Anzac biscuits have a unique position in Australian (and New Zealand) culture and history. They are both cultural icon, and everyday staple. Despite their significance in Australian culture, no-one needs an Anzac biscuit recipe, I’m sure, and this is one of those bakes that I memorised years ago and don’t even use a recipe for anymore. But I hate to admit, it’s a recipe that Miss L and Mr M have never made themselves, despite happily eating whenever available, so I thought it was worth recording as a detailed Basics Series recipe, and it may also be useful for others encouraging children to bake their own!
I should mention here that these are a traditional recipe. As I’m sure most of you know, Anzac is a regulated term, as are Anzac biscuits (never cookies!), and while the regulations only apply to commercial sale, I prefer to respect the history and tradition behind the name by keeping it simple and leaving the choc chips and dried cherries for another occasion.
Having said that, the traditional recipe is itself varies somewhat, and has changed significantly over time, with the very first to have the Anzac name being a hard army biscuit, some later versions not including the now essential coconut, before finally arriving at something with the classic oats/coconut/flour/sugar/butter/golden syrup version we cook today, however the proportions might vary.
The final thing I will mention is that these are already egg-free, as were other biscuits at the time to make them both last longer, and due to egg shortages. Given this, they can easily be made vegan as I outline below. Other minor variations within the basic recipe: you can use any sugar you prefer – I like raw for the crunch, use shredded coconut rather than desiccated, or wholemeal rather than white flour.
- 150g (1 cup) plain flour
- 80g (1 cup) rolled oats
- 70g (3/4 cup) desiccated coconut
- 180-200g (200g = 1 cup) raw sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 125g unsalted butter (or 100g coconut oil and extra 1 Tbs water to make vegan)
- 60g (2 Tbs) golden syrup
- 1/2 tsp bicarb (baking) soda
- 2 Tbs boiling water
Preheat oven to 150C.
Combine flour, oats, coconut, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
In a microwave proof jug or bowl, melt butter and syrup until liquid and stir to combine.
Put soda in a small bowl, pour over water, and stir until dissolved.
Add water to butter and syrup and mix – it will start foaming, but that’s what you want!
Stir liquid mix into dry until combined, with no loose flour. It will be quite a wet and clumpy mix.
Use a 1 Tbs scoop, or just a tablespoon, to drop onto trays lined with baking paper. Space well apart as pictured above as they will spread.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until golden – they will still be soft. Cool on a rack still on the tray.
Store in an airtight tin – they will keep for a couple of weeks.
Makes about 20-25 depending on size