Analysis Of An Alternative Anzac

So how did a little baked something, trading under the name Macadamia Anzacs, come into being? I don’t mean the recipe, but the events leading up to this particular baking episode. You know, where some huddle of neurons got all fired up and eventually took earthly form in the shape of baked goodies. Well, it happened something like this…

Macadamia Anzac Biscuits

Macadamia Anzacs

Exhibit 1:

It starts with Tiger Chow’s intriguing post on coconut macaroons. The particular feature which had stayed with me was the idea of embedded macadamia nuts. I bought some macadamia nuts. I was going to embed them in something. That something would probably involve coconut. It is a fact of culinary life that macadamias like to cosy up to coconut. .

Exhibit 2:

It was mentioned to me in passing (for reasons which utterly escape me now) the surprising fact that macadamia nuts are the only native plant food exported from Australia in any significant quantity. Says so on Wikipedia, so I guess it must be true.

Exhibit 3:

I later read kickpleat’s post on Anzac biscuits. For those who are not familiar with them, the homely oat and coconut creations that are Anzac biscuits were named for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during WW1. We used to make versions of these biscuits when I was a kid, though without calling them Anzac anything. I thought it about time to make them again and it wasn’t exactly a massive leap to think of giving these quintessentially Aussie biscuits a native macadamia heart. So that’s what I did.

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Anzac Biscuits with a Macadamia Heart

This more or less follows the recipe as left in the comments to kickpleat’s post by Steaky Diane, along with my own addition of the nutty centre. I even did a gluten-free version for she-who-is-still-kindof-avoiding-gluten. I would also be inclined (as was kickpleat’s assessment of her version) to add a little something extra next time out, some lemon or lime zest methinks.

The Dry Ingredients:
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 75g rolled oats
  • 75g dessicated coconut
  • 125g plain flour or for gluten-free anzacs, use a mix of 75g rice flour, 50g tapioca starch and 0.25 tsp xanthan gum
The Wet Ingredients:
  • 120g butter
  • 1 tblsp golden syrup
  • 2 tblsp boiling water
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
The Nuts:
  • 50-60g macadamia nuts, unsalted (around 30 nuts, one to put in each biscuit)
The Nuts:
  • If using the macadamia nuts, you’ll want to toast them lightly first, so…
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Spread the nuts on a baking tray and place in the oven for about 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Watch them carefully so that they don’t burn. Remove and allow to cool.
The Biscuits:
  • Preheat the oven to 160C or reduce to this temperature if you already had the oven on to toast the nuts. Grease a large cookie sheet or line with baking parchment.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, rolled oats, coconut and flour (or gluten-free flour mix if using).
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat.
  • Add the golden syrup to the melted butter, stir to mix and remove from the heat.
  • Add the boiling water to the bicarbonate of soda (this will fizz and foam up), then stir into the butter mixture.
  • Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. The mixture will be crumbly.
  • Using a tablespoon measure or small scoop, form small balls of mixture, around the size of a walnut.
  • If not using the macadamia nuts, just place the scoops of mixture on the cookie sheet and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
  • If using the macadamias, take a scoop of mixture as above and, while the mixture is still in the scoop, press in a single nut. Some of the mixture will be squeezed out when you do this – use this to cover over the base of the nut so that it’s no longer visible. Now place the scoop of mixture on the cookie sheet. As the mixture is crumbly, it might tend to break apart when removed from the scoop. If so, just mould it back together with your hands.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown, then remove to a wire rack to cool.
The Results:
  • This makes 25-30 little biscuits
The Variations:
  • I definitely think I would add some lemon or lime zest next time
Comments
  • You used golden syrup!!! We just futzed around with it for the first time. Story to come…

    Love macadamias to death. These look like they’re irresistible.

  • Streuth Spud, these are bloody good biscuits!And you know how the Armed Forces need to travel on their stomachs – Crikey, they’ll be skipping down to the billabong on these ;-)

  • I never cease to learn. Very interesting information. I’ve never heard of Anzacs. I do love a macadamia and coconut combo. These look great!

  • This is a Brand New Cookie to me! Thanks for that:) Hey, I saw this link and thought of you immediately: http://www.thefoodsection.com/foodsection/2009/02/extreme-potato.html

  • These biscuits look delicious! Very neat recipe. I just love macadamia nuts and just got some for a recipe I’m working on for next week. I would have liked to have it on for tomorrow but my coconut syrup crystallized and separated into coconut sugar and really crispy coconut flakes (which were actually pretty yummy), so I’ll have to try again. Don’t tell anyone :)

  • Okay, I had to look up golden syrup. Now that I’m better educated – great recipe!! Really, though, anything involving ‘nuts’ (the edible, not the insane) has my attention.

    I checked out Tiger Chow’s link above – I swear, Spud, with all the the great blogs you’ve led me to, you’re like a dealer to my food blog junkie!

  • wow!! i think you’ve done the anzac proud…i’m sure they’re amazing especially with the uber-delicious macadamias.

  • Duo Dishes: Golden Syrup is Great Stuff [tm]. It’s also the sugary stuff of my childhood. There was always a tin of it in the kitchen cupboards…

    Ange: Beauty, mate, beauty!

    Lori: Thanks! I never cease to learn myself :)

    Jenni: You’re welcome and thanks for the link to the Spudski. If ever there was a kitchen toy that had my name on it…

    Natasha: don’t worry, your secret is safe with me :)

    Tangled Noodle: …or should I just refer to you as Food Blog Junkie #1 from now on? :) Glad I could bring you golden syrup and nuts in the same cookie. As your Food Blog Dealer, it is my aim to please…

    kickpleat: thanks for being part of the Macadamia Anzac inspiration!

  • These cookies look like major busts of flavor – I’ve been meaning to set in and make some cookies this weekend, and now you made it easy for me. Thanks!

  • I don’t know much about making biscuits and this recipe will be added to my “must learn” list. But macadamia nuts and golden syrup are new to me. I think any kind of nuts can be used, but what is that golden syrup made of?

  • These sound amazing. I don’t usually care for macadamia nuts, but I feel compelled to try these. And every good Brit has to have a tin of Golden Syrup in the cupboard!!

  • those look just delicious! macadamia nuts always make me happy :)

  • These are divine. So many interesting ingredients too. GREG

  • CONGRATS!!!! xxxxx

  • Hey!!!!! I just heard the news!!! Congratulations! Very well deserved!

    Ruth

  • Love the insight into your thought process. Adding macadamias to plain old Anzacs sounds perfect.

  • Oyster Culture: always happy to help :)

    zerrin: you could certainly try this with other nuts (hazelnuts, say) or omit the nuts altogether; as for golden syrup, it is a thick golden-coloured sugar syrup that is made when refining sugar cane into sugar. You can read more about it here.

    Angry Brit:…as does every good Irish lass!

    Heather: glad to bring a little bit of happiness your way :)

    greg: thanks as always…

    English Mum, Ruth E: thanks! I’m still pinching myself to see if it’s true :)

    Marc: thanks, I think it’s a good combo alright

  • Oh, wow, I’m excited to have helped inspire these!

    Now, the real trick would be to figure out how to embed coconut in a macadamia nut….

  • Thanks for the inspiration and you’ll have to let me know if you figure out how to get the coconut into the macadamia :)

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