Recipes! · Spring 2017

Australian ANZAC Biscuits

Anzac 'biccies' are easy to make and almost healthy with oats and coconut as main ingredients.

ANZAC is an acronym for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It is believed that Anzac biscuits were first sent by Australian mothers, wives and girlfriends to soldiers serving in World War I. The biscuits had to last the two month trip by sea so were sealed in tins. The recipe has no eggs so the biccies did last the journey and still tasted good upon arrival. 

Today Anzacs are still popular biscuits baked at home. There are also commercial versions on sale, in Australia. My kids love helping to make Anzacs which we do for Australia Day and whenever we feel like a batch of homemade biccies!

1 cup (90g) traditional rolled oats
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
½ cup (40g) desiccated coconut
125g butter, chopped
2 tablespoons golden syrup*
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon boiling water

Preheat the oven to slow (150°C/130°C fan-forced).

Combine the oats, sifted flour, sugar and coconut in a large bowl. Combine the butter and golden syrup in a pan, stir over a low heat until the butter is melted.

Combine the soda and water, add to the butter mixture; stir into the dry ingredients while the mixture is warm.

Roll 1 heaped teaspoon of mixture into a ball; repeat with remaining mixture, placing the balls about 4cm apart on greased oven trays. Flatten balls slightly with the back of a fork and bake in a slow oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Loosen the biscuits on the tray while warm; cool on trays.

Suitable to freeze. Butter mixture suitable to microwave.

*Honey can be used in place of golden syrup

Andrea’s Banana Cake
If you've ever eaten cake at playgroup that I've baked, then this is the recipe I would have used. It was based on a sponge recipe which I modified over the years. This example uses banana but often I omit the banana and use apple instead. Or cherries, lemon or..... ! I hope you get to bake this simple recipe. Let  me know how it goes.

100g butter, melted
100g sugar
2 eggs
100g flour
Baking powder
2 tablespoons milk
2 ripe bananas
1. Blend sugar and melted butter together
2. Beat in eggs, one at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with each egg
3. Spoon by spoon add the remaining flour and the milk
4. Add in the banana and mash into mixture
5. Bake in a moderate oven (180°) for around 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and firm
Cook’s note!

  • I often double the recipe and that works well too. In that case I find that 3 eggs are enough.
  • Instead of bananas I often use apples or lemons or oranges. One medium-sized apple peeled and chopped is enough for the 100g recipe.
  • Whenever I have a banana that is getting a bit too soft, I pop it into the freezer - skin and all - and use in the next banana cake. If it’s bruised I first cut out the bad bits and wrap the banana in plastic wrap before freezing.

Giggle Pea Pasta
(This recipe appeared in Mothering Matters in September 2007.)

Chickpeas derive their name because of the little bird beak they have. In German they are called Kichererbsen – giggle peas, also a cute name.  This pasta dish is a favourite with my family, my 2 and 3 year old kids love it, they usually pick out the yummy bits first – the chickpeas, though my son gives the ‘yukky’ small onion bits to his Papi. My Mum also enjoyed eating it and asked me to write out the recipe for her.

Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are a pulse and they are a nutritious food being high in protein, fibre, folate, minerals such as iron, zinc and more. Therefore it’s a great food for vegetarians or those having a meat-free day. This recipe is quick to make, about 20 minutes, and most of the ingredients you could have on hand. Buon appetito!
425g tinned chickpeas or circa 250g dried, then soaked overnight and cooked
80g sundried tomatoes
1 red onion
500g small pasta shells
2 - 3 cloves garlic
zest and juice from 1 organic (Bio) lemon
dash of olive oil or oil from the sundried tomatoes jar for frying
grated parmesan cheese to taste

1.Boil pasta.

2.Meanwhile finely chop onion and garlic. Lightly fry.

3.Add sundried tomatoes and chickpeas to onions.

4.Rinse cooked pasta and stir into vegetables for a couple of minutes.

5.Mix in lemon zest and juice and cook a further minute.

6.Serve with parmesan (and a glass of red, obviously!).

- Andrea Snashall 2007

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(This recipe was printed in Mothering Matters, June 2009.)

There’s something wonderful about the smell of baking bread wafting through a home. The Swiss National Holiday is coming up so impress the Swiss in your life by baking a Zopf for  brunch or Znüni (morning tea).

Zopf means ‘plait’ but unlike a plait which requires three threads to weave, a loaf of Zopf needs only two to twist it into that distinctive shape. I have baked this Zopf quite a few times and though I can say it usually tastes quite like a Zopf should, it has never looked like a traditional Zopf. I’ve studied this diagram many times but still I don’t seem mathematical enough to plait it properly! A Swiss friend showed me how she effortlessly plaits the Zopf. As a child, she learnt how to make it from her mother so it’s almost in her blood. And although not in mine, I’ll still keep trying to make it look and taste like an authentic Zopf! It is an easy mixture to make and the yeast makes the dough smell lovely. Kneading it is a pleasure and of course the kids like to help with that. Instead of making a loaf , children can make their own people, for example a Grittibänz or other shapes out of the dough.
This recipe is for 2 kilos of flour, so I halve the recipe and even then freeze half of that dough as a 500g Zopf is big enough for our family. The Zopf needs a period to rise so I usually make the dough the night before and bake it the next morning. Of course to save time it can be baked the night or day before but I like to serve the bread when it is warm and there’s a fresh baked bread aroma lingering around the kitchen. Serve the Zopf with butter and jam. The next step will be to make your own jam but it’s unlikely I’ll be the one sharing the recipe with you, my husband is the jam maker in our home!

1L warm milk
80g yeast (Hefe)
2 eggs
250g soft butter
2kg plain flour, or Zopfmehl
40g salt
1 egg, extra
Mix the milk and yeast together.
Add the butter and 2 eggs. Mix together thoroughly.
Add flour and salt. Knead for approximately 10 minutes until it’s of a good consistency.
Put the dough in a bowl, cover, and leave in a warm place for about 15 – 45 minutes until it’s doubled in size. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions then roll these into sausage shapes, circa 50cm long. Lay these over each other to form a cross. Then twist into a Zopf shape (see diagram). Beat the extra egg and brush over the loaf. Then bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees celsius or 180 degrees in a fan-forced oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

- Andrea Snashall 2009

Perfect Playdough
This easy to make playdough smells so nice when freshly made and is heavenly to play with when it’s warm and newly ‘baked’. The high salt content means it’s unlikely to be delicious to most kids. Always store the playdough in an airtight container and it will last at least six months. The cream of tartar (Kaliumhydrogenotartrat) is available in a chemist’s shop.

2 cups flour
1 cup of salt
2 cups of water
2tbs oil
4tsps Cream of Tartar (Kaliumhydrogenotartrat)
Food colouring, a few drops

Mix all ingredients well removing the lumps from the flour. The consistency of the mixture is like a cake batter. Cook in a pan on medium heat, stirring all the time. When it’s thick, is coming away from the side of the pan and looks like playdough, then it’s ready. That takes around 3 - 5 minutes.

Many other family-friendly recipes can be found here.