Tararua biscuits, steeped in tradition, (nothing else would soak into them), are not haute cuisine and not for the feeble-jawed. They were developed by an unknown tramper many years ago, specifically to survive the rigours of being stashed in a Christmas trip pack for two weeks alongside crampons, billies, & primuses.
They will generally survive well any attempted attack by 'possums, rats or other vermin. Seriously though, they are a useful item on which to base a tramping trip lunch. Spread with whatever takes your fancy.
Stories of people having to use ice axes to break them should be ignored and only testify to the lack of judgement on the part of some would-be chefs ... Don't overcook them! Recipes vary, but here's one of them:
1kg whole meal flour (coarse) 600g plain flour 500g butter 400g sugar 2 heaped tbsp treacle or golden syrup 1 large tsp salt
- Soften the butter and mix ingredients in a large bowl, adding a little water if necessary
- Roll out to 1cm thickness, cut into square biscuits and place on a lightly greased baking tray
- Bake at 135°C until cooked (dry and just starting to turn golden brown)