Friday, January 12, 2018

Anzac Biscuits Recipe

Have you ever tried Anzac bikkies? I visited Australia many times, but had never tried these biscuits that are so popular Down Under. 

Last Christmas, Kate, a dear friend from New Zealand, presented us with a box of this delicacy. Delicious they were! We devoured them in no time and felt we needed more. My husband James decided to try out the recipe and bake his own since we could not impose on Kate for the immediate supply. He did some research and decided, that a recipe from Australian magazine Taste was the best. He got all the ingredients and set out to work on the Dark & Crunchy version. His cookies turned out magnificent! Kate still has to try them, but we are both quite confident that his bikkies are perfect. Here is the recipe. It makes two dozen delicious Anzac biscuits.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (150g)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (90g)
  • 1 cup desiccated, non-sweeten coconut flakes (85g)
  • 3/4 firmly packed brown sugar (155g)
  • 1 stick butter or 1/2 unsalted butter (125g)
  • 2 Tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • Line out two baking sheets (pans) with parchment.
  • Preheat oven to 320°F (160°C).
  • Toss flour, oats, coconut flakes, and brown sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir well until all ingredients are well combined. 
  • In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add Golden Syrup and water, and mix well until mixture is smooth and creamy. Add baking soda and mix again. It will foam.
  • Transfer the melted butter mixture into your mixing bowl. Mix well until you get a nicely firm dough.  
  • Using a 1 1/2 inch cookie dough scoop, portion out the dough. Pack the dough tightly. Drop each cookie dough ball on a parchment and flatten it into a round cookie a little less than 0,4" thick (about 1cm) leaving about 2 inches (5cm) wide space between each cookie. The cookies will rise and expand during baking.
  • Bake for 18 minutes at 320°F (160°C).
  • Once bikkies are nicely golden, remove baking sheets from the oven and set them aside for 10 minutes, before you transfer them onto wired cooling racks. Allow to cool completely. 
  • Once you bikkies have cooled off, enjoy them in good company!

Tip: James is a very practical man. He used his super cool Kitchenaid stand mixer and there is no reason you shouldn't too, if you own one.

To people in Australia and New Zealand Anzac biscuits have a very special meaning. They are associated with the Australian And New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) formed in World War I. Women groups and wives of the deployed men baked the cookies and sent them to ANZAC troops. The cookies were perfect because they did not spoil and kept well during the ocean journey that had to make.

In 1917 an Anzac Biscuits recipe appeared in "War Chest Cookery Book" that was published in Sydney, Australia. The published recipe, however, was different form the one used today. The prototype was known as a Rolled Oates Biscuit and was named an Anzac Biscuit sometime around 1921. Because of their historical connection to the ANZAC forces and ANZAC Day, these cookies are still used to raise funds for the veterans in New Zealand and Australia.

"These biscuits pay homage to our troops that died in World War 1, a war where we we were sent to the slaughter. Keep the honor of the thousand of dead troops alive by not messing with the recipe !!!" - Kirk Muddle in a comment on the recipe published online by Taste magazine.

Substitutes do not always work. For instance, the golden agave syrup is not the Golden Syrup you need for this recipe. It has a very different consistency, viscosity, and taste.  If you want to make cookies that taste like the original ones, you have to use the right ingredients. They are easily obtainable in specialized stores or online. If you do not quite know how the cookies are supposed to look and taste, you can always order a box. Once you tasted them, you can bake your own without a fear of spoiling the recipe.

By Dominique Allmon

Dominique Allmon ©2018