I know, I know, there are forty gazillion recipes out there for ANZAC biscuits (cookies for those who think biscuits are for breakfast) but this is my first time as an Australian citizen to make them. I think that calls for a celebratory post, don’t you think? Okay, I’ve been an Australian citizen for at least 8 years but I’ve never made these iconic cookies.
For those of you who don’t know the story, back in World War I when the soldiers were off on the battlefields, the loving women left behind needed a way to send something “from home” to their men. Because of the long journey by ship there couldn’t be anything in the biscuits that could go bad before they arrived and they needed to be sturdy enough that the tins of biscuits didn’t arrive as tins of crumbs.
These are more than biscuits (or cookies if you will) they are a story of love in a metal tin sent to men who might never see home again.
ANZAC once stood for any soldier in the Australian and New Zealand Army corps from 1914-18 and now it’s any person in the armed services from Australia or New Zealand — brothers in arms. ANZAC Day, the 25th of April, marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by the Aussies and the Kiwis during the First World War. You can learn more about Gallipoli and the horrendous losses by watching the movie Gallipoli or visiting the ANZAC Day Tradition at the Australian War Memorial. It’s a national holiday much like the Memorial Day celebrations I grew up with.
The last time I had an ANZAC biscuit I was in the Qantas lounge in Sydney and I swear I nearly broke a tooth. My darling husband leans over and says, “For an Aussie, you do some silly things. You dunk the biscuit and then eat it!”
Today I made a recipe from the current “Chewy Anzac Biscuits” from Taste.com.au. They came out really good and I loved them. All warm and chewy. I couldn’t wait to show John what a clever woman I was and dashed upstairs to his office and said, “My first ANZAC biscuit!”
He took it, smelled it, bent it and said, “It’s not hard.”
“I know, I made chewy ones.”
“Maureen, chewy are ordinary biscuits, an ANZAC must be hard so you can dunk it.”
“So taste it and tell me what you think.”
“It’s a good cookie.”
Ahh, married bliss. Sometimes I just want to whack him. I didn’t. My parting words were, “Well, 225 people have rated this recipe 4.6 stars out of 5 so I’m not alone in liking these.”
He had the last word. As I was going down the stairs I heard, “Yes, they like them but they aren’t ANZAC biscuits!”
So, you could try making these and call them whatever you want. I thought they were wonderful! You can use this recipe or you can get it from Taste.com.au who got it from Tracy Rutherford’s Fresh Living cookbook, page 55. I don’t want to step on their parade so check them out too.
- 1 cup (150g) plain flour
- 1 cup (90g) rolled oats
- 1 cup (85g) Ward McKenzie desiccated coconut
- ¾ cup (155g) brown sugar
- 125g butter
- 2 tbs golden syrup
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbs water
- Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the oats, coconut and brown sugar.
- Put the butter, golden syrup and 2 tbs water in a small saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until melted. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
- Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.
- Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place on the trays, about 5cm apart.
- Press with a fork to flatten slightly. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Set aside on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack so it cools completely.
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Nice one matey!
Thank you Ma’am ! 🙂 Hope you had a nice holiday. I took Charlie to the beach and he chased a ball until he was covered in sand. Bath time is now over and he looks like a dog again. Car is a bit worse for wear, however.
Very recently I learnt about these cookies and surely these must be very popular. Could I use honey instead of golden syrup ?
As I said to Sawsan, honey is very much like golden syrup in gooeyness so maybe it would work just fine.
Choc Chip Uru says
Hmmmph I always make soft Anzac biscuits – I do not believe in honouring our Heros with biscuits which broke their teeth – they deserve soft, chewy melt in your mouth ones – absolutely like yours in fact 😀
A great post my friend, getting into the Aussie spirit – I was wondering if I could link your post in my Anzac post this weekend if that’s ok with you?
Choc Chip Uru
I love your comment. I had two friends come to visit this afternoon and they both said the biscuits were good. One lady said she always underbakes hers so they’re soft.
I would love a link! Let me know when it’s up and I’ll link yours to this one.
Sawsan(chef in disguise) says
My husband does the same thing, I would be all excited about a recipe and he would make one of his “nice” comments.
I have only recently learnt about these cookies and they sound really tempting. I have the same question as Kankana. Can I make these with honey?
Golden syrup is a similar viscosity to honey so maybe. If I were in the states I’d use dark Karo syrup but honey might work really well.
that looks soft and good. i wonder hows the level of sweetness there
Latest: Freshest Sashimi Ever
These aren’t overly sweet but they’re really good.
These looks like good cookies!
Thanks for the comment!
Well done Maureen. I know that Anzacs are supposed to be crunchy, but I prefer the chewy ones too. And that’s what I made today!
I adooooore ANZAC biscuits! Actually this is the only Australian dish I cook (or rather bake) and I have been doing it for months (although mine look coarser than yours). Looking at your beauties and imagining how deliciously chewy they must be, I think I will go and prepare them at once. My husband will be happy too 🙂 Thanks for reminding me today is THE occasion to prepare ANZAC biscuits, even though I’m not Australian.
The Café Sucré Farine says
Such a cute story! But aren’t you at least glad your husband will always be honest with you! My husband is the one person who will always tell me the truth – even though sometimes I don’t like it! The cookies look wonderful even if the are chewy 🙂
I wouldn’t have kept him around if he didn’t tell me what he thought. He gets more points when he agrees with me though. 🙂
Catalina @ Cake with Love says
I have never heard of this kind of biscuits, but looking at the ingredients I am sure I would love to taste one!
Russell at Chasing Delicious says
What a cool post. Being a United States of Americanite I knew nothing of these cookies! They look yummy too.
Great post! I’ve heard of ANZAC biscuits — and I even kind of knew what ANZAC meant — but never knew the story behind the biscuits, nor what was in them. Really informative. And it looks like a pretty good
cookiebiscuit, too! Fun read – thanks.
Love the story behind the cookies 🙂
Is this like Aussie biscotti? GREG
No, the best way I can describe it, Greg, is to think of a Little Debbie oatmeal sandwich cookie that we all ate as kids. Take one cookie half, then add coconut and remove half the moisture and bake til it’s a rock. 🙂
Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook says
Love the story! I’ve heard of the cookies but never had one. They look delicious. I love coconut.
That’s a great story! I’ve never tasted ANZAC biscuits but I love the history behind them. I gave you a 5 star rating because chewy ones sound much better and we have the ability to air mail our packages these days! Yours look perfect with a cup of coffee!
I knew there was a good reason why chewy ANZAC biscuits would be perfect. 🙂
Great first time ANZAC Day cookies!
Never heard of these before. I love cookies for breakfast!
Maureen….can you believe…..I’ve never had an Anzac cookie…though I have heard of them before. I love dunkable cookies! But I think I like your chewy version just as much. Cuz after all….who says I can’t dunk a chewy cookie, too?! Fun post! : )
Anne, I’m going downstairs and give it a try. I didn’t try dunking these and I have a few cookies left. (sad, but only a few left)
5 Star Foodie says
I have never made or tried Anzac biscuits, they sound great!
Never heard of ANZAC biscuits before today. However, Gallipoli is one of my favorite movies.
Love the history lesson you provide as well as the soft biscuits. The recipe ingredients sound wonderful. I may even have to break my rule of no baking and try these. 🙂 In honor of the soldiers, you see.
The banter between you and John is priceless.
Great post and great recipe.
These aren’t difficult to make and as I said, there’s a history lesson in every batch. 🙂 Gallipoli was a horrible, horrible time for the ANZACs.
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
I’ve learned about ANZAC cookies last year when I started blogging. Looks delicious! Perfect biscuits for reading and sipping tea. 🙂
Malou | Skip to Malou says
To tell you the truth it’s my first time to come across ANZAC cookies… or biscuits for that matter. I love reading your story and the trivial tidbits about the biscuit and how it came about. I hope I can bake some and will let you know by then.
Try them, Malou, they’re perfect with a cup of tea. 🙂
Ah, I had been planning to make ANZAC biscuits on ANZAC Day but ended up sleeping in and spending the rest of my afternoon watching the football instead 🙁
I personally prefer the chewier versions, even though they’re ‘supposed’ to be hard! 😀
Yasmeen @ Wandering Spice says
I love the story behind these biscuits as much as the taste. I don’t know how many I’ve gorged on since moving here two years ago but certainly enough to decide I like them chewy, too! (sorry purists).
Glad to see your suggestion for dark Karo syrup if adapting for the States. It so happens I’m getting married in DC in June, and wanted to make ANZAC biscuits as wedding favors for our guests. I actually considered taking Golden Syrup over with me… now I know better – thanks 🙂
I don’t know how I HAVEN’T ever tried Anzacs yet but I really need to! I love that they have coconut in them…I’m obsessed with it lately.
Joanne, I know you like coconut and you would love these cookies!
Tina (PinayInTexas) says
What a very informative post! And the cookies…they look so good to munch on!
Katherine Martinelli says
I’ve never had ANZAC biscuits, so I wouldn’t know the difference if they’re chewy are hard – this chewy version sounds perfect for me!
I just learned this year about Anzac day as I have a new friend in Victoria. I didn’t realize there were specific biscuits for it, I have learned a lot about it in a couple of days! 🙂
I can’t believe I’ve lived here all these years and not made these before. It’s probably like g’day mate. I can’t say that either. Even if I put an Australian accent twist on it, I still sound like an American. I’ve lived here nearly 18 years. 🙂 Onward and upward!
Kitchen Belleicious says
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Thank you for the history lesson behind the biscuit, and for honoring the recipients who were sure to welcome a tin from home. Lovin’ from the oven at it’s finest.
What a great post! I haven’t enjoyed an ANZAC biscuit since my time in Australia, so it’s time to change that. 🙂
I’ve never heard about them but they seem to be populat, they do look perfect for tea or with coffee so I’ll try to find them or make them
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Hehe they do get debated about hard vs soft. I can’t say if I would ever turn away an Anzac biscuit in any form though! Love your version Maureen 🙂
Thanks Lorraine. Sadly, he said the same thing about your chocolate Anzacs. 🙂 I’ve never noticed him being a purist before. Patriotism?
Pudding Pie Lane says
I’d never heard of ANZAC biscuits before this post but that’s a lovely story behind it 🙂 I think I’ll bake them for all of my friends at graduation to remember me by so they can take them home and keep it for months and then eat it and it won’t have gone off 😀 I might also make a chewy version too :p
Either way they sound pretty darn tasty to me. I’d rather not break a tooth or be forced to dip a cookie if I want to eat it soooo I’ll take your version 😉
This was my very first time commemorating ANZAC Day, my first time learning about the history behind it, my first time going to a Dawn Service. I thought it was so special. I STILL haven’t had ANZAC biscuits, but that can be my next first time. 🙂
Next year we’ll all come to your place for Anzac biscuits, okay? I like mine soft. 🙂 How far away from me are you? I’m on the Sunshine Coast. Maybe a road trip is in order.
I know this is a bit of an older thread, but I wanted to post this recommendation for Americans looking to make these–the golden syrup is the key ingredient. The taste is unlike anything else–slightly nutty, slightly caramel-ish, absolutely divine. You can buy jars of Lyle’s golden syrup at Cost Plus (World Market). I’ve also seen it before at IKEA. Also, certain larger grocery stores (Kroger or H.E.B.) sometimes carry it–usually in the international food aisle. Look for the green Lyle’s label (I’ve now become a master at spotting it a mile away, ha!).
They really don’t taste quite the same without the golden syrup! Good luck and enjoy. My best mate is Aussie and got me hooked on these!
Hi Sandy, any visit is especially welcome, thanks a lot. You’re right about golden syrup. I have karo syrup and dark karo syrup and honey and none are close enough to golden syrup. It’s a staple in every Aussie home.
I’m with you Maureen- who wants to eat a rock if it isn’t necessary 🙂
Wonderful story and so neat to see history remember through a special dish. I’ll be making these soon to enjoy dunking in my tea.