Jennifer was apparently a very popular name in the 1980s – I don’t think I’ve ever been the only one in a class or staffroom. At least it’s versatile enough for the legion of us to differentiate ourselves, and so it was that my close friends at secondary school called ourselves ‘The Three Jennys’ and each had a different variation: Jeni, Jen and Jenny (the correct form, obviously). We three Jens were quite different personalities even at school, but were united by (a) an excellent name, and (b) a love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and so formed a firm friendship of break time gossiping, parties and sleepovers.
Since we left secondary school, I’m not sure the three of us have all been back together, though thanks to the wonders of Facebook we can still check in with each other and, indeed, set each other cooking challenges. This one comes from Jeni, and is a fitting choice as she lived in New Zealand. When I was a teen I had a vague notion that I might one day “go travelling”, but it was always very distant and I had no idea how I would go about it. Going to 6th form college in a different town was adventurous enough for me for the time being. Jeni, on the other hand, first moved abroad when she was 16 and has spent most of her time since globe-trotting. My mum, whenever I give an update on Jeni, says wisely, “I always knew she’d travel,” and to be honest, I think most people who knew her expected it too. I have long been inspired by her adventurous spirit and courage in jetting off to new places, especially from such a young age.
This is her own recipe, though I’ve converted all her exotic foreign ‘cup’ measurements to good old British grams. I’m not a very skilled maker of biscuits (they didn’t cook very evenly, but let’s blame my stupid oven for that), but I am more than qualified to devour them, and these were scrumptious. And yes, it was my first time making Anzac biscuits. Coconutty and oaty, what’s not to love?
Here’s to a Three Jennys reunion one of these days!
70g dessicated coconut
130g plain flour
80g rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
115g unsalted butter
4 tsp golden syrup
2.5 tbsp hot water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2. Mix the coconut, flour, sugar, salt and oats in a large bowl.
3. Melt the butter over a gentle heat, then stir in the golden syrup.
4. Pour the hot water over the bicarbonate of soda, stir until dissolved, then add it to the butter and give it a good stir.
5. Pour the buttery mixture into the dry ingredients, mix together well.
6. Place teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking sheet – not close together, they really spread!
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
8. Stand on the trays for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool (alas, I did not get much uniformity in size or colour, but at least they were uniformly delicious).