Scottish oatcakes

Scottish oakcakes and butter. Image: Su Leslie 2021

There are as many recipes for oatcakes as there are bakers it seems. The type and proportions of oats varies between them. Some specify wheat flour as well as oats. Some include a raising agent; others not. Some contain sugar (ugh). The proportions of dry and wet ingredients varies; as does the ratios of different kinds of oats. Most include butter or lard.

I’ve experimented with a variety of these recipes, and this is what works best for me.


100g rolled oats / quick oats (see here for quick guide to different ways of processing oats)

100g pinhead (or steel cut) oats

25g plain flour

40g butter

5g salt

Just boiled water – around 4-8 tablespoons, as needed


Preheat oven to 160°C

Mix oats, flour and salt in a large bowl. Add melted butter and stir to combine. Slowly add water, a tablespoonful at a time, until the mixture holds together but isn’t too sticky.

Turn the mixture onto a floured board or baking parchment and knead briefly to bring it all together. Roll out (use another sheet of baking paper on top) to a thickness of about 5mm.

Cut to preferred shape and size and place on parchment on a baking tray. Cook in the middle of the oven for around 20 minutes, or until crisp.  Turn half way to ensure even baking.


It would seem that oat processing produces a variety of slightly different products with different names depending on where you are. The products you use, and their relative composition, will affect the texture of the dough and that is why you need to add water gradually, in small quantities. The aim is a firm but not to too sticky dough that will hold together while being rolled, cut and placed on the baking tray.

Traditional oatcake recipes I’ve found do not contain wheat flour. I’ve found that adding this small amount helps the dough to hold together better. This is likely due to the kind of oats I’ve used. I suspect that “quick” oats in place of wholegrain rolled oats would remove/diminish the need for flour.

I have made flour-less cakes, and they tasted just as good. The dough was a bit crumblier and the taste a little grittier, but they were still enjoyable. I also cut them slightly thicker (6-7mm) because of the crumbly texture.

My recipe uses slightly more butter than others I’ve found, but as with the flour, I find that this quantity of butter gives a nicer texture and a bit more crunch.

I use a 7mm diameter cookie cutter, and that produces about 12 oatcakes from the quantities above. It has occurred to me that instead of cutting rounds then having to rework the scraps, I could cut the whole, rolled piece of dough into “squares” and ease each piece apart a little. I’ll let you know how that works.

Obviously, cooking time will depend on the thickness (and moisture content) of the dough. I aim for “low and slow” to give a crisper result, but you may find that trial and error (especially as our ovens will undoubtedly be different) is the only way to get them right.

The Changing Seasons, June 2020

museum matariki0623

Matariki lights at Auckland Museum. Image: Su Leslie 2020

Matariki is the Maori term for the group of stars also known as the Pleiades or The Seven Sisters. Matariki rises during Pipiri (June/July) and marks mid-winter and the Maori New Year.

In recent years, Matariki has begun to be properly celebrated in Aotearoa New Zealand with many cities and communities holding festivals. This year, Auckland Council has scaled back many of the planned events and shifted others online. It was lovely then, to see the Auckland Museum lit up for the duration of the festival. The Harbour Bridge is also lit, but we’ve yet to have a clear night for me to try and photograph it.

According to Te Ara (Encyclopedia of NZ):

Traditionally, Matariki was a time to remember those who had died in the last year. But it was also a happy event – crops had been harvested and seafood and birds had been collected. With plenty of food in the storehouses, Matariki was a time for singing, dancing and feasting.

There hasn’t been a great deal of singing and dancing in the ZimmerBitch whare (pronounced like farrie and meaning house), and not many photos taken either.

But there’s been plenty of eating, so for this month’s Changing Seasons post I’m giving you a recipe.

Anyone who joined me for afternoon tea recently will recognise it, but it proved such a hit with my (real life) dinner guests that I’m confident in sharing it.

Squash, fennel and orange soup

Adapted from a recipe in Simple, by Yotam Ottolenghi (1) Serves 4-6 people

bowl soup and bread0613

Squash, fennel and orange soup, with homemade sourdough. Image: Su Leslie 2020


50ml olive oil

2 fennel bulbs

1.2kg pumpkin or butternut squash

1 litre vegetable stock

1tsp harissa (2)

small pinch saffron threads (3)

1 large or two small oranges

sea salt and black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C
  2. Trim fern from fennel bulbs and roughly chop
  3. Peel squash sand chop into small pieces (2-3cm)
  4. Put fennel and squash pieces in roasting dish, add olive oil, about a teaspoon of sea salt and a grind of black pepper.
  5. Toss to coat the veges in oil
  6. Cook for around 20-25 minutes at 200°C; until everything is soft and caramelised. Depending on your oven, you may want to check it before then to make sure the edges aren’t burning.
  7. While veges are roasting, finely grate orange (you want about 2tsp zest) and squeeze juice (4) from the fruit.
  8. Put stock, harissa, saffron threads and orange zest in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  9. Remove 1-2 ladles of liquid and set aside.
  10. Remove roasted veges from oven and add to pot of stock.
  11. Use the set-aside liquid to moisten and scrape up the
    caramelised bits in the bottom of the roasting pan. Add this to the pot (5) .
  12. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  13. Remove from heat, add orange juice and use a hand blender to blitz until completely smooth.
  14. Serve with a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds (6) and cashew cream (7) .

soup and bread0616

Squash, fennel and orange soup. Image: Su Leslie 2020

  1. There is a version of this soup — slightly different to that which is in Simple — on Ottolenghi’s website. It includes a recipe for caramelised pumpkin seeds.
  2. Harissa is available from Middle Eastern shops, and some supermarkets. It varies a lot in taste and chilli strength, so you will probably want to experiment with how much you add. I would start with 1 teaspoon, and perhaps add more to the stock once it’s warmed up a bit and you’ve tasted it.
  3. Saffron gives the soup a distinctive, earty taste, but if you don’t have it (or don’t like the taste), I wouldn’t worry — leave it out.
  4. In Ottolenghi’s recipt in Simple, he adds 180g crème fraiche to the soup before blending it. Because I was making the soup for vegan friends, I omitted that, and used the orange juice instead to thin the soup.I think it also adds a nice amount of acid and tastes really good. If it is still too thick, you could add more orange juice, or a little water or stock.
  5. If you follow my suggestion to de glaze the roasting pan with stock, you will get dark flecks in the soup from the caramalised bits of veges. These taste good. But if you’re aiming for a more elegant look you could leave this step out.
  6. The simplest way to toast pumpkin seeds is to put a single layer in a heated, heavy frying pan. Toss them for a few minutes until they start to colour and pop. Tip into a bowl and add a good pinch of salt (and a teaspoon of olive oil if you like).  In the Ottolenghi recipe, the seeds were mixed with maple syrup and chilli flakes and roasted to make more of a praline. 
  7. I wanted to make this a vegan dish, so as well as omitting the crème fraiche (above), I made some cashew cream and put it on the table for my guests to add if they wished. 

Besides making soup

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them.

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.


Please visit these bloggers to see how June played out for them:

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Little Pieces of Me

Suzanne at Life at No. 22

A Wonderful Sheep

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Sarah at Art Expedition

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc

Marilyn at Serendipity Seeking intelligent life on Earth


Katy at Wanderlust and Wonderment joins us this month

Darren at The Arty Plantsman


Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Gill at Talking Thailand

Brian at Bushboy’s World







Regular Random: five minutes with some crackers and cheese

Cheese and crackers platter. Close-up shot of sliced brie, seed crackers with a bowl of chutney, fresh fig and some walnuts. Image: Su Lesli, 2018

Seed crackers, brie and some chutney. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Cheese and crackers are amongst my (many) food weaknesses.

I recently found a recipe (1) for crackers made entirely of seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, sesame, chia and flax seeds to be exact. These are not only gluten and dairy free (for those with such intolerances) BUT also incredibly quick and easy to make.

AND delicious.

Did I mention delicious?

Basically you throw a bunch of seeds into a bowl and add water. The chia and flax seeds go all gooey and mucilaginous (don’t you love that word) in water, and that’s what holds the mix together. (2)

After about 15 minutes you have a blob of stuck-together seeds that can be spread out on baking paper and put in the oven. About 50 minutes after that, you have crunchy, yummy crackers.

Of course, I had to spoil the dairy-free bit by serving them with cheese.

And fig & pear chutney. And a few walnuts.


Regular Random is a photo challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist. If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to not interfere with the subject, instead see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • have fun!
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post

1. Seed Crackers (gluten and dairy free), Bite NZ’s Home of Food

2. I didn’t have any flax seeds, so I doubled the quantity of chia seeds. That worked perfectly well in terms of holding the mixture together, but meant that the finished crackers were quite grey-black in colour.

The Changing Seasons: April 2018

An autumn dish. Close up shot of tarakihi fillet with rosemary lime crumb, roasted butternut squash and watercress salad on black plate. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

An autumn dish; tarakihi fillet with rosemary lime crumb, roasted butternut squash and watercress salad. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

In this last month we have truly felt a seasonal change. The hot, humid days (and nights) are gone; replaced by cold winds, frequent rain and storms which left thousands of my fellow Aucklanders without electricity — some for up to a week.

Cooler temperatures make the kitchen a much more appealing place to be. So when my local grocer had some really fresh tarakihi fillets (ocean bream or morwong to non-Kiwis), butternut squash and fresh limes (at a price that didn’t require me to sell a kidney), I thought I’d try out a dish based on couple of recipes I’d found.

Close up shot of whole butternut squash, whole and halved limes, and rosemary sprigs. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Butternut squash, paired with lime and rosemary. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

And since I haven’t done a “Version 2” Changing Seasons post for a while, this month you’re getting my pan-fried tarakihi with a rosemary lime crumb and roasted butternut squash.

The actual recipes are:

Lemon & rosemary crusted fish fillets (I replaced the lemon with lime)

Roasted butternut squash with lime and rosemary

Halved butternut squash. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Image: Su Leslie, 2018


Peeled and cubed squash mixed with olive oil, lime zest and chopped rosemary before roasting. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

While I did prepare the squash pretty much according to the recipe, I modified the fish dish a bit.

The original recipe involves grilling the fish with the breadcrumb topping.

Stale bread, rosemary leaves and lime zest; blitzed to a crumb. This forms a topping for the fish. Image shows blizted mixture in blender, with additional lime and rosemary in shot also. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Some stale bread, rosemary leaves and lime zest; blitzed to a crumb. This forms a topping for the fish. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

But since I was using the oven to cook the squash, I decided to pan-fry the tarakihi. I also hate overcooked fish, and being able to watch its progress in a pan means I’m more likely to “get it right.”

Someone told me that you get a really good result by:

a) making sure the skin is really dry

b) putting the fish skin-side down in a hot pan until only the thickest part of the fillet is still opaque

c) turning the fish and and taking the pan off the heat

d) removing the fish from the pan after about a minute.

Worked for me!

The downside of that method is that you can’t make the crust, but I fried the breadcrumb mix in the same quantity of olive oil the recipe suggested putting over the crust. I spread it over the fish on the plate (and on the squash after I’d taken the photos). Yum!

The addition of watercress and a squeeze of lime helped balance the sweetness of the squash.Overhead view of plate with pan-fried tarakihi fillet with rosemary lime crumb, roasted butternut squash and watercress. Su Leslie, 2018

The addition of watercress and a squeeze of lime helped balance the sweetness of the squash. Image: Su Leslie 2018


Image: Su Leslie, 2018

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge, originally hosted by Max at Cardinal Guzman. I’ve taken over hosting duties this year, and if you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.


First of all, my apologies for taking longer than usual to create this blogroll. I’ve just got back home after a fab week away.

So here are other bloggers’ Changing Seasons’ posts for April. Please visit and enjoy the month though their eyes.

Marilyn at Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth


Tish at Writer on the Edge

Joanne at Following a Bold Plan and My Life Lived Full

Sarah at Art Expedition

Max at Cardinal Guzman

Deb at The Widow Badass

Ruth at RuthsArc

Ju-Lyn at Sunrise Sunset

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Jude at Under a Cornish Sky

Mick at Mickscog

Yvette at Priorhouse Blog




Rosemary and feta scones (a recipe)

Close up shot of rosemary and feta scones. Image: Su Leslie, 2107

Rosemary and feta scones. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Ingredients (makes six large scones)

300g self-raising flour*

Good pinch sea-salt

50g very cold butter

220-260ml cold milk

100g crumbled feta cheese

Good handful (or about two tablespoons) roughly chopped fresh rosemary. If you’re using dried herbs, about 1-2 teaspoons.

* You can use plain flour and add 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder. Make sure it’s not bread flour, which has more gluten and the scones won’t rise as well.


Pre-heat oven to 220°C.

Sift flour into a bowl; add salt. Cut in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir through rosemary and feta.  Add enough milk to form a soft dough. Don’t over-mix.

Tip onto lightly floured baking tray and knead gently a couple of times. Roll or press dough until it is about 2cm thick.

I kept the dough in a round, and cut into 6 wedges, but you could use a cookie cutter for more traditional round scones.

The dough doesn’t spread much so you can bake them close together on the tray.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire tray (just long enough that they’re not too hot to handle).

Some additional thoughts

The basic scone recipe I used comes from the Edmonds Cookery Book. It’s a kind of bible of traditional Kiwi food, and I’d wager that most of the home-baked scones consumed here have their origin in an Edmonds’ recipe.

When I looked for alternative recipes, I found some that add extra baking powder to self-raising flour and some that use  baking soda and cream of tartar as separate ingredients. I found recipes that use buttermilk or yogurt, some with a mix of butter and lard as shortening, and even some that included eggs.

I’m intrigued by these variations and will probably experiment — with different leavening agents at least. I don’t think I’ll try adding lard though, and as for eggs? Doesn’t that just turn the mixture into muffins?

Do you have a favourite scone recipe? Baking powder, or baking soda and buttermilk? Butter or lard? Do you add eggs?

I’d love to know how these variations work. And of course, what extra ingredients do you add?

Delish of the day

Close-up shot of roasted golden beetroot and feta salad on duck-egg blue plate. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Roasted golden beetroot and feta salad. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Following last week’s #regularrandom post (Five Minutes with Three Good Things), here’s a shot of the finished dish.

Because the golden beetroot don’t bleed like the red variety, I was able to peel and chop these for roasting. That meant they got a little bit caramelised; and picked up the flavours of garlic and rosemary which I’d added to the roasting dish.

With quite a lot going on taste-wise in the beetroot themselves, I kept the dish simple with just a few salad leaves, some crumbled feta and a bit of balsamic dressing.

The verdict: pretty tasty. But given how long the beetroot took to roast (about 35 minutes — and they were small pieces), I’d probably only do this again in a vastly scaled-up form — for a summer lunch party maybe.

The Changing Seasons: autumn on a plate

Close up shot of poached peach half and halved figs, caramelized and served with nut crumb and icecream. Image and recipe: Su Leslie, 2016

Caramelized peach and fig with hazelnut crumb and ice-cream. Recipe and image: Su Leslie, 2016

I hadn’t intended to post another recipe for Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons challenge, but this one arrived — fully formed — at precisely 3.18 this morning (I checked). As I’m not often woken by ideas this tasty, it seemed silly not to make the dish and share the photo.

Golden Queen peaches and figs are both in season here, and while I have to buy the peaches, I’m lucky enough to have a fig tree that is bearing about four fruit a day at the moment.

Golden Queen peach half and home-grown fig. Dessert in the making. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

Golden Queen peach half and home-grown fig. Dessert in the making. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

I poached both the peach half and the fig halves in a syrup flavoured with stem ginger and lemon jest, then popped the peach — cut-side down — in a frying pan to caramelize it. If I were making this as a proper dessert (rather than an experiment), I would roast the peaches to soften and caramelize them in the same process.

The crumb topping was made of finely chopped hazelnuts toasted in a frying pan with a bit of butter.

The icecream was Kapiti vanilla bean.

The Big T was my (surprisingly willing) taster, pronouncing it pretty yummy. Since I asked for constructive feedback, he said the poaching syrup needed more ginger and the crumb a bit more flavour.

I’m working on MK #2 for the boy-child to try later.

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge hosted by Cardinal Guzman. There are two versions:

 Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

In praise of the fabulous feijoa

When Tish Farrell (Writer on the Edge — check out her blog if you don’t already know it) commented on my post ‘Summer No More’ that the approach of winter means time for baked stuffed apples, I immediately thought (and replied),  “feijoa and apple crumble.”

I did wonder — knowing that Tish lives in England — whether she’d be familiar with that most deliciously, deceptively unassuming fruit, the feijoa. She wasn’t, and so this post is by way of enlightenment.

When I lived in the UK in the 1990s, feijoas were not only unavailable, but requests for them in fruit shops or supermarkets were met with puzzled looks and the odd suggestion that I must have the name wrong. A Kiwi friend recalls an English workmate insisting that such a fruit did not exist, and that perhaps “feijoa” was just her family’s special name for another, real fruit. “An apple, perhaps”  was apparently his suggestion. Annoyed at being so patronised, she drove half way around the M25 to borrow a New Zealand recipe book from me, which she took to her workplace to demonstrate the reality of feijoas to her colleague.

Feijoa, or Acca sellowiana is a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family, native to South America (Wikipedia). I’m not sure how or when it was introduced to New Zealand, but it grows extremely well here and is widely planted in domestic gardens. Growing up, everyone seemed to either have a feijoa tree, or knew people who did, so that during the months March to June buckets of the fruit could be found in every pantry.

Feijoas; creamy flesh inside firm bitter green shells. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.

Feijoas; creamy flesh inside firm bitter green shells. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.

Feijoas seem to be one of those things that people either absolutely love or totally hate (like Marmite and Vegemite). My mother loathes them — likening the smell of the uncut fruit to wintergreen (methyl salicylate). Because of this, she tended to discourage neighbours’ donations of the fruit, so my brothers and I compensated by scrounging them from every source possible. One consequence of this was that we always ate ours raw, scooping the sweet creamy flesh straight from its slightly bitter green shell. It is only as an adult that I’ve discovered the pleasure of cooking with feijoas.

The first house I bought had a huge and prolific feijoa tree in the back yard. A Kiwi friend who has lived in Edinburgh for over 30 years visited one afternoon and we (literally) sat under the tree and gorged ourselves.

It’s only since we returned to NZ in 2000 that I’ve noticed feijoas for sale in shops. Before that, it seemed to be very much a home grown or donated fruit — although sometimes enterprising small children would set up roadside stalls selling what was probably grandma’s (hopefully excess) harvest.

This season, feijoas seem to have become — in culinary circles — the new black. Last weekend, I saw feijoa cake in a couple of cafes, the host at the B&B where we stayed baked us a feijoa cake as a welcome, we had the fresh fruit at breakfast and feijoa jam for our croissants. Since then I’ve found a plethora of recipes for cakes, muffins, crumbles, jams, chutneys and cordials, and while I don’t have any feijoas growing in my garden, they are ridiculously cheap at the local fruit shop so I decided to have a go at making a feijoa cake this afternoon.

I’m experimenting with dairy and gluten-free baking at the moment, and I’ve found a local (Auckland-based) food writer, Eleanor Ozich, whose book My Petite Kitchen Cookbook, has lots of useful recipes. One I’m particularly fond of is an orange almond cake; which I modified by using feijoa pulp in place of the oranges. The cake uses almond meal instead of regular flour, and is sweetened with a couple of spoonfuls of honey. I added the zest of a lime for a bit of extra zing, and (I must confess) did mix some icing sugar and lime juice to create a drizzle icing on top. But compared to my usual slathering of buttercream frosting on cakes, I feel I’ve been quite restrained.

Feijoa-almond cake, with lime drizzle icing. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.

Feijoa-almond cake, with lime drizzle icing. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.

The result doesn’t look as glamourous as the cafe cakes, but the Big T assures me it tastes great.

If anyone is interested in the recipe, I’m happy to bake another cake (purely for research purposes) with a bit more attention to quantities and technique, so that I can actually generate a recipe.

Meanwhile, I’m off to try a slice (purely for research purposes, naturally).


Defining nationhood: we are what we eat?

anzacs on tray

Cheap and easy to make, delicious to eat. If they make it into a biscuit tin in our house, it means the boys are unwell.

First of all, thanks to Seonaid at Breathofgreenair for inspiring me to write this post with her comment about Anzac biscuits on my recent post about Anzac Day and remembrance in New Zealand and Australia.

For those of you who don’t know –  Anzac biscuits (think cookies North American readers) –  are a delicious sweet biscuit made with flour, rolled oats, coconut, butter, sugar and golden syrup. Legend has it that the biscuits are so named because they were sent by women in Australia and New Zealand to their men-folk serving in World War I.

From what I can gather, this isn’t quite true; the ANZAC troops were issued with an army biscuit (known at the time as a ANZAC wafer or ANZAC tile), but this bears no relation to the biscuit we know now, and according to the Australian War Memorial website:

is essentially a long shelf-life, hard tack biscuit, eaten as a substitute for bread. Unlike bread, though, the biscuits are very, very hard. Some soldiers preferred to grind them up and eat as porridge.

It seems that the first recipe for the biscuit we know today appeared in 1921, according to Professor Helen Leach, of the Archaeology Department of the University of Otago:

The combination of the name Anzac and the recipe now associated with it first appeared in the 9th edition of St Andrew’s Cookery Book (Dunedin, 1921) under the name “Anzac Crispies”. Subsequent editions renamed this “Anzac Biscuits” and Australian cookery books followed suit.

ANZAC biscuits are commercially available in Australia and New Zealand, but frankly I don’t know why anyone would bother to buy these when they are so cheap, easy and quick to make. In fact, here’s a recipe.

Anzac Biscuits*

1 cup flour

1 cup white sugar

1 ¾ cups desiccated coconut (the coarsely shredded type is great for texture)

1 ½ cups rolled oats

100g butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons boiling water

 NB: this recipe also specifies ¼ cup chopped walnuts, but these are not traditional and I tend to omit them

 Preheat the over to 160 degrees Celsius. Mix the flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats in a bowl.

Melt the butter and golden syrup together.

Stir the baking soda into the boiling water, then mix the butter and baking soda mixtures together (NB: either do this in a new bowl, or make sure you’ve melted the butter in a large pan as the mixture bubbles up. I find that adding the baking soda to the butter then immediately pouring this over the dry ingredients works fine).

Combine wet and dry ingredients thoroughly.

Roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture (NB: I use a dessert spoon for bigger biscuits) into balls and place on well-greased or baking-paper-lined oven tray.

 Press flat, allowing room for them to spread.

Bake for 25-30 minutes (NB: maybe my oven is hotter, but I find they are cooked after 15-20 minutes – even the larger biscuits I make).

Cool on a wire rack and store in an air-tight container.

* This recipe comes from Jo Seagar’s All Things Nice. Random House, Auckland, 2002.

coffee and anzacs2

Latte and biscuits. I didn’t actually eat both of them; that’s just my attempt at food styling.