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.