Australia · cooking · recipe · traditions

ANZAC Biscuits

ANZAC Biscuits.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them”. ~ The Ode.

Yesterday was a public holiday here in Australia, in honour of ANZAC Day.

ANZAC Day originated for Australia on April 25th, 1915, during World War I, when Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed in Gallipoli. By the end of 1915, eight thousand Australian and New Zealand soldiers had lost their lives, which had a huge impact on those back home in Australia.

The word ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and is still to this day a name held in high esteem, especially on April 25th each year, when the battle of the original ANZAC’s is commemorated throughout the country.

During World War I, sixty thousand Australian soldiers lost their lives. This number increased during World War II and the Vietnam War, and on April 25th, the country joins together with great pride and respect, in remembrance of the men who fought for this country.

Memorial services and marches are held throughout the country, beginning at dawn and continuing throughout the morning. Major marches held in the capital cities are televised and it is deeply moving to watch the old “diggers” marching through the streets, many needing assistance, with faces displaying the emotions they are feeling as they remember their fallen mates.

Another ANZAC tradition is eating, or baking and eating, ANZAC biscuits. The recipe for these biscuits was devised through the necessity of women at home, caring for the Australian soldiers fighting overseas, and sent to the soldiers as a part of their care packages.

The recipe purposely does not include eggs, to prevent the biscuits from spoiling if left uneaten over a long period of time. Many variations of the original recipes are available, with the basic ingredients being oats, flour, coconut, butter, sugar and golden syrup.

For the batch of biscuits I baked yesterday I followed a Country Women’s Association recipe, and the biscuits turned out crunchy and delicious, just the way they should!

Don’t wait for ANZAC Day to bake these biscuits, they can be enjoyed at any time of the year, and if you prefer to use an alternative name, try calling them Crunchy Oat Biscuits. They will be just as mouth watering, given either name. 😉

ANZAC Biscuits

1 cup plain flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup coconut

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup caster sugar

Grated rind of 1 lemon (optional)

125 g butter

1 tablespoon golden syrup or treacle

1 teaspoon bi-carb soda

1 tablespoon boiling water

Gently melt butter and golden syrup in a pan. Add to a large bowl containing the flour, oats, coconut, sugars and lemon rind, along with the bi-carb soda which has been dissolved in the boiling water.

Mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly.

Place teaspoons of mixture onto a well greased baking tray, allowing plenty of room for spreading, and flatten with a fork.

Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.

Cool slightly on the tray before transferring biscuits to a cooling rack.

The Country Women’s Association recommend enjoying these biscuits with a cup of tea. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “ANZAC Biscuits

  1. I first heard of ANZAC Day last year on Mags’ blog. 🙂 Now I’ve learned the story behind the biscuits, which I think we would call cookies. They sound yummy and if I could use oil instead of the butter we could bake and eat them on our vegan diet!

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    1. Well, the butter has to be melted, so I don’t see why oil couldn’t be used. The biscuits (or cookies) may turn out softer than they should though if oil is used, as the butter in them would harden as they cool. A friend who tried out the recipe added almonds instead of coconut too, which I’m going to try out myself! Let me know if you try them out using oil, Barbara. 🙂

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  2. Always learning something new! ANZAC Biscuits, who would have imagined? The recipe is looking good. Not sure if Barbara is reading the comments still, but maybe vegan margarine like Earth Balance could be used to replace butter?

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    1. Thank you for helping Barbara out here, with your suggestion of Earth Balance vegan margarine Kathy. I didn’t realise there was such a thing. 🙂

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