Friday, April 07, 2006

ANZAC Tiles

Inspiration for today's cookie comes all the way from the other side of the world. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Boyle writes that, "The original cookies were baked for soldiers, who used to joke that their ANZAC ration was bulletproof." Well, these cookies have come a long way since then.

I had a package of coconut in my cupboard and thought for a second to make macaroons. The recipe I would have used is very good except the final product is more cookie and less macaroon. This was not really what I was looking for (in a macaroon). I sat down with A Good Cookie and flipped through the pages, stopping at ANZAC Tiles. Hmmm...interesting name and I had all the ingredients. The sun was shining and I was ready to try a brand new recipe.

The cookies are coconut and oat based and are easily thought to be regular oatmeal coconut cookies. There are no eggs at all and instead of creaming butter and sugar, these two ingredients are melted along with corn syrup and then added to the dry mixture. The dough is very buttery and easily shaped into balls that are baked for 12 to 14 minutes. The flavour of the 'tiles' is very complex for such a easy cookie. The edges are crispy and the centre is soft and chewy, very reminiscent of a macaroon. The best part is the hint of lemon that you taste that comes from grated lemon zest. It adds the perfect endnote. All in all, this is a fantastic, flavourful and ultra buttery cookie that I will absolutely be making again. I made my cookies a little softer - not so much like a 'tile' but, if you're more inclined to make a crispier cookie, check out the recipe at Esurientes.

Recipe: ANZAC Tiles

10 comments:

Ujwala said...

I came across your blog a couple of weeks ago and find your baking very inspiring and something that I would certainly like to try. I am complete noobie as far as baking is concerned having baked one cake in all my 40 years!

Yesterday, I got tagged for a meme on food blogs and thought that I'd take it forward by tagging you. Please check out my blog for the format and I hope you will consider taking it forward too. http://rasbhara.blogspot.com/

tanna said...

If only I could burn 1000 calories more a day, I'd be mixing these up instead of writing this comment. I'll have to wait until I'm around some grandchildren (of which I have none) or some younger folks than I. This is definitely one I will keep in my To Be Baked box.

Randi said...

These are on my list too, I bought some Lyle's golden syrup to make them with.

Tania said...

I've heard of ANZACs before, but was never quite sure of what kind of cookies they were. Now I know, and they sound delicious! The coconut-oatmeal combination certainly sounds appealing, but it's the crispy edges/chewy middles that really make me want to try these.

Another cookie from Tish Boyle ... I really must get this cookbook!

Canadian Baker said...

Tanna - I hope you get a chance to try them out...you won't be disappointed. :)

Randi - Glad you're going to give them a try!

Tania - A Good Cookie is amazing...definitely a smart investment. :)

Heather said...

I make these biscuits quite a bit (very popular with the husband and 4 year old)...they are seriously some of the easiest cookies imaginable. Glad to see the trend is growing :)
I'm an expat living in California and recently came across your blog...awfully nice to see words like "CBC" and "Canada" interspersed with baking! Thanks...

JamaicanMom said...

Thanks for this great recipe. The whole family loved them! That night I had to force myself to leave some for the kids!

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Ceramic wall tiles said...

Coconut and oatmeal. Yes please!

Claire ;)

Paul from Oz said...

What your referring to are 'ANZAC Biscuits', not 'ANZAC Tiles' as you call them. ANZAC Tiles are different. ANZAC Tiles where issue hard tack biscuits. All the women, mums, wife's, sisters, etc, were concerned about the food the Aussie soldiers where being given so they invented the ANZAC biscuit, which could survive for long enough to be provided in gift packages to the Diggers (Aussie Soldiers).

The Recipe for ANZAC Tiles, commonly referred to as 'Teeth Breakers':

Ingredients sufficient for six biscuits:

* 200 gm/1.5cups/300 mls flour
* 400 gm/3 cups/600 mls wholemeal flour
* 40 gm/5 tbls sugar
* 20 gm/3 tbls milk powder
* 1.5 gm/good pinch salt
* 220 mls water

Use self-raising flours. If self-raising flours are not available, sieve 10 grams of baking powder together with plain flour before adding other ingredients.
Method

Place flour, sugar, and milk powder in a large bowl and blend with finger tips. Form into pile and scoop out a hole (well) in the centre. Add all of the water in which the salt has been dissolved. Thoroughly work the flour from the inside of the well into the water until the whole is a mass of lumps of flour and water. Once the dough is formed, transfer it to a table top or pastry board. The dough should now be torn apart, rubbed into balls, and thrown together, and the process repeated until the mass is well mixed and in the form of a hard dough. The dough is then rested for about half an hour. Now roll the dough in 8 mm–thick sheets using a rolling pin and two 8–mm thick guides (wooden slats are ideal), the dough being rolled down between the two guides until the rolling pin rests on the guides during each traverse.

The rolled sheet of dough is then cut into 90 mm squares, preferably by pressing with the edge of a steel rule rather than slicing with a knife. The pressing action helps to join the top and bottom surfaces and will improve the lift on baking. A cardboard square, 90 mm on each side, can be used as a pattern to ensure uniformity in your tiles.

Next, the biscuit squares should be docked by having a regular horizontal and vertical pattern of holes pushed into them at about 18 mm spaces with a flat-ended pin or rod. Push it in until it bottoms, twist slightly, and then withdraw. Repeat at the next position. Each biscuit should have five vertical and five horizontal rows of docker holes, 25 holes in all. There are those at the Australian War Memorial who argue for 49 holes (7 x 7) as the authentic number of docker holes.

Place on a lightly greased steel baking sheet, with the biscuits about 6 mm apart, and form a wall around the load with scrap dough to avoid burning the edges of the biscuits. Bake at about 200 degrees centigrade for 30 to 40 minutes on a low shelf in the oven. Take care not to burn them. To achieve a suitable hardness in your biscuits, store for a time in an air-tight container.