The Princess heads back to school this week so some baking has been in order. Slightly less baking than I anticipated though, as she went on a short-lived detox diet. What we now know is that The Princess is not much for diets, particularly if you wave freshly baked Spelt and Macadamia Anzac Biscuits (cookies) under her nose.
Anzac biscuits are by far the most requested baked item in this house. However, as I have progressively reduced the amount of sugar used in my baking, the traditional recipe is now far too sweet for my liking. After much tinkering I have a recipe that still tastes to me like an Anzac, but is slightly more nutritious than the original.
I am a huge fan of the nutty and slightly sweet flavour of spelt. I find it works particularly well with all types of nuts,as well as with chocolate, and it has become my favourite baking flour. I readily substitute spelt for wheat flour in my cake recipes, and I even use it in batters and fritters.
As spelt gains popularity, you would be forgiven for thinking it is a new arrival on the market. In reality, spelt is an ancient species of wheat that has been cultivated for thousands of years. Spelt’s increasing popularity is in part due to it’s digestibility. Spelt does contain gluten, although its gluten profile differs to that of wheat, which may be why some people that can no longer tolerate modern wheat flour are able to readily consume spelt.
Whilst spelt can be readily substituted for wheat in baking recipes, a word of caution is necessary. Spelt absorbs less liquid than wheat flour. If substituting spelt into a wheat recipe, start with 3/4 of the original recipe liquid fraction, and add additional liquid only if the mixture appears dry.
The distinctive flavour of the Anzac biscuit is provided by the golden syrup, and this is really the only recipe I use it for. Without golden syrup, Anzacs are just another oatmeal cookie. Yet that jar of golden syrup retains a special place on my pantry shelf. How else will I tempt The Princess away from her next hair-brained diet?
Spelt and Macadamia Anzac Biscuits
To freeze the uncooked biscuit dough, place the shaped biscuits onto a baking tray and flash freeze. Transfer to a zip lock bag once frozen. To cook from frozen, add five minutes to the baking time.
Baked biscuits also freeze extremely well. Just defrost as required.
- Preheat the oven to 170C (150C fan forced).
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
- Place the rolled oats, spelt, chopped macadamias, sugar, coconut and salt in a large bowl and mix together.
- Melt the butter and golden syrup in small saucepan.
- Combine the bicarbonate soda and boiling water, then whilst continuously stirring, pour the mixture into the melted butter/golden syrup.
- Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Taking a dessert spoon of mixture, press together in your hands until the mixture forms into rough ball.
- Place the ball on the lined tray and flatten lightly until the biscuit is approximately 1.5cm thick.
- Repeat with the remainder of the mixture.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown.
- Cool on a rack and store at room temperature for up to five days (if they last that long).