Category Archives: butter

Buttery biscuits for Anzac Day

Buttery golden deliciousness

I’m a little bit tardy with this post, but I’ve been a bit lazy in the kitchen of late. Yesterday was Anzac Day, which is kind of like the Australian version of Veteran’s Day here, and since I will take any excuse I can get to make Anzac biscuits, I figured I’d share them with all of you, as well.

Mmm, golden

Anzac biscuits are kind of funny. They have a little bit of a mad scientist quirk, they’re “healthy” (because they’re made of oats, of course), and don’t call for eggs at all, which makes them a cinch to modify for vegans. During World War I, when these biscuits were first made, eggs were difficult to come by, so people had to find something else to bind their baked goods. It turns out that golden syrup does the trick. Golden syrup, for those of you who haven’t tried it, is sweet, buttery, golden (duh), and delicious cane syrup, and really should be in your kitchen if it isn’t already. It’s finally available in the international section of most supermarkets, so it really isn’t hard to find. I use it in a lot of my cookie recipes, just because the flavor is that much better.

Dough

The thing I can’t quite figure out about this (or any) Anzac biscuit recipe is the mad scientist bit I mentioned before. One key step involves dumping the baking soda in a bit of boiling water. When you do this, you get a tame little explosion of carbon dioxide, resulting from the interaction between the sodium bicarbonate and the hot water. As I understand it, this leaves you with sodium carbonate, which will once again break down into carbon dioxide and water provided you have sufficient heat (~1000°C, according to Wikipedia!). It seems like any further leavening really won’t happen in the oven. So what exactly is the point? Anyone have an idea? It seems to be fairly standard in any Anzac biscuit recipe I’ve come across…

Continue reading

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Australia, baking, butter, coconut, cookies, dessert, golden syrup, oatmeal

Ending the suspense, and a few timid steps

Meyer Lemon Shortbread

Can you guess what I have in store now? If you’re still puzzled, Saveur will give you a hint… This recipe was not just chosen on impulse from the pages of a magazine. It was, in fact, the answer to a very long (and yearly) search. And what a good answer it was …

Shaping Shortbread

I had Meyer lemons in my kitchen, just sitting there for days, looking like precious, golden, untouchable orbs of sunlight trapped in an ordinary bowl. I get them once a year — just four, enough to taste — and invariably struggle to find the best way to make their fragrant nature, skin and all, last just a bit longer.  I wanted a tart, slightly sweet, and citrusy bottle of meyer lemon goodness to spread, with something a bit more special than a simple slice of bread to spread it on.

This year, I decided to try my hand at two things that had previously struck me as entirely too mysterious for my hands: making jam, and canning.

How old fashioned do I feel at the moment? (In a kickass, hey, I can do anything sort of way, of course.)

Grating batter

I started with a citrus-derived pectin I found at the local health food store, which is designed for low-sugar jam concoctions. I didn’t want to drown the Meyer lemon in sweetness. Nor did I want my first foray into jam to end in disaster, so I played it safe. I followed the directions.

Meyer Lemon Jam

Isn’t it pretty? It’s a bit bitter, really, as marmalade can be sometimes, so if you want your sweets to be sweet, I’m afraid this isn’t for you. As for me, I don’t mind, but thought something a little sugary might make an interesting contrast. So when I saw this Hungarian Shortbread recipe, I had to play. The sandy, sweet-tart, buttery pairing of grated shortbread batter and tart meyer lemon marmalade seemed like the perfect match.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under baking, butter, dessert, firsts, Meyer lemons