On 25th April each year ANZAC Day commemorates all the Australians and New Zealanders who “served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” (Australian War Memorial). This is the day, in 1915, that the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACS) first fought together, as they landed on the Gallipoli peninsula, in Turkey, during the First World War.
The original ANZAC biscuit was known as the ANZAC wafer or tile. It was sent by the army to the soldiers as a bread substitute. The ingredients used in the tile were carefully selected so they would not spoil on the long sea journey to the front. The original tile was very hard, so hard that some soldiers would grind the biscuit down to make porridge.
The current ANZAC biscuit is a golden chewy sweet biscuit that is enjoyed in many Australian and New Zealand households all year round, but they have a special significance on ANZAC day and are often used to raise funds for returned servicemen.
The following recipe has been adapted from Donna Hay’s version of the ANZAC biscuit, but you will find that most recipes only vary very slightly. I did make half the batch with chocolate chips, which no longer qualifies them as an ANZAC biscuit, but are still rather tasty all the same.
Makes 26 biscuits
- 90gm rolled oats
- 150gm plain flour
- 150gm caster sugar
- 60gm desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 125gm unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons boiling water.
Heat oven to 160°C.
Line baking tray with baking paper.
In a large bowl mix the rolled oats, plain flour, caster sugar and coconut.
Place golden syrup and butter in a medium saucepan and heat over a low-med heat until melted.
Combine the hot water and baking soda in a small bowl. Pour into the melted golden syrup and butter mixture and stir. The mixture will bubble and foam, pour immediately over the dry ingredients and fold together until completely combined.
Spoon a tablespoon of mixture into a ball, place on prepared baking tray and flatten slightly. Allow room for biscuits to spread.
Bake @ 160°C for approx. 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Tip: Baking time is approximate. Mine took 13 minutes. Be careful in the last few minutes of baking as the biscuits can go from perfectly cooked to overcooked very quickly.
When golden brown, remove the biscuits from the oven, they will be still very soft at this stage, leave biscuits on baking trays for at least 5 minutes to allow biscuits to firm. Once firm enough to handle place the biscuits on a wire rack to cool completely.
The book shown in this photo is “Gallipoli by Les Carolyn and is published by Macmillan Australia.