Or you could make the great cookies that originated in WWI as a nutritious, nonperishable treat to be mailed off to soldiers serving in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. I first had them on our trip to Oz, which coincided with the illegal, insane invasion of Iraq. (I remember the protests as much as the food, with Australians in the streets in Sydney and Melbourne alike yelling “Shyme! Shyme!”)
To quote my LAT story: “Anzacs are crisp and chewy, almost like round granola bars but wafer thin. Crunchier than an American oatmeal cookie, they have a mysterious toasty undertone, not quite molasses but well past brown sugar. And the coconut is not the stringy, heavily sweetened kind Americans know.”
My dad’s widow, a New Zealander he had fallen in love with in WWII and hooked up with again after my mom died, emailed me her Anzak recipe, and with a couple of adaptations it worked better than the ones I had found on the Internet. The intriguing flavor comes from golden syrup, which is something like bronzed corn syrup but is made from cane sugar. Most American supermarkets sell a brand called Lyle’s, from England, that works fine.
1 cup flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine flour, coconut, oats, brown sugar and salt in large mixing bowl and blend well. Combine syrup and butter in small saucepan over medium flame and heat until butter melts. Dissolve baking soda in 1/4 cup boiling water and stir in. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and pour liquids in. Stir until well mixed. Drop dough by tablespoons onto lightly buttered baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between each. Flatten slightly. Bake on center rack of oven for 15 minutes, until just set. Using spatula, immediately transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Yields 24.