Thursday, 6 October 2011

Oat and barberry biscuits

I haven’t made Anzac biscuits since Year Eight. These have tiny sour-sharp barberries to tart them up a bit – and are the first thing to make from the promising Bourke Street Bakery cookbook before I attempt its sourdough starters and croissants and ginger crème brûlée.

Adapted from Bourke Street Bakery p304

165g rolled oats
220g plain flour
100g desiccated coconut
210g brown sugar
50g dried barberries
45 mL boiling water
185g unsalted butter
60g golden syrup
1 ½ teaspoons bicarb soda
60 mL water

Preheat oven to 170C. Combine barberries, boiling water and 35g of the sugar in a bowl.
Combine oats, flour, coconut and the remaining 175g of the sugar in a bowl and mix.
Put the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the butter has melted. Add the barberries and sugar mixture. Combine the bicarb and water in a cup and add to the pan. While it’s still foaming, add to the dry ingredients and mix well. At this point the barberries look so shiny and rubylike and somehow evil against that bland beige Anzac lumpiness.
The recipe says to take 3 tablespoons of the mixture at a time to roll into balls, which would yield a total of 12 huge biscuits – I took much smaller-sized scoops and formed walnut-sized balls, which I pressed lightly with a fork rather than pressing to be very flat with a spatula as advised. They need to be placed far apart to allow for spreading – I could bake only 9 at a time – and baked for 15–20 minutes.

After cooling on the trays, mine were that softer, chewier end of the Anzac spectrum than the thin crisp version in the BSB’s photo. Moreish, if inelegant, and the barberries did give it a whole new dimension.