Although I made these Anzac biscuits back in the Autumn I decided to save posting the recipe until today, Anzac Day. If you’re not aware today is the national day of remembrance for Australia and New Zealand. It commemorates those who have served and died in military and peacekeeping operations around the world. The Anzac in the name of both the day and the biscuit comes from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, which was established in World War I.
I was inspired to make them following the widespread coverage of the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI. As you might expect the contribution of troops from across the Empire was very much a part of the commemorations. The Anzac soliders were mentioned quite often and before long my curiosity got the better of me. As you will probably have gathered it wasn’t long until I found recipes for these biscuits.
Like a lot of ‘traditional’ recipes the origin of these is a little lost in the mists of time. There’s ongoing disagreement as to whether these were sent out to soliders on the battlefield. Or whether they were made back at home and sold to raise money for the war effort. Either way, I reckon they’d survive a long trip in the mail as they’re pretty robust biscuits. You can probably tell that from the pictures.
There is some consensus however – in that there’s general agreement on how they should be made. The base of these is a simple mixture of flour, oats, golden syrup and butter. A few recipes suggested the addition of dessicated coconut and I followed suit, as I think it adds a lovely flavour. The lack of eggs reflects their scarcity during wartime, as well as their perishability. At least that’s what the internet tells me and who am I to argue?
I found these very easy to make, but suspect it would be very easy to over-bake them. As such keep an eye on them when they’re in the oven. They’re very soft when warm, which makes transferring them to a cooling rack quite a challenge. But they will become crisp as they cool – don’t wait for them to be crisp as soon as they come out of the oven!
On first appearance these biscuits are what I would call worthy. It’s a term I use often to describe food that looks well intended yet ends up totally devoid of pleasure. The first bite might reinforce that opinion, but stick with them. It wont be long until you’re going back for more. These are spectacularly moreish – almost dangerously so. Indeed, I found myself dipping into the biscuit barrel a little too often. Plus, as you can imagine, it seems like they’d stay fresh forever. Not that they lasted long enough for me to find out just how long that might be.
- 150 g Plain Flour
- 100 g Rolled Oats
- 100 g Dessicated Coconut
- 200 g Light Soft Brown Sugar
- 125 g Unsalted Butter
- 2 tbsp Golden Syrup
- 2 tbsp Water
- ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- Preheat oven to 170°C. Line two baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
- Mix together the flour, oats, coconut and brown sugar in a large bowl.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, then stir through the golden syrup and water. Remove from the heat then add the bicarbonate of soda.
- Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together until well combined.
- Make the mixture into balls of around 3-4cm in size – which is about 1 tablespoon of mixture – and place onto the lined baking sheets, leaving a gap of about 5-6 cm between each ball. Press down slightly to flatten each ball with the back of a fork.
- Put into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven when cooked and cool on wire racks – the biscuits will be soft at first but will harden as they cool.
- Store in airtight containers once cooled.
|Estimated Values per Serving|
|of which Saturates||5||g|
|of which Sugars||9||g|
|Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.|
Note: Nutritional Information is shown per serving of the recipe shown above. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.