I have a special place in my heart for ANZAC biscuits. There’s something about their chewy, history-dense sweetness that calls to me, begging to be consumed with a cup of steaming tea. Maybe it’s their back story, knowing that generations before I was even thought of, women were lovingly baking these comforting piece of home for men who were quite literally on the other side of the world.
Or maybe I’m just a complete sucker for anything sweet, that’s definitely another option.
ANZAC biscuits were one of the first things I learned to bake when little. The simple melt-and-mix method made it the perfect introduction to get littlies in the kitchen, and the fact that we’d roll tablespoons of the dough into balls with our hands only added to the fun. Plus, in the 10 minutes it took to lick the bowl, the warm, chewy bikkies were ready to come out of the oven.
So when a friend invited me round for tea to catch up, I immediately knew what I’d take. ANZAC Slice with Golden Icing delivers all the deliciousness of ANZAC biscuits but with the added bonus of icing and without the fuss of baking multiple trays. This great, warming recipe comes from The Australian Women’s Weekly Country Collection, which is one of my favourite cookbooks when it comes to warming family favourites and you can buy it here
ANZAC Slice with Golden Syrup Icing
125g unsalted butter, chopped
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup or treacle
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
2 cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup or treacle
20g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons hot water, approximately
1. Preheat oven to 120°C/ 250°F. Grease 24cm x 32cm swiss roll pan with greaseproof paper, extending paper 5cm over sides.
2. Stir butter, sugar and syrup in medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in combined water and soda, followed by coconut, oats and sifted flour. Don’t worry if it looks too dry, just keep cutting through to break up any lumps and eventually it will come together. Spread combined mixture evenly into pan, pressing down
3. Bake slice about 45 minutes. If you like it a little soft and fudgy, decrease baking time by 5 to 10 minutes. Stand slice in pan for 15 minutes to cool before removing greaseproof paper and transferring to a wire rack. If you leave the slice in the pan for longer than 15 minutes you may find it harder to remove the paper.
While it’s baking, you may as well take this opportunity to lick the bowl, y’know, for quality control purposes.
4. After you’re assured of the quality of your slice, sift icing sugar into a medium heatproof bowl; stir in syrup, butter and enough water to make a thick paste. Set bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water and stir until icing is spreadable. I wanted my icing drizzley so I added half a tablespoon more water and simmered for longer.
5. Spread icing over cooled slice and stand at room temperature until set before cutting. I wanted slice to have a really homely effect, so I cut the standing time and let the icing spill over the sides after cutting
Doesn’t it look delicious? All glossy icing and crumbly, chewy base. It is very sweet though, so I find it best enjoyed with a steaming cup of tea and a catch up with good friends! Give it a try and let me know how you go. Do you prefer your ANZACs soft and chewy or hard and crunchy? And which way do you think was the original?