This year I've been eating mostly animal-product-free; I haven't written about this on the blog yet but will save that for another day. Today we talk ANZAC biscuits. First, a history lesson:

"The army biscuit, also known as an Anzac wafer or Anzac tile, 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 them as porridge. It is said that biscuits with a similar recipe to the one we knew today appeared in magazines under different names, sometimes called "Rolled Oat Biscuits" or "Soldier's Biscuits". The current name only came about after the legendary ANZAC Gallipoli Campaign.Anzac biscuit recipes, in the form we know them today, began appearing in cookbooks in the 1920s. As World War One drew on, groups including the CWA (Country Women’s Association), church groups, schools and other women’s organisations would spend large amounts of time baking and packing Anzac biscuits. To ensure that the biscuits remained crisp, they were packed in used tins, such as Billy Tea tins." 

I must admit I was nervous this afternoon when I set out to try a vegan variation of my Grafton Nanna's tried and true recipe - I wasn't confident it would work. To make a fair comparison, I made half of the biscuits using butter, as per the original recipe, and the other half (the ones with the hearts) using mild olive oil. I'm thrilled to say that the vegan versions turned out amazingly, in fact, I like them better than the butter versions!

Here's the recipe:

*1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
*3/4 cup desiccated coconut
*3/4 cup white sugar
*1 cup rolled oats
*125g mild olive oil
*2 tablespoons water
*2 tablespoons honey or golden syrup
*1 teaspoons baking powder or bi-carb soda

Preheat oven to 170C fan forced. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Combine the oil, honey and water in another small bowl until well incorporate. Add the wet ingredients to dry and mix well. Roll spoonfuls of mixture and place on baking sheets lined with baking paper. Flatten with your palm. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until golden.

Note: Make sure that you use a mild olive oil (it will be called 'mild' or 'light' on the bottle) as regular extra virgin olive oil has too strong a taste, and won't be nice at all. You could also try coconut oil if you prefer (I'm not a huge fan as the taste tends to take over).

Showing appreciation through baking.
Lest we forget.

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