Before beginning our second recipe post, I wanted to share some facts about Anzac biscuits that you may not know:
- In order to make official Anzac biscuits, you need to follow the original list of ingredients as used during the war. There’s also a lot of restrictions set in place by the Minister of Veteran’s Affairs concerning the integrity of the word ‘ANZAC,’ to the point where referring to Anzac biscuits as ‘Anzac cookies’ is not approved.
- The alleged history behind Anzac biscuits is that they were sent as a gift to soldiers from their wives back at home. But this is only a partial truth. Anzac biscuits were sold during fetes and fundraisers to raise money for World War I. At the time, they were dubbed ‘soldiers biscuits’ but it wasn’t until after the events at Gallipoli and the beginning of the ANZAC legend that the name of these biscuits changed forever.
- The Anzac biscuit recipe was mentioned in a cookbook for the first time in 1921. One of the most interesting things about the recipe is that it does not contain eggs. This is partly due to the price of eggs during the war (as many poultry farmers were fighting abroad), but allegedly because the biscuits needed to be non-perishable to survive the long journey to Gallipoli.
Because of the lack of eggs involved in baking Anzac biscuits, the recipe can be adapted to suit a vegan diet if you use a dairy-free margarine instead of butter. But then again, this isn’t a vegan blog.
- 1 cup of rolled oats
- 3/4 cup of desiccated coconut
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1 cup of caster sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons of golden syrup
- 125g of butter
- 2 teaspoons of boiling water
- 1/2 teaspoon of bicarb soda (or ‘bicarbonate of soda’ if you want to be correct)
Preheat your oven to 140-160° Celsius. Anzac biscuits need to be baked at a fairly low temperature so that they don’t burn. Combine all the dry ingredients (oats, flour, sugar, coconut, bicarb soda) into a large mixing bowl.
In a saucepan, add the butter, golden syrup and boiling water. Gently stir over a low heat until the butter has melted and all the ingredients have combined. Pour the buttery liquid into the mixing bowl and mix all the ingredients together.
Scoop the biscuit dough onto a baking tray (greased or lined with baking paper). I’d suggest leaving room for the biscuits to spread. You can shape the biscuits to suit your preference (crunchy and thin vs. large and chewy). Personally, I prefer my Anzac biscuits to be chewy, so I rolled mine into large balls and flattened them slightly.
Bake them for about 10-15 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Unfortunately, my batch of Anzac biscuits all melted together into a big square biscuit. But they tasted good, and I guess that’s the important thing with anything you cook: as long as it tastes good, it’s OK. You can’t make Instagram-worthy food all the time, right?
You can eat your Anzac biscuits on their own or with a cup of black tea. I’ve even heard that they’re a great biscuit to use in ‘ice cream sandwiches’ if you use either vanilla or caramel hokey-pokey ice cream. Whatever way you choose to eat them, sit back and enjoy them.
On this day, it’s important to reflect on the legacy of the ANZAC soldiers and of our veterans who are still alive today. Regardless of your personal opinions of war, it is vital that we all show respect for the dead and celebrate the bravery that was shown (Lest we Forget).
It’s also my mum’s birthday today, which is another excuse to celebrate today. To celebrate, I made the Anzac biscuits with gluten-free flour (she’s gluten intolerant). Perhaps that’s why my biscuits turned into a grotesque blob. Sigh.
I hope that you’re all having a great day. More posts will be coming soon. Pinky promise.
Pear and Ivy x