Archives for posts with tag: biscuits

Today here in Australia (and New Zealand) is Anzac day. Anzac day falls on the 25th of April and commemorates the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at the Gallipoli peninsula during the First World War on the morning of 25 April 1915.

The action was not a victory and both sides suffered heavy casualties. The event had a significant impact on Australians at home. In Australia and New Zealand today, Anzac day is one of the most important national occasions and is a day where we remember the sacrifice of those who died in military operations.  Lest we forget. One of my great grandfathers was one of the first on the shore at Gallipoli and while another was with the field ambulances. My family was lucky – they both survived.

Dawn commemorative services are held on Anzac day across Australia, at the time of the original Gallipoli landing. Later in the day, from big cities to small towns, commemorative marches are held across the nation. I remember going to school Anzac day services and local marches with my family, wearing the service medals of grandparents.

Also associated with Anzac day is the Anzac biscuit. These biscuits do actually have links to World War One. Family, friends and communities would send food to the soldiers fighting in the war. Due to the time it would take for the food to get to the front, the food had to be long lasting without refrigeration while retaining nutritional value. Thus the Anzac biscuit (originally called the Soldiers’ Biscuit, with the same basic ingredients then as today) was born.

Instead of Anzac biscuits (see here for recipe), I decided today to make an Anzac slice. The basic ingredients (and the smells that filled the house while it was baking) are the same and the result tastes the same as an Anzac biscuit. The edge of the slice has the crispness and chewiness I usually associate with an Anzac biscuit, while the centre of the slice is softer and moist.

Anzac slice

Click here for the recipe

Time for the last of my trio of Christmas gifts from my kitchen. This year is actually the first time I have made gingerbread at home as an adult, and I have to say I am very happy with the results. Not only does it taste nice, the gingerbread Christmas tree worked wonderfully, and the stars, snow flakes, angels and other shapes looked lovely decorated with royal icing.

The recipe below can be used to make whatever shapes you want out of gingerbread. You are only limited by either your imagination, or whatever cookie cutters you may have on hand.

My team's gingerbread Christmas tree

My team’s gingerbread Christmas tree

To make a tree out of gingerbread, you will need several star cutters in different sizes. For my larger tree I used 9 cutters ranging from 2.5cm (top stars) to 18cm in size. For the smaller one I used 5 cutters from 2.5cm to 9cm. You cut two stars out in each size. After they are baked and decorated (edges only), you stick them together with royal icing, alternating the positioning of the star so the points are in the gaps of the previous star. From two batches of this dough I got a small and a large tree, and lots of other shapes. I decorated my trees with bought decorating icings and gels, as they were decorated by my team at work. However at home, I decorated the gingerbread with white royal icing, which I prefer as it sets firm.

Mini tree

Click here for the recipe

Some days, things just go right in the kitchen. They certainly have for me this last week while I’ve been blogging. New recipes worked first time and my first attempt at pastry turned out pretty good. But sometimes, like today, things just don’t work. I like to think that even the best of chefs have baking disasters occasionally. Not that a failed recipe in the kitchen really is a disaster in the scheme of things. But this afternoon baking, things just didn’t seem to want to go my way.

Last week just before heading out for my first cake decorating class, I was skimming through one of my books and came across a recipe for ginger and lime kisses (two little ginger cookies with a lime butter-cream filling). I thought they looked and sounded nice so decided that they would be my next weekend baking project. They didn’t quite work out. While I followed the recipe, they spread too much, didn’t rise and just didn’t look like they should have. I think I may know what went wrong, but I’ll get to that in a minute. They still tasted great, so I have frozen them and might make ice-cream sandwiches with them or a twist on cookies and cream ice-cream another day.

Determined to still have something baked to post, and share, I decided to make some Anzac biscuitsChewy Anzac biscuits Click here for more including the recipe

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