These unique cookie bars from the American Institute for Cancer Research are inspired by Australia’s national biscuit, the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps). Made in World War I to give the troops a taste of home cooking, they’re packed with nutritious whole grains. Whole grains are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, including the soluble fiber shown to lower blood cholesterol. A hint of coconut and honey adds an exotic sweetness that will make you feel like you’re on vacation down under.
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1 cup reduced-fat, unsweetened shredded dried coconut (or 1/2 cup regular, unsweetened shredded coconut)
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttery spread
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. boiling water
Canola oil cooking spray
In mixing bowl, use whisk to combine oats, coconut, flours, sugars and salt. In small pot over medium heat, heat spread until melted. Mix in honey. Remove pot from heat. In small bowl, combine baking soda with boiling water. When mixture is foamy, add to melted spread mixture. Pour warm mixture into dry ingredients and mix, first using flexible spatula, then your hands, working with your fingers until mixture is evenly moistened. It will be sandy and crumble when squeezed in your fist. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 2-24 hours, until handful squeezed tightly sticks together.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Coat 11 inch x 7 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Pour bar mixture into prepared pan and press firmly into even layer.
Bake 10 minutes. Remove pan and using sharp, thin knife make 4 cuts spaced evenly across wider width of pan. Rotate pan 90 degrees and make 3 cuts across smaller width of pan, creating 20 bars. Return pan to oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are deep golden brown. They will be slightly puffy and yield a little when with pressed with a finger.
Set pan on wire baking rack and run knife through cuts. Cool completely. Run knife through cuts again to make sure cookies are completely separated and lift from pan. ANZAC Cookies will keep in airtight container for 1 week.
Makes 20 servings. Per serving: 130 calories, 6 g total fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 17 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 140 mg sodium, 10 g sugar, 9 g added sugar.
Recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research.