ANZAC Day – the 25th of April – marks a special day of remembrance in the hearts of Australians and New Zealanders. It is the day that we commemorate the landing of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (the Anzacs) on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915 during World War I. Many thousands of lives were lost on all sides during that particular campaign, and ANZAC Day celebrations up and down both countries, honour those who fell, as well as those who fought and returned.
A time honoured tradition associated with the Anzacs, is the Anzac biscuit. There is some debate about exactly when the Anzac biscuit came into being and it’s probably true to say that the Anzac biscuit, as we know it, is most likely a far cry from the hard, durable biscuit issued to soldiers on the front-line. It’s more likely that Anzac biscuits, in their current form, were made and sold at galas and parades back home to help support the war effort.
Whatever their history, the Anzac biscuit has remained an Australasian favourite and for good reason. Comprised of rolled oats, golden syrup, coconut, flour, butter, sugar and baking soda, they are a taste and texture sensation, and it’s not surprising that they are now available commercially all year round.
While the stock-standard Anzac biscuit tends to be fairly hard and crunchy, these days the recipe can be altered to create different textures, depending on your preference. The recipe I’ve used here, thanks to Chelsea.co.nz, makes a particularly moreish chewy, flat (rather than mounded) biscuit with crispy edges. They spread much more than a standard Anzac biscuit (rather like that of a brandy snap) and only crisp up once they have completely cooled. Having said that, I used gluten-free flour, so it’s possible that the texture may be different if you use standard flour.
Semantics aside, these Anzac biscuits – served following our local Anzac parade – were undoubtedly the best I’d ever tasted (and the family agreed wholeheartedly!). Enjoy!
- 100g (3.5 oz) butter
- 2 Tbsp Golden Syrup
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 Tbsp boiling water
- 1/2 cup plain flour (I used a gluten-free blend)
- 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
- 3/4 cup rolled oats (not instant oats)
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C (360°F). Grease or line 2 baking trays.
- In a large saucepan melt butter with Golden Syrup and raw sugar over a low heat.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Dissolve baking soda in water, add to saucepan and stir until thoroughly mixed (the mixture will froth up and lighten).
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Put tablespoonfuls of mixture (don't make them more than a tablespoon or they'll be huge!) onto a baking tray allowing enough room for them to spread, and flatten gently with a fork (you probably don't even need to do this, as they flatten out on their own anyway).
- Bake for approximately 10-12 mins or until golden. Let them cool completely on a wire rack - they will harden once they have cooled.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting