ANZAC biscuits

I mentioned recently that Jac’s discovered the joys of baking. She’s been going through our cook books to find recipes for biscuits (cookies) and slices (bars) to bake. She’s been saying we should get a mixer so we can make cakes and breads and everything else more quickly/easily. Sounds good to me – wonder if I could talk her into one of those super-expensive shiny bright red KitchenAid mixers! How many of you guys dream of owning one of these mixers? And how many of you already have one? :P

We have a long weekend in Australia this coming weekend – we have a public holiday on Monday for ANZAC Day. Jac made a batch of ANZAC biscuits recently. If you’re not familiar with them, here’s a little info:

About ANZAC biscuits

  • The ANZACs were World War 1 soldiers from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
  • ANZAC biscuits were were originally called “Soldiers’ Biscuits” and first made by women on the home front and sent overseas to the soldiers.
  • There are no eggs used in ANZAC biscuits. Eggs were scarce in war time (most poultry farmers became soldiers in the war), so the binding agent in ANZAC biscuits was golden syrup or treacle. Original wartime recipes for ANZAC biscuits did not include coconut.

The kitchen smelled fantastic as the biscuits baked in the oven. They turned out great – they looked golden, smelled golden and called out my name. :) Of course, the best way to make talking biscuits shut up is to eat them! :P

ANZAC biscuits on the cooling rack

They were nice and chewy, just how I like them. Two ANZAC biscuits with a cup of tea make a lovely afternoon snack. Butter, rolled oats, golden syrup and coconut are a great combination. Jac prefers crunchy biscuits but I think chewy ones are perfect.

ANZAC biscuits with a cup of tea

I love the Good Eats episode “Three chips for Sister Marsha” in which Alton Brown uses a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and explains which ingredients you would vary (and why) to produce three different kinds of chocolate chip cookies: 1) thin and crunchy 2) puffy and 3) chewy. I’m definitely a chewy cookie kind of gal (as if that wasn’t obvious!). What cookie texture do you prefer?

I made ANZAC biscuits for the first time in high school and have loved them ever since. They are among my all-time favourite biscuits.

ANZAC biscuits

If you google “ANZAC biscuit recipe” you’ll see there are countless variations (they all have pretty much the same basic ingredients, with amounts varying slightly). The recipe we used this time came from the back of the McKenzie’s desiccated coconut packet. Another version of the ANZAC biscuits recipe (very similar) is available at the McKenzie’s website.

ANZAC biscuits recipe

125g butter
1 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon (20ml) golden syrup
1 cup McKenzie’s desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon McKenzie’s bi-carb soda
1 cup plain flour
2 (20ml) tablespoons boiling water
1 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 150C. Melt butter and golden syrup in a large saucepan. Add bicarbonate of soda mixed with boiling water. Combine all dry ingredients then add melted mixture. Mix to a moist but firm consistency. Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto a scone tray. Bake until golden brown, approx 15-20 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before placing on a wire cooling tray.
Note: For thinner crisper biscuits, add an extra teaspoon of boiling water

For a slightly more decadent version, you might like to try Macadamia ANZAC biscuits (Conor, they look great!)


If you’ve sent me an email recently I apologise for not getting back to you yet – I’ve been horribly busy and have fallen behind (well, more so than usual) in my correspondence. I intend to respond to emails as soon as I can.

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