Anzac biscuits

Anzac biscuits

By
From
The Tivoli Road Baker
Makes
12
Photographer
Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson

Australians grow up hearing about the legendary heroics of the Anzacs during the First World War. This chewy, wholesome biscuit is eaten with delight to commemorate the landing in Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. These biscuits were baked at home and posted to the troops on the frontline. That version notably omitted egg, not just to keep the biscuits from spoiling during the journey, but also because there was an egg shortage at the time, as most of the poultry farmers had enlisted.

I like to eat my Anzac biscuits for a mid-morning snack, with a strong cup of tea.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g soft brown sugar
150g whole-wheat flour
120g rolled oats
50g dessicated coconut
125g butter
50g golden syrup, use honey or maple syrup if unavailable
20g water
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Put the sugar, flour, oats and coconut in a medium sized bowl, and mix to combine.
  2. Combine the butter, golden syrup and water in a medium sized saucepan over low heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is nice and syrupy. Add the bicarbonate of soda and mix well. The mixture will fizz up a little on reacting with the soda. Pour the syrup over the dry ingredients and mix with your hands until well combined.
  3. Line two trays with baking paper and divide the dough into 12 even balls. Gently flatten each ball with the palm of your hand until you have discs 2 cm (¾ in) high. Space them out evenly on the trays – the cookies will expand a little during baking, so make sure you leave enough space around each one.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the trays and bake for another 5 minutes, until lightly golden brown. I like my biscuits a little chewy, but if you prefer a crispier finish leave them in the oven for another couple of minutes. Place the biscuits on a wire rack to cool, then store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Bakery notes

  • I use whole-wheat flour for more flavour and wholesomeness. For variation, I also like to add 100 g (3½ oz) of currants in with the wet ingredients, just before adding the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). It can no longer be called an Anzac biscuit if you do that, of course, but it does taste good.

    When mixing this dough it is handy to cover your hands with a little oil or water to stop it from sticking to your fingers and make it easier to work with. When measuring the golden syrup, coat the spoon with a little mild-flavoured vegetable oil to get an accurate measurement and avoid a sticky mess.

    You can freeze these biscuits to bake later – you’ll just need to let them defrost first. The bake time in the recipe produces a chewy biscuit; if you prefer them a little crunchy, leave them to bake for a few more minutes.
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