Australian Toasties | Australian Toasted Sandwiches

Some countries (like India) do toasted sandwiches really really well. It is a serious business. And you’ve gotta love a country that spends as much time preparing a toasted sandwich filling as they do cooking any other dish.

In Australia, toasted sandwiches are those food items that need to be instant. They are instant snacks or a Winter’s night supper in front of the television. They are late night snacks or work place lunches. They pair well with a large bowl of Tomato Soup.

By the way, everyone I know has a different understanding about the difference between a toasted sandwich, jaffle, toastie and grilled sandwich. Some differentiate between a toastie and a toasted sandwich. A toastie they say, has sealed edges and is cut in half (with the cut edge also sealed) and a toasted sandwich is neither sealed nor cut. Toasties are called jaffles in a few areas of Australia (e.g. Sydney), but not many. I connect jaffles with the round toasting irons that went over a wood fire or a gas stove. You can still get them in camping stores. A grilled sandwich is a US term for toasted sandwiches.

But I want to be clear that I use the term toastie to mean a sandwich that has been toasted and may or may not have sealed edges and may or may not be cut in half. Either way.

In Australia, the most common filling for toasties is cheese – cheese and tomato, for example. There are examples of non-vegetarian items that are added (but we don’t cover them here).

Baked beans is another common filling (using tinned baked beans), perfect for a cold Winter’s day.  We present a few more options for you.

Similar recipes include Paneer Toast, and Potato and Peas Toastie.

Browse our Toasties and explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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Banana Porridge with Glazed Apples, Golden Syrup and Passionfruit

Glazed apples are delicious and endlessly versatile. We have made them before, and used them to top porridge. They can also be used to top any pudding, syrupy cakes or endless desserts. Sit atop some junket, for example. Or over icecream, with grilled banana, on top of a fruit salad, topping a bowl of yoghurt. Any way you like.

Bill Grainger in his book Sydney Food has glazed apples with Banana Porridge. We hinted at it in our last recipe.  Today we get more specific about how to make that porridge, with our own twist, of course. It really is delicious, and so Australian!

One of the major changes is that we have added passionfruit. It is a very Australian thing, but also the sour notes of the passionfruit cut through the sweetness of the apples and porridge.

Try these as well – Rice and Raisin Porridge, Baked Apples with Star Anise, Apples with Lemon and Cinnamon, and Apples Baked in Marsala.

Browse our Apple recipes here, our Breakfast dishes and our Desserts too, or find some inspiration in our Late Winter recipes.

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Australian Quick and Easy Date or Raisin Slice | Egg Free

When we think of Australian food, I am talking the vegetarian kind, the sort of food commonly found on home dining tables, we think immediately of sweet, baked dishes. Biscuits, cakes and slices. They were certainly routine in the kitchens of my Mother, Grandmothers and Aunties as I was growing up, and every communal meal contained more varieties of these sweet delights than they did main courses or vegetable dishes.

In our house, my Mother who was the Queen of bulk cooking and making things that lasted forever, would spend DAYS baking in a wood fired oven in our back enclosed verandah. Honey biscuits and Ginger biscuits were her favourites. They would start soft and yielding and delicious, and end up, some many months later, hard as bitumen and only suitable for dipping in your cuppa. Not that we complained, they were still delicious.

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Aussie Scones | Egg Free

Scones, those English and Australian afternoon-tea essentials, slathered with strawberry jam and whipped cream, are often the star of our afternoon snacks. From a young age, I would make scones for visitors. As soon as I could, I would slip away and leave them to chat with others in the house. I would head for the kitchen and whip up a batch of scones, bringing them out still hot from the oven to the delight of everyone who happened to be there at that time.

In fact, it takes only 15 minutes to produce a basket full of lovely hot scones that are feather light.

Sometimes you can eat them just with butter, or without sugar but with cheese mixed into the batter and sprinkled over the top before baking. Jam and cream is very traditional. Sultanas can be added to the dough. Pumpkin scones have a reputation in Australia but they are not something that I make more than once a decade. Or omit the sugar and add a little black pepper, and serve them with a large bowl of soup.

These favourites are not, take note, *not* the American scone, pronounced scoh-n, more like our biscuits than this light and fluffy delicacy. Ours is pronounced sco-n, a short “o”, as in pond.

Similar recipes include Bannock, Australian Quick and Easy Date Slice, Oatcakes and Griddle Cakes.

Browse all of our Biscuits (there are not many, we don’t have a sweet tooth), and our Desserts. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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What are ANZAC Biscuits?

ANZAC Biscuits are classic, traditional Australian biscuits made on ANZAC Day (and any other day of the year). They were commonly sent to the troops in the First World War and are named after the soldiers. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

The ANZAC biscuit was called a variety of other names before 1915, and the current name came in to use after the battle on Gallipoli Beach in Turkey. The first version of this rolled-oat based biscuit reportedly appeared around 1823, and over the next century took on various names such as Surprise Biscuits, Rolled Oat Biscuits, Munchies, Nutties and Crispies. Then around the early WWI years the name changed to Red Cross Biscuits and Soldier’s Biscuits. They were used as a form of fundraising, so they gave them a war connected name which helped sell them. The biscuits quickly became a popular food to send to Australia’s overseas forces, due to their accessible ingredients, easy cooking method, and lack of eggs that meant the biscuits kept well.

It is said that they were also known as Army Biscuit, ANZAC Wafer and ANZAC Tile, and were essentially a long shelf-life, hard tack biscuit which was eaten as a substitute for bread. The biscuits are very, very hard. Some soldiers preferred to grind them up and eat as porridge. They were made commercially from flour, sugar, milk powder and sugar.

Early on there was a home version of the ANZAC Biscuit that included eggs and that were sandwiched together with jam.

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Buttery Australian ANZAC Biscuits | Egg Free

Generally I use my Grandmother’s recipe for ANZAC Biscuits, but was curious about a recipe that increases the amount of coconut and butter. Other than that, the recipe is the same – a traditional one without the additions that the US variety of these “cookies” include. Good grief, USA, leave our beloved ANZAC biscuits alone.

The result of the slight alterations is a blonder biscuit, but otherwise a delightful one, perfect for a cuppa for afternoon tea on any day of the year. The biscuit is quite buttery with a definite coconut flavour.

It is the day after New Year, and it is likely to be one of my 2 or 3 baking efforts per year. I don’t have a sweet tooth, thankfully, and also do not use eggs in my recipes. Thus, the options for baking are limited on both accounts!

Originally, ANZAC Biscuits were made for the troops in the World Wars, and did not contain coconut (as it deteriorates rapidly, and possibly it was not readily available). The biscuits were “flat packed” for transport to the troops. Then, it seems, a little coconut was added to the recipe, and as times became easier, the amount of butter and coconut increased. Thus we have the buttery biscuits of today.

See this post for some notes about the use of bicarb soda in the recipes for ANZAC Biscuits. Don’t substitute the use of bicarbonate of soda with Self Raising Flour or Baking Powder, as its use is essential to the biscuit. The other essential element is Golden Syrup. There is no substitute, and this Australian ingredient gives these biscuits their beautiful caramelised taste.

You can read more about the history of ANZAC Biscuits here.

Similar recipes include Lemony Pepper Crackers, Tahini Biscuits, Australian Quick and Easy Date Slice, Scones, Oatmeal Crackers, and Traditional ANZAC Biscuits.

Browse all of our Biscuits, and explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Bill’s Vegetable Soup with Winter Vegetables

Bill Grainger, chef in Sydney, has a recipe for soup using Spring vegetables. I turned it around to make it with winter vegetables.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Leek recipes here. Or you might like to browse Soup recipes here. Check out our easy Winter recipes.

Bill’s Spring Vegetable Soup with Winter Vegetables.

25 g butter 0.66 cup fresh corn kernels 1 cup sliced leeks, white part only
1 pkt winter soup vegetables, peeled and diced (or a collection of carrot, celery, turnip, swede, onion, potato etc) 0.5 cup peeled, chopped tomatoes, or some Home-made tomato paste 6 or so cups Vegetable Stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve 0.66 cup parsley, chopped Parmesan Toasts

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced and diced vegetables, and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Lower heat and add the corn and beans. Simmer until vegetables are just tender.

Ladle into bowls and top with chopped parsley or Coriander Pesto. Pass around Parmesan Toasts and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

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