Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ready For Dessert: Cranzac Cookies

Charlie has three teeth coming in simultaneously, which is super annoying for all of us. He's not eating, not sleeping, etc.

After about three weeks of this (two teeth down, one to go), I submitted to the old parenting pressure of making something--anything--that he would eat, despite the pain. I landed on Cranzac Cookies (pg 203) from Ready for Dessert. I figured that with a cup of rolled oats, dried cranberries, and swapping out regular flour for The Sneaky Chef's baking mix, if he'd eat it, he'd get some form of nutrition, even if it was in conjunction with lots of coconut and sugar.

Lyle's Golden Syrup is used as the main wetness of these cookies. Have you ever heard of this stuff? I hadn't. It's an English product, and I found it in the international section of the supermarket. It is buttery and delicious, sort of like a thin caramel or something. Now I need to figure out what else to do with it, because I'm in love. The bottle says you can get a recipe booklet off their website. Don't mind if I do.

The dough was pretty hard to handle. It's crumbly and didn't want to roll together into balls. It mostly stuck to my hands. That's okay, though. Since there's no eggs in this, I was at liberty to lick my fingers clean.
Lebovitz says these cookies are "a riff on Anzac biscuits that were created as sustenance for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac)." From this description, I worried that this would make a hard, dry, coconut biscuit. I was wrong on all counts, thankfully. I don't know how they compare to the original, but they're good. The coconut lends more moisture than flavor. The closest thing I could compare these to are a moist, non-cinnamoney oatmeal cookie.

Conclusion: Like, though I think I prefer the Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe from the Quaker Oats box. With the coconut, these cookies pack more calories into my boy, though, which is okay. The doctors are always nagging me that he's not heavy enough, so a bit of coconut won't hurt him. (Mind you, they don't ask what or how much he eats. They'd prefer I shove french fries at him instead of strawberries and cheese, as long as he were gaining weight. I think it's a load of crap, but whatever. They're the ones with the charts and statistics.)

My scheming has worked, to some extent. Charlie ate a cookie. Woohoo! I ate three. Not-so-woohoo.


  1. Cranzac cookies! So cool! I'll have to forward this to all my Aussie friends cause they'll go a little nuts :) Sorry your itty bitty's having the 'tooth' issue. Boo :(

  2. Never heard of these cookies but I have heard of the syrup. It was mentioned a lot around the time of the royal wedding this year and the no-bake groom's cake.

  3. Lyles!!! Your uncle George thought i was nuts b/c I ordered Lyle's treacle from the British tea store- I just had to have it- in case I need to make english pudding at Christmas, or more likely just eat it out of the can. If you are a molasses fan you would like treacle. Lyle's is really legendary so I'm glad you made acquaintance with their famous golden syrup- that is some good stuff!

  4. BTW that ready for dessert cookbook seems to be batting out of the park each time? any misses?

  5. Does your Dr. really say to feed Charlie french fries? Fries are scientifically proven to be among the very worst, least healthy foods a person can possibly eat- that depresses me to imagine a pediatrician endorsing them- considering the very serious problems of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease that plague so many people in the US.

  6. one comment about high calorie healthy food for babies /toddlers- peanut butter, peanut butter, and more peanut butter...hope Charlie likes it- spread on cookies, graham crackers- kids can practically live on it if they don't like meat or pasta. also too much juice and milk really spoils appetites, so more water , or sub. juice with watered down juice, might help stimulate his appetite. Sounds like he likes bagels, cheese gougeres- does he like cream cheese? sandwiches? macaroni and cheese? or does he just eat very small amounts b/c of teething problems?

  7. The cookies look great. And I am definitely familiar with golden syrup. There are many baking products which Americans consider standard (like vanilla, twice acting baking powder, brown sugar, the list goes on) which are not available in German supermarkets and so I have to make occasional trips to the English specialty store to find them. They also do not have molasses here so I have sometimes used golden syrup instead, the taste is not really the same but it seems to work in a pinch.

  8. Holy moly. That's a lot to respond to. Here goes...

    I've never had treacle, but now I want it, because I looooove molasses.

    Ready for Dessert has been solid since I started the blog. Prior to blogging, I made AWFUL ginger cookies and a mediocre nectarine gingerbread upside down cake thing. It looks like gingerbread is not his strong suit. There is a ginger cake I want to try, though, b/c people cite it in Amazon reviews as reason to buy the book. I'll be the judge of that. Mwa ha haaa!

    No, the doctor didn't actually say to feed him french fries. She, in a panicked tone of voice, said, "He's OKAY at the weight he's at now, but we can't let it get any worse!!" even though he's at the exact same percentile he was at when he was born, his father had the exact same "problem" as a baby, he was breast instead of bottle-fed (thereby lighter), and he moves more than any child I've ever seen in my life. Seems like consistent growth to me. I think it's a dangerous attitude to have, and it makes me angry, because if I weren't so strongly opinionated in my ideas of what he should and should not be eating, I may easily feel pressured enough to be like, "Well, he'll eat fries, so I'll feed him those..." I feel like the emphasis should be on nutrition, and not on pounds, without any questions about the content of what he eats.

    When he's not teething, I've found a pretty good set of foods that he'll eat without question--eggs, shrimp, pb&j, elbow mac with olive oil or a bit of homemade tomato sauce, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, stinky cheese on bread, olives, oatmeal, cereal, french toast, any fruit you hand him, etc. I only give him watered down juice once in a while. Never straight juice. Mostly I just give him water. So under normal circumstances, Im not worried, regardless of what the doctors and their stupid charts say.

    Since we've been back from ny, he doesn't want anything except milk and yogurt. I discovered last night that he suddenly likes rice, so he shoveled that in for dinner. He ate better yesterday--the rice, 2 cookies, several strawberries and blueberries, a bit of egg--so I'm hoping that we're in the home stretch here and he'll start eating normal again in the next few days.

    Thanks for reminding me about the gougeres, though. They're pretty soft. I'll go buy the ingredients for those today and make a batch.

  9. your comments about ginger bread and cake reminded me about Lyle golden syrup b/c that's what I have seen it used for :) Charlie doesn't eat meat or fish huh?
    sometimes mashing it with potatoes or rice and cheese, then frying or baking as a meat "ball" or fritter or loaf helps. also making meat /veg.stock so you can use it to cook whatever he will eat, like rice. Sorry your Dr. makes you so angry :(