I do like an old handwritten recipe. I think baking something from an old handwritten recipe is to personally connect across time.
Most people know that during WWI Anzac biscuits were baked in Australia and New Zealand and sent to men serving overseas. The ingredients were easy to come by, they were easy to cook, and the lack of eggs meant they kept well for the long journey.
But did you ever wonder where it all started? Culinary historian Allison Reynolds spent 18 months trying to find the origins of the Anzac biscuit. She found the first versions of something like the rolled oats biscuit first appeared about 1823. A printed recipe book from 1917 has Anzac biscuits but they are something entirely different. The oldest rolled oats Anzac biscuit recipe she found was in a South Australian woman’s notebook.
So, it is Anzac Day and I decided to make the recipe as it is written by Carole Moore in about 1919. It does not have the usual coconut but I think it could be added.
They are pretty good, except I did misread the amount of bicarb and they are a bit bicarby. (I have still eaten too many.) I had fun frothing the butter, syrup and bicarb – a bit like making honeycomb.