Friday, April 28, 2023

Caramel Anzac Slice

Anzac Slice: a bar cookie with a base and topping of cocomut and oats, sandwiched together with a layer of caramel. Photographed on a black and white floral plate

ANZAC Day, a day of remembrance for Australian and New Zealanders, is celebrated on April 25. I have made ANZAC biscuits before, but came across this bar cookie version and couldn’t wait to try them. Noting that ANZAC Day isn’t celebrated until April 25, I had to wait to make these cookies. Since the 25th doesn’t fall on a Friday this year, I had to either post them early or late, but I figure I am pretty close. As an uninformed American, I had never heard of ANZAC Day prior to my first trip to the UK, but have learned that the world is full of celebrations.

The original recipe, as it comes from Australia, has some difference. If I see “slice,” I know that it is an Australian bar cookie. I expect the measurements to be by weight rather than volume. Also, this recipe uses desiccated coconut, which is different from the coconut you get in American stores. It is unsweetened and a finer cut, and can often be found in health food stores. You can always put the coconut you have on hand into a food processor to make it a finer cut.

This recipe called for a 20 x 30-centimeter pan, and I do have a 20 x 29-centimeter tart pan that works. Thankfully these bars are fairly thin! The original recipe also had you make your own caramel from sweetened condensed milk, but mine burned so I ended up buying some caramel sauce to use. Perhaps it was more fluid, but it worked. These bars cut easier if they are cold, but that may be because of the sticky caramel sauce. While these are messy, the flavors they contain can’t be beat. The caramel is a good addition to traditional Anzac biscuits, and this bar cookie version can’t be beat.

Caramel Anzac Slice
125 grams butter
120 grams golden syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon boiling water
80 grams oats
150 grams flour
60 grams brown sugar
60 grams desiccated coconut
Caramel sauce

35 grams desiccated coconut
40 grams oats
50 grams brown sugar
30 grams butter, melted

Heat the oven to 320 degrees. Line a 20 x 30-centimeter pan (or something close) with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and golden syrup over low heat. Once the mixture is melted and smooth, dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water to dissolve. Stir the baking soda into the melted butter mixture and remove from the heat. In the same saucepan, stir in the oats, flour, brown sugar, and desiccated coconut. Press the mixture into the base of the prepared pan.

Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Once the bars come out of the oven, spread with an even layer of caramel sauce. In a separate bowl, combine the desiccated coconut, oats, brown sugar, and melted butter. Stir to create a crumb-like mixture. Sprinkle the topping over the caramel, pressing down slightly.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly. Allow the bars to come to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator to chill for several hours. Once the bars are cold, remove from the pan and cut into squares.

Recipe from The Annoyed Thyroid

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