15 Feb 2013

anzac biscuits

One of my kitchen resolutions this year was to bake biscuits regularly, and while one batch does not a habit make, what better recipe to start with than Anzac biscuits?

I love the tradition, the story behind Anzac biscuits: that they were made by mothers and wives 'back home' for the soldiers - the Anzacs - fighting on the european battlefronts of World War I (for readers outside Australia and New Zealand - hello! - ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps). They were made with basic ingredients that would survive the weeks-long voyage from southern to northern hemisphere.

I realised I had never made these cultural icons until I started adding the bicarb/water mix into the melted butter/golden syrup mix: the alchemical process of the liquid transforming to fizzing foam was mesmerising, and one I'd surely remember witnessing before. And if I didn't have to act quickly to pour this onto the dry ingredients, I would have watched to see how far the foaming could go.

Anzacs are one recipe I will never 'adapt' or tinker with. Why would you? The only variations are cooking times, and therefore whether you like your Anzacs soft and chewy, or hard and crunchy (either way, perfect for dunking into a cup of tea). I like them ... which ever way they turn out! What about you?

Anzac biscuits
From mum, from the back of a golden syrup container, I think!
  • Preheat oven to 180 and prep some baking trays.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup plain flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cup dessicated coconut, and 1 cup sugar (I used white with some raw sugar added. So maybe I did tinker).
  • In a small cup or bowl, combine 1 tsp bicarb soda with 1 tbspn cold water.
  • In a small saucepan (or in your microwave), melt 125 gms butter with 2 tbspns golden syrup.
  • Remove butter/golden syrup from heat then stir thru the bicarb/water mix (and watch it foam!).
  • Now add this to the dry ingredients and stir well.
  • Take a walnut-sized spoonful of the mix and roll into balls, flattening slightly as you place them on the baking trays. They will spread a little, so leave some space between them.
  • Bake for 14-16 minutes or until golden. I baked for 14 minutes and they crisped up nicely - so try less perhaps if you like a chewier Anzac (postscript: I have just been told the amount of golden syrup affects the chewiness of the biscuits, not just the cooking time).


  1. I love a good old Anzac too e, my grandmother used to bake huge tins of them to share with everyone!

    1. jane, i'm sorry, my original reply didn't show up.
      anzacs are a true aussie staple - i really need to make them more often. i love anything with oats in it, and anzacs are truly good!

  2. These cookies are on my list and I keep forgetting to make them. At least now I know why the name! Great recipe.

    1. thanks paula. the anzacs are something every school kid here learns about - at least we did when i went thru school! it's nice to know there is a history behind food, even one as humble as a biscuit.


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