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Yesterday was ANZAC day, which is the Australia and New Zealand equivalent of our Memorial Day. (ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.) ANZAC biscuits are a classic cookie that myth associates with World War I (they’re still getting over Gallipoli, and rightly so). My husband is Australian, so of course I wanted to make a good batch of ANZAC biscuits for him yesterday.

The trouble was, which recipe? He couldn’t remember the exact recipe, but knew it had molasses (although many recipes use Golden Syrup, which is not easily found in the U.S., or you can also substitute honey or agave or corn syrup). I looked at a bunch of recipes online, including this delicious-sounding one for ANZAC biscuits with macadamia nuts, this ANZAC biscuit recipe from Anzac.net, and this Famous Australian ANZAC Biscuit recipe. They all had roughly the same proportions, but I decided to go for the one with the most rolled oats and the most butter.

Fifteen minutes later I was staring at some tasty-looking granola. There was no way there was enough liquid to hold that batter together! I ended up doubling the butter and molasses (yum) and adding another half cup flour. I popped them in the oven and was dismayed at the flat brown discs that emerged 12 minutes later. I called Saul over to taste test. He looked them over and said, “Well, usually they look a little more … polished. But these do look like the ones my Mum made and the kids would bring to school.” He popped one in his mouth. “Wow. That’s a trip down memory lane. These are perfect!”

So, success. They may not look like much, but they’ll cheer the heart of any expatriate Australian and bring a bit of Down Under into your kitchen. Here’s my recipe:

ANZAC Biscuits

2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter (or a little less)
4 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix the dry ingredients together while you bring the water to a boil and melt the butter into the molasses. Add the boiling water to the baking soda, and then add the resulting mixture to the melted butter and molasses. It will become a nice, foamy liquid that you add to the dry ingredients. Stir together, then dollop onto a greased cookie sheet. They spread quite a bit, so make sure there’s plenty of room between the dollops. Cook for about 10 minutes for a cookie that stays soft (my preference) or 12 minutes for a crispy one (Saul’s).

Aussie and Kiwi readers, please share your favorite variations!

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Comments

  1. Melissa (oddharmonic) says:

    Golden syrup is easier to find in the southern United States. I’ve seen it in grocery stores alongside the pancake syrup in Virginia and North Carolina, and it’s in a similar place in my local grocery store in Dallas.
    Not that I need a reason to cook with molasses more often, of course. I love the flavor and moistness it lends to cookies.

  2. bongoqueen says:

    Here’s a heads up! Paintergirl shared her favourite and best Anzac biscuit recipe for everyone to enjoy here: http://kaotickraftkuties.blogspot.com/2010/04/biscuits-not-cookies-on-anzac-day.html
    xx

  3. sharone says:

    I love these biscuits always a staple in our lunch box for school. I am of the strong belief (and from years of getting the bowl to clean up after my mother made these) they taste better before they are cooked. Here is (probably) the most classic Kiwi ANZAC biscuit from ‘The Edmonds Cook Book’
    100g Butter
    1Tablespoon golden syrup
    1/2 cup sugar
    3/4 cup coconut
    3/4 cup Rolled oats
    3/4 cup plain (cake)flour
    1teaspoon backing soda
    1 Table spoon hot water
    Melt the butter and syrup together in a large saucepan. Cool. Mix sugar, coconut, rolled oats and flour together. Stir into saucepan . Dissolve soda in water and mix in. Place rounded teaspoonfuls on a greased oven tray. Bake at 180 deg C for 15min or until golden brown makes 36 ( enough for every one )
    PS: the golden syrup really makes this biscuit so if you can find it try it.Enjoy :-)

  4. Arwen O'Reilly Griffith says:

    Thanks for sharing your recipe! I will now have to taste test. (To be honest, I have made a batch every day this week since they’re such a hit!) And I totally agree with you that the batter is AMAZING. My husband insisted that eating batter was an American habit, so I’m glad to have your example :-)

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