Ginger Macadamia Cranberry White Chocolate ANZAC Biscuits

P1020633 April 25th was ANZAC Day, the annual commemoration of the important role played by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp in World War II, especially in the bloody campaign in Gallipoli, Turkey.  To be perfectly honest, none of this would have been at the forefront of my consciousness, had Jacquie not sent Michael a box of ANZAC biscuits, an eggless cookie popularized by the wives and girlfriends of ANZAC soldiers.  These oat cookies had a long shelf life and could withstand the rigors of being shipped halway around the world to their loved ones on the front lines.

Jacquie’s version differed from the ubiquitous one on the internet by the addition of ginger powder and toasted macadamia nuts.  They looked scrumptious and since Tawn and I were going to have guests over for dinner last weekend, I decided to bake a batch.  Along the way, I spontaneously decided to add some left-over white chocolate that was in the fridge as well as a handful of dried cranberries.

This is the recipe Jacquie provided with only minor modifications by me.  An original recipe without nuts and ginger is located here.

Ginger Macadamia ANZAC Biscuits

1/2 c unstalted raw macadamia nuts
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t powdered ginger
1 1/2 c rolled oats
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c dried shredded coconut
2 T boiling water
1 1/4 T golden syrup (or corn syrup)
1 t baking soda
4 oz butter

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First step is to preheat the oven to 180 C / 375 F and, once warm, toast the nuts for a few minutes, stirring them to ensure even toasting.  Remove when golden brown and aromatic and let cool in the pan.  Then chop the nuts with a knife making the pieces not too large (they’ll fall too easily out of the cookie dough) but not so small that you lose the nice crunch of the nut.

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Next step is to mix all the dry ingredients – except for the baking soda! – together.  You may get the impression that there isn’t enough flour, but have faith that it will come together in the end.

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Melt the butter on the stovetop.  In a separate bowl, add the boiling water, golden syrup (which is a sugar cane based syrup – you can substitute corn syrup), and baking soda.  Whisk briefly to set the soda bubbling then stir in the butter.  Set aside for five minutes to allow it to cool slightly.

Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, stirring throughly to combine.  At this point, I decided to add a few more items: a handful of dried cranberries and about a 1/3 cup of coarsely chopped white chocolate.  These were wonderful additions although by no means necessary.

You can then wrap the dough tightly and place in the refrigterator for fifteen minutes to firm it up slightly, making it easier to handle.  If your kitchen is nice and cool and you aren’t having that problem, no need to refrigerate!

Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper then portion the dough onto the sheets.  A heaping teaspoon full of dough should be enough, although you may want to experiment with sizes should you prefer a larger cookie.  Bear in mind that these cookies will spread so don’t crowd them together.  If you put the trays back into the refrigerator until baking, it will slow the spread.

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Bake one sheet at a time in the oven for about 12 minutes or until golden brown, turning halfway through the baking to ensure even cooking.  Cooking for a little longer will make for a crispier cookie.  After taking the tray out of the oven, let the cookies rest on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.  Let cool and enjoy!

As for the rest of our dinner, I prepared some nice crostini as an appetizer:

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Balsamic-vinegar roasted sweet peppers on basil pesto.

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Black olive and caper tapenade.

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A fresh salad with feta, candied pecans, and cherry tomatoes.

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A ham, black olive, and fresh mozzarella pizza.

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And the real winner of the day, a white pizza with a simple white cream sauce, thinly sliced rosemary potatoes, a scattering of mozzarella cheese, and red onions.  Divine!

 

0 thoughts on “Ginger Macadamia Cranberry White Chocolate ANZAC Biscuits

  1. If you weren’t already married… I swear your pictures make me salivate … they are BEAUTIFUL and the food looks GREAT. I want to eat at your house!!

  2. I agree with passionflwr…lol darn that Tawn for seeing you first…lol. It all looks wonderful..but I can’t help but ask…how many HOURS did you spend in the kitchen preparing this feast?? AND…dried cranberries and white chocolate would make ANYTHING taste even more sensational!!  And on another subject…how are things on the streets of Bangkok? I haven’t delved into MSNBC yet so I am not sure what is happening on your side of the world.Ruth Ann

  3. I’m curious – for the pizza, do you need to cook some of the ingredients first or just slice them very thinly? Would it be ok to cook w/o those pizza stones? I have to confess that until I saw Mike’s entry, I have never heard of those cookies before.

  4. Are you for real?? Jeez Chris, those ginger macadamia nut biscuits look incredible. I need to go and get them NOW, so I can start my baking and preparing them. Thank you for the sweet card from Macau. That was such a nice thing to do Chris, to send me the card…not the eating the Portuguese tarts, because “they were so frikkin’ good” and thinking of me while you ate them!!lol.Let me know when you will be in KC. I will try and come and visit you both if you cannot come up here.

  5. I’ve found mac nuts lose their flavor when used in baked food. Toasting them first must make a difference. I was also wondering about the sliced potatoes on the white pizza…they must be sliced paper thin if they actually cook in the time the pizza bakes. About how much white sauce do you use? I get tired of the tomato-based sauce. I have some homemade pizza dough in the freezer that I need to use. What kind of potatoes did you use? I’m thinking yellow gold or a small red would probably cook in time.

  6. I’m drooling. I want to eat that meal. Yep, I do. Now I know what to make for dinner but was that fresh basil on the ham/black olive pizza or was it spinach?? Do tell.

  7. @ElusiveWords –  No need to confess, Matt. I had never heard of them, either. You know us North Americans – completely clueless when it comes to Kiwis and Aussies! Let me find the recipe I used for the potatoes and I’ll email it to you later today.@murisopsis – Basil@agmhkg – Give me your account number and I’ll get a pie to you right away! Ha ha…@jandsschultz –  I’ll send you the recipe, too.@jandsschultz – Regarding the nuts, toasting them is what enhances and “locks” the flavor. Otherwise, yes, they can be quite bland in baked goods.@ZSA_MD –  Oh, I’m glad you enjoyed the card! We should finalize our dates for the KC trip in the next two weeks. It turns out that this will also be a work trip so I have to find out when my boss and colleagues will be meeting me there.@styx_site –  @elelkewljay –  @CurryPuffy –  Glad you enjoyed the entry!@yang1815 –  Actually, I think that is true. Better camera = better pics = better looking food.@Redlegsix –  Things seem to be at a kind of detente right now. Tensions are high but neither side has done anything stupid since Wednesday when a bunch of red shirts decided to go on a road show and the army blocked them and fought them back.@Passionflwr86 –  Well, when you plan your next trip to Bangkok, let me know and I’ll start planning dinner! Ha ha…

  8. Wow! Beaaautiful pictures, and I’m sure they tasted just as good as they look. I’ll probably try baking the cookies at some point because it doesn’t seem terribly hard, and I like the idea of being able to mail them (I’ll probably practice a few times first, and bring the practice cookies to work to share). Thanks for posting a step-by-step account of the recipe you used.How did you learn to cook so professionally? When did you first learn (# of years ago)? Did you make the other items (not the cookies) following a recipe or was it from intuition?

  9. “Ginger Macadamia Cranberry White Chocolate ANZAC Biscuits”Fun fact: Not legally allowed to be called Anzac biscuits unless they follow the original recipe. Of course, only counts if you try and sell them! But these sound super scrummy :)Anzac biscuits are the greatest, the rest of the world is missing out so I’m glad you’re sharing 🙂

  10. @christao408 – Not always. There’s only so much “better photo” that a better camera can get ya but I think in your case, the camera definitely improved the photos since you’re already pretty skilled.

  11. @Senlin – These are pretty easy cookies to bake and, really, cookies in general are hard to flub.  Roll up your sleeves, scrub your hands thoroughly, and give it a try!  To answer your questions:I wouldn’t describe my cooking as “professional” by any stretch of the imagination.  When I was very young, my mother would encourage both my sister and me to help out in the kitchen, but I don’t think I learned a whole lot of technique from her.  It wasn’t until after I graduated university that I really started learning, mostly from reading cook books and watching cooking shows.  Note that most of what is on the Food Network isn’t in the category of “cooking show”.  I mean shows like those on PBS that actually show cooking techniques and explain the rationale behind what cooks do.As for recipes, I’m notorious for not following recipes very closely, which is a BAD idea when you are baking as baking is a science.  For the most part, though, I use a recipe either the first time I make something or at least as an idea of the ingredients and proportions, then improvise based on my own tastes and what ingredients I have available.@Made2Order – Thanks.  Those are really good combinations, especially as they satisfy several primal urges for “sweet” and “salty”.@foggysunnymorning – So easy to make, it tastes really good, and if you spread it on a slice of bread and put a little parsley, basil, or something green on top, it looks fancy!@kenpcho – Pizza isn’t unhealthy, Kenny.  Make whole wheat dough and go light on the cheese.  Have a large salad with it and it is actually very balanced.@longedforbliss – Actually, I knew that fact when I decided to flout the law.  Ha ha!  I know, always throwing caution to the wind…

  12. goddang the biscuits look good!! got a question- will you be able to also fill them with jam on the inside and bake them?how long does it take for you to prep/cook dinner (i.e. this dinner)? it always takes me FOREVER to do the easiest things when i’m cooking at home so it always amazes me when you make all these really elaborate meals!

  13. @iskrak – I think the nature of these biscuits/cookies wouldn’t lend themselves to filling with jam.  They don’t initially seem like they will hold together as there is a lot less flour and a lot more dry ingredients.  It is only when they bake that they kind of form a single solid.As for the prep and cook of dinner, it depends.  Using this dinner as an example, the crostini were made with ingredients I had prepared several days before and were using in multiple applications.  Tapenade will last for days in the fridge as well the roast peppers.  The pizza dough is easy to pull together and I always keep some portions in the freezer for quick prep.  A little white sauce takes five minutes to make.  Slice the potatoes, rinse, salt, repeat doesn’t take long.  Maybe an hour for the entire production?

  14. On second thought, Chris, I would like to pre-order the above items on my next visit to BKK. I now have a very legitimate reason of coming over! This entry is worthy of a Michelin Star! 😛

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