A soldiers’ biscuit with a sprinkle of ANZAC spirit

Blogger: GemSen Next Thursday 25th April is ANZAC Day, which is synonymous with the tasty ANZAC biscuit, but do you really know what the day and its crunchy treats commemorate? ANZAC Day is a day of remembrance to honour the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli on the dawn of April 25th 1915, during the First World War. On that day, the Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed in Gallipoli as part of an allied expedition that aimed to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula. However, the army met strong resistance from the Ottoman Army and the campaign became a stalemate, which dragged on for a gruelling eight months. The Allied casualties included 21,255 from the United Kingdom, an estimated 10,000 dead soldiers from France, 8,709 from Australia, 2,721 from New Zealand, and 1,358 from British India. If you’re interested in Australian and New Zealand war records then you might like to take a look at the original ‘Memorial Register, Gallipoli 16-20, War Graves of The British Commonwealth 1914-1918, Cemeteries in Anzac and Gallipoli’, which has been recently added to the Forces War Records historic library. The Forces War Records genealogy research team has digitised many hundreds of original wartime registers, newspapers, magazines, journals, periodicals, leaflets and more – you can explore the site whether you have a specific search to do, or are just interested in history and are just browsing. The spirit of ANZAC­ With its human qualities of courage, and sacrifice, ANZAC Day is a time when Australians and New Zealanders remember those who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. The day continues to have great meaning and significance and ceremonies are held across New Zealand and Australia to acknowledge the service of ANZAC veterans. Did any of your Australian or New Zealand relatives serve and fight during war or conflict? Do you have any missing pieces to your military genealogy research? Search our military records and historic document library – you never know what you might discover… So, what has ANZAC Day got to do with biscuits? Anzac biscuits aka ‘soldiers’ biscuits’ were part of the staple diet for soldiers at Gallipoli and are therefore a significant part of the day’s tradition. The recipe for what we now call Anzac Biscuits is believed to date back long before the Gallipoli Landings, and were apparently based on a traditional Scottish Oat Cakes recipe. The biscuits were created because the wives, mothers and girlfriends of the Australian soldiers during World War 1 wanted to provide something of nutritional value to their men. This was hard to do because all the food had to be transported via the ships of the Merchant Navy. Most of these vessels travelled slowly and had no refrigeration facilities, so any food sent had to remain edible months after being first made. The answer was a biscuit with as much nutritional value as possible, based on a Scottish recipe using ingredients that didn’t readily spoil including: rolled oats, sugar, plain flour, coconut, butter, golden syrup or treacle, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water. These Soldiers’ Biscuits were soon renamed ANZAC Biscuits after the landing on Gallipoli, and are considered a traditional family favourite as well as a reminder of those who have served in war. If you’d like to commemorate Anzac day this Thursday 25th April then why not try making some yourself with our recipe below: ANZAC Biscuit Recipe Prep and cooking time: 35 minutes - makes 25 biscuits Ingredients: 1 cup (90g) rolled oats 1 cup (150g) plain (all-purpose) flour 1 cup (220g) firmly packed light brown sugar ½ cup (40g) desiccated coconut 125g (4 ounces) butter 2 tablespoons golden syrup 1 tablespoon of water ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda Method: Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F. Grease oven trays; line with baking paper. Combine oats, sifted flour, sugar and coconut in large bowl. Combine butter, syrup and the water in small saucepan, stir over low heat until smooth; stir in soda. Stir into dry ingredients. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls; place about 5cm (2 inches) apart on trays, flatten slightly. Bake about 20 minutes; cool on trays. Anzac Biscuit recipe from The Australian Women's Weekly cookbook: World Table, published by ACP Books. Happy baking! Have you ever tried an Anzac Biscuit? Do you have an interesting twist on the recipe? Comment below and let us know.
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