Prince George might be the most famous baby in the world, but even his royal pedigree can’t protect him from the perils of teething.
At eight months old, the little guy is already sporting a few bottom chompers, and here’s hoping that he (and Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge) will be spared any more toothy breakthroughs during their three-week trip to Australia and New Zealand.
If his gums do start bugging him, Chef Darren McGrady, who’s worked at both Buckingham Palace and at Kensington Palace, says that the delightfully crunchy ANZAC (Australian New Zealand Army Corps) biscuit is a soothing solution for an angry teether.
McGrady, author of Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen, first made these biscuits for Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Australia in 1988. Since that visit coincided with Anzac Day as Kate and William’s will, the Queen was curious about trying the country’s famous Anzac biscuit.
But since they were traveling aboard Her Majesty’s Royal Yacht Britannia, logistics were a bit tricky. “None of us knew what it was, and it was back in the eighties so we couldn’t just Google the recipe and we were at sea so we couldn’t even call anyone for it,” McGrady tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview.
So McGrady took a quick boat ride over to the HMAS Canberra, a guided missile frigate of the Royal Australian Navy that was escorting the Britannia during the Queen’s visit, and got a biscuit-making lesson from one of the chefs onboard. He then served them at afternoon tea on Anzac Day, which is a day of remembrance similar to Veterans’ Day in the United States.
As for the Queen, she gave them her royal seal of approval: “She said ‘it’s a fabulous biscuit, it’s crunchy and the texture is so nice’ and suggested we add them to our regular afternoon tea repertoire at Buckingham Palace, which was exciting,” McGrady says.
McGrady suggests using an ice-cream scooper to form the dough into balls, since it can be quite crumbly. The biscuits are traditionally made without eggs to decrease their risk of spoiling, because they originally were sent to Anzac troops. So they’re sturdy enough to withstand a long journey, whether it’s for an army’s tour of duty or a historic royal visit.
McGrady, who worked as the private chef for the late Princess Diana after she moved to Kensington Palace, also prepared these fast, easy biscuits for Prince William and Prince Harry when they were little. “With William currently in New Zealand, I just know that these are the perfect biscuits for George to be teething on,” he said.
Makes about 24
1 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups rolled oats
10 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. golden syrup (or corn syrup)
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tbsp. boiling water
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Mix the flour, sugar, coconut and oats in a bowl.
3. Melt the butter and golden syrup in a saucepan.
4. Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water.
5. Combine all the ingredients and stir until combined.
6. Roll into balls and press onto prepared baking sheets, allowing space for biscuits to spread while cooking.
7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until firm and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
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