Anzac Cookies "Healthified" {Secret Recipe Club}

This month, I joined the Secret Recipe Club, created by Amanda of Amanda's Cookin'.

This month there are over 40 food bloggers participating in the Secret Recipe Club. The idea behind this club is to give bloggers the chance to try each other's recipes without the other bloggers knowing it until everyone posts their results. I love having the excuse to try other people's recipes, so I couldn't wait to see who I was assigned...I was so excited to hear that I got Katrina of Baking And Boys! who I recently met through the blogosphere.

Interestingly enough, Katrina also has four boys (or perhaps Amanda paired me up with Katrina knowing this!) so I knew I would be able to connect with her instantly (e.g., the noise level, the wrestling, the mess and dug-in-dirt laundry, and all the cooking from morning until night to fill ever hungry tummies!). As you can guess from the name of Katrina's blog, she does a lot of baking. There are lots of cookie and muffin recipes, as well as a few savory dishes. I decided to try Katrina's Anzac Biscuits (Crispy Oatmeal Cookies) recipe.  

Anzac Biscuits are named for the cookies that were shipped from Australia and New Zealand to Anzac soldiers ("Australian and New Zealand Army Corps") around the world during World War I. Wives made these sturdy cookies for their soldier husbands who went abroad using ingredients that did not spoil easily. 

These Anzac Biscuits looked like a simple enough cookie to make, plus I love coconut, so it seemed like the perfect recipe to try. I have to admit that at first, I tried making these cookies gluten/dairy free. Although the results of my gluten/dairy free experiments produced a spectacular cookie, they did not look at all like Katrina's Anzac cookies (Stay tuned, I will be posting this gluten/dairy free recipe soon!).

I reverted back to Katrina's original recipe, this time making just a few adjustments to make them slightly healthier, but sticking to similar ingredients: substituting white whole wheat flour for white flour (which Katrina mentioned she might try this next time), organic evaporated cane juice for white sugar, and unsweetened coconut for sweetened coconut (Katrina also mentioned she might try this).

With the exception of changing out these few ingredients, I followed the recipe as is. I was a bit gun shy after making two previous batches of gluten/dairy-free cookies that did not resemble Anzac Cookies at all, so I didn't want to mess anymore with the recipe. Although the cookie dough seemed dry, I continued to form and bake my first sheet of cookies.  Not surprisingly, this batch of cookies came out crumbly, almost like shortbread consistency, not nicely formed like Katrina's. 

For the second sheet of Anzac Cookies, I added a little bit of water, just enough to bind the ingredients together. I baked the cookies for 8 minutes until lightly browned, although Katrina baked hers for 16 minutes. This batch came out perfectly (phew!!). Temperatures do vary oven-to-oven, and I did change out a few ingredients, so perhaps this accounts for the dryness of my dough (in my first batch of cookies) and the reduced baking time. Although I had a few mishaps when I tried to modify this recipe, the end result was well worth it!

Like Katrina, I have a house full of boys; however, I'm more of a cook than a baker, which is probably a good thing; otherwise, I would be eating all the test cookies. Thumbs up to Katrina!

Anzac Cookies

From Katrina's Baking and Boys! with a few adaptations. I made these cookies slightly healthier by using white whole wheat flour, organic evaporated cane sugar and unsweetened coconut (these cookies are plenty sweet!).

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1 cup organic evaporated cane sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Stick

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon boiling water

1-2 tablespoons additional water, to bind cookie dough if it's too crumbly

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut. Set aside. Combine butter and syrup and melt in the microwave. Set aside.

Mix together baking soda and water and add to butter mixture. Mix into oat mixture. Add more water if necessary to bind the cookie dough together. Place tablespoons of batter onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake about 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Jeanette from Jeanette's Healthy Living



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