions welcome…
2 large cups John Bull oats
1 small cup plain flour
4 oz butter
2 large tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons boiling water
Melt the butter and syrup. Add the soda disolved in the boiling water. Then, add all to the dry ingredients. Place in single teaspoon sized piles on a buttered tray. Cook in a moderate oven for 10-15 minutes.