Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chilli spiced ANZAC biscuits

Chilli in ANZAC biscuits? I know. What sacrilege. What was I thinking?

Before you declare me un-Australian, let me assure you that I made regular ANZAC biscuits too. In fact, I set out to make regular ANZAC biscuits. It's just that towards the end, I found myself wondering...what would a chilli version taste like?

It turns out, a chilli version is rather wonderful.



As my fellow Australians (and New Zealanders) will know, ANZAC day is Australia's day of remembrance. It is held each year on the anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli, Turkey, in World War I. It is an occasion for remembering those who fought so that we could live freely.

ANZAC biscuits are are so-called for two reasons. They do tend to come out around the 25th April, an edible marker of ANZAC day itself. However, original versions of the biscuit were thought to have been sent to soldiers whilst they were away fighting, and/or made by soldiers themselves with ingredients they had available. Those original versions were based around flour, rolled oats, sugar and water - naturally vegan, and helpfully sturdy. Today, biscuits typically include butter, golden syrup and dessicated coconut as well as those traditional ingredients. A bit less sensible, but probably easier to market.

I have to confess to not liking ANZAC biscuits very much. They are too sweet and too coconutty for my tastes, and a basic oat slice is more my thing. However, I enjoy making them and Mr Bite enjoys eating them. This year, I also enjoyed experimenting with them.

Regular ANZACs at the back; chilli spiced biscutis at the front.

ANZAC biscuits are ubiquitous, and if you don't already have a recipe for them, you could find several online within 10 seconds of searching. There are minor variations - I tend to use less coconut and less butter than average - but the ingredient list is generally the same. I am repeating my recipe below, with the chilli addition, but if you have your own much-loved recipe you could just add 1 - 2 teaspoons of chilli flakes to your version.

This quota of chilli gives some noticeable warmth, but is not actually hot. Still, if you are wary of spiced foods, using slightly less is always an option.

Chilli spiced ANZAC biscuits
Makes about 20 medium-large biscuits
Vegan


Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup sugar
100g non-dairy spread (I used Nuttelex)
2 tbsp golden syrup
3/4 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 tbsp water
2 tsp chilli flakes (less if you're cautious; omit if you're not in to chilli biscuits)


Method
Preheat your oven to 170'C and line three baking trays with baking paper.

Combine the oats, flour, coconut and sugar in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a heat proof bowl, combine the non-dairy spread and golden syrup. Melt over low heat on the stove top, or on low power in the microwave.

Mix the bicarbonate soda and water in a small container, then add to the melted spread/golden syrup mix and stir to combine.

Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir well to combine. Add the chilli flakes and stir through thoroughly.

Roll small balls of mixture and place on the prepared baking trays. Flatten slightly before baking for approximately 10 minutes, or until golden and still slightly soft. 

Biscuits will harden on standing but will remain chewy. If you like hard ANZAC biscuits, bake for an additional 2 minutes or so.


Around baking, our ANZAC day incorporated a leisurely, long-ish (long for us!) bike ride. Not quite as adventurous as our ANZAC outings last year and the year before, but still a day that felt thoroughly Australian.

For other Australians - how did you spend ANZAC day?
And what do you think about chilli in sweet biscuits (cookies to Americans)?

33 comments:

  1. I think I would like these as coconut is a favorite flavor of mine. I also love lemon flavor but that is for another time.

    What is dessicated coconut?

    Thanks.
    Janet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It actually should have been desiccated - spelling error on my part the first time around! I'm sure you know it - grated, dried unsweetened coconut strands?

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    2. Oh yes. Thank you :)

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  2. I love ANZAC biscuits. The first time I had them I thought I'd break a tooth but now I am eager to make them. (and eat them!)

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    Replies
    1. These ones wouldn't break any teeth :-) Mr B and I both like them chewy rather than hard, even if that isn't very traditional of us!

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  3. I like this idea - I had never thought of adding chilli to Anzacs, but why not? Hope you had a geeat Anzac Day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why not indeed? That was my stance ;) And thank you - you too!

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  4. Kari I'm whacking chilli into anything at the moment so I think I'd be all over this biscuits. It's just good stuff! :-)
    I didn't get round to making any anzac biscuits yesterday so I might just give these a crack.
    Yesterday we went to the zoo, busssssy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Busy but fun? We are overdue for a zoo visit I think - I hope you enjoyed yours! I also hope you enjoy these if you try them, I can picture them being friends with your taste buds.

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  5. Happy ANZAC day! I have a few Aussie friends here who were wishing they had the biscuits to go along with the holiday. your version sounds great!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Gabby! Luckily the biscuits can be made anywhere even if the holiday is hard to take outside of Australia :)

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  6. I love your Chilli spiced version of biscuits. Sounds tempting and flavor well balanced. :)

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  7. Ha! This is like when I added tabasco to my flourless peanut butter cookie recipe. High five.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, sometimes those spur of the moment decisions are the best ever - especially when they involve spice ;)

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  8. Oh... I can't image what chilli ANZAC biscuits would be like... I might have to give it a go myself, it certainly sounds interesting.

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  9. I have a love-hate relationships with anzac biscuits - occasionally find them very dull and sometimes fine them very exciting - I think I hate them when I have dried ones that are for sale and love them when I have my mum's straight from the oven. I suspect I might have similar feelings about your chilli variety (either too spicy or very exciting)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ones in shops always seem to be quite awful these days, but I'm aware they aren't my favourite of biscuits so try to believe they could be edible to others! Straight from the oven is always better - and if you do try these, you could be conservative to avoid the too spicy result!

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  10. hehe i will def try a chili version soon!
    I agree that they are much better without so much sweetness in them!
    I must admit that I love the idea of sending over 'treats' of cookies to the troops! That is why I make them each year - its my way of remembering that it wasn't only hard for the men but also the women who were left behind! :-)

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  11. I love a bit of spice in my sweets so I am TOTALLY intrigued by these! Yum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do think things are more exciting when you mix up the standard ingredient lists :-)

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  12. I often add a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to mine but chilli that is a whole new level of idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the sound of your additions! I'll have to try them next time :)

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  13. We had the most amazing speaker at our dawn service. He was so sweet. He started out by saying 'I just hope I don't disappoint anyone'. He had served in over 400 missions. Love. I made chocolate ANZACs this year but love what you have done here :)

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    Replies
    1. Aww...I love the sound of your speaker. I also love the sound of chocolate ANZACs!

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  14. I didn't even have any ANZAC biscuits this year - I'll have to try this version and enjoy them a little late (though ANZACs are great any time, who am I kidding?!).

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    Replies
    1. Yes, there's definitely no need to curtail things to April!

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