Around the World in Food – Australia, part 1

4 Apr

We’ve recently started a new tradition in our house.  Every Sunday we’re going to make a dinner from a different country around the world.  Notice I said _we’re_ going to make this.  It’s a family effort and we are having a blast with this!  Cooking, learning new things about a country, debating the country we’re going to do the following week, etc.  Great fun :)

So the first week was Australia.  Our meal consisted of wonderfully flavored meat pies, mashed potatoes, a delicious kiwi-banana-papaya fruit salad, and Anzac biscuits (cookies).  Notice what’s missing?  No vegetables!  Don’t know if they have a salad every night or what, but we all enjoyed it.  This is how we all were after dinner…

Let’s start with the dessert, shall we?  After all, that is the best part of dinner, no? :)

Anzac biscuits have long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) established in World War I.  According to Wikipedia, there are claims that these cookies were sent by wives to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and they kept well during transport.  The spoilage part doesn’t make sense tho ’cause even if they had eggs in them (they don’t), the cookies were cooked.  How would they spoil?  What does make sense is that they would travel well.  These are a sturdy, crunchy cookie, but oh so good :)

So let’s get to these, shall we?

Unfortunately I wasn’t thinking so don’t have pictures of these in process.  The only difficult part of these is that the dough looks like crumbles when you’re done mixing it.  I found the best part was to grab handfuls, squish them into balls, and put them on my parchment-lined baking sheet.  They baked up just fine.

ANZAC BISCUITS (cookies)

(adapted from Aussie-Info.com)

Ingredients:

1 c. (90 g) rolled oats (I used quick oats; I’m sure old-fashioned would be fine as well.)

3/4 c. (54 g) shredded coconut

1 c. (120 g) all-purpose flour

1 c. (200 g) white sugar

1 stick (4 oz, 114 g) butter

2 T (30 ml, 41 g) light corn syrup

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 T (15 ml or g) hot water

Directions:

1.  These bake much longer than most cookies do, but at a lower temperature, so preheat your oven to 300 F (150 C).

2.  Line your cookie sheets with parchment.  (Lightly grease your cookie sheet if you don’t have a liner or parchment.  Note that parchment is wonderful — non-stick and easy cleanup!  I use Reynold’s or Wilton brands and just wipe mine off and stick it in the freezer for future use, reusing most sheets 4 or 5 times each.)

3.  Mix oats, flour, sugar, and coconut together in a large bowl.  Set aside.

4.  Place butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat.

5.  Mix hot water and baking soda together in a small bowl and pour into the butter/syrup mixture.

6.  Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir together.

7.  You will notice that the mixture is crumbly.  This is ok!  Grab bunches together with your hands, form balls, and place on your prepared cookie sheets a few inches apart from each other.

8.  Bake for 20 minutes.

9.  Remove from oven and cool on racks.  The cookies should be a golden brown color.

10.  Enjoy!

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7 Responses to “Around the World in Food – Australia, part 1”

  1. Catalina @ Cake with Love April 17, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    I like the idea of this tradition, sounds fun!

    • thebakingbooth May 6, 2012 at 8:34 am #

      Hey! Sorry I haven’t been around – family heatlh issues. We have also done Burkina Faso and Cambodia. Next up is Denmark. I’ll post on all of this in the future. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Catalina @ Cake with Love May 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

        Looking forward to it!!

      • Jonni August 20, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

        Free knowledge like this doesn’t just help, it promote deaccrmoy. Thank you.

  2. Choc Chip Uru May 5, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    Definitely the best place to start (may be biased cos I am Aussie :D)
    Awesome post!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • thebakingbooth May 6, 2012 at 8:38 am #

      lol :) That’s awesome! (aussome? :) I have another post on Australia still to do, with an excellent meat pie and wonderful banana/kiwi/papaya salad that I have made many times since we did this dinner. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. laurasmess April 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Haha, hello from another Aussie! I like the menu… definitely a good combo of Aussie favourites. In regards to vegetables… well, back in the early days most Australians followed the traditions of their British roots (as you’re probably aware, this country was built from both convict and UK migrant stock) and ate ‘meat and three veg’ for dinner most nights. These days, we eat a fantastic array of vegetables, salads, fresh fruits and multicultural meals… probably not much different to what you guys would normally eat ;) Oh, and just so you know… kiwifruit is great on pavlova but it’s actually from New Zealand. We do grow bananas here but I’d probably exchange the papaya (which not many native Australians eat) for mangoes and passionfruit in your fruit salad! Well done, in any case. I look forward to reading more of your international posts (you have lucky kids!!)

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