The crunchiness of Anzac Biscuits goes back to the roots of when they were invented – by soldiers’ wives who needed a biscuit recipe that would stay fresh for the months that it would take to reach soldiers overseas back in the early 1900’s.
The warm sweetness from the golden syrup combined with the wholesome goodness of oats and coconut is a flavour that is unique to this crunchy Australian biscuit!
Australia’s favourite biscuit! We love them for their buttery caramel flavour, how crunchy they are, that it’s a forgiving recipe and the history – this is a biscuit that Aussies make to commemorate ANZAC Day.
“ANZAC” stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. And ANZAC Day – 25 April 1915 – is Australia’s most important national occasion each year, marking the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War during which we suffered heavy casualties.
It is said that the wives of soldiers came up with the original Anzac Biscuits using ingredients such that the biscuits stayed fresh for the weeks it took to reach the soldiers overseas. I’m told that the original Anzac biscuits were as hard as a rock, so hard in fact that some soldiers would grind them up and use them as porridge.
I think Anzac biscuits as we know them today are much more to my liking! 😂
Here’s what you need (not much!)
The only ingredient that might not be familiar to those outside of Australia and the UK is golden syrup. It’s an amber coloured syrup with the consistency of honey, and it has a toffee flavour. It has a bit of a harsh edge to the flavour so I only use it for baking, though some people use it in place of maple syrup for things like pancakes.
Best substitute for golden syrup is a combination of light molasses or treacle, plus honey. I use 1 part molasses or treacle, and 3 parts honey – the flavour is nearly identical, and the colour is very similar (a bit darker).
How to make Anzac biscuits
The making part is very straight forward – melt butter with golden syrup, add the baking soda then mix it into the dry ingredients. Roll into balls, flatten and bake!
Should Anzac biscuits chewy or crisp??
Apparently, the question of whether Anzac biscuits should be crisp or chewy is a topic of huge debate. 🤷🏻♀️
In my world, there’s no question. Anzac biscuits should be crispy, crispy, crispy!!! Just like the original created by the soldiers’ wives over a century ago! 🙂
But actually, if you want chewy it’s very simple – just reduce the bake time by a few minutes.
See? Anzac biscuits for all! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Anzac Biscuits (Golden Oatmeal Cookies)
- 1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup desiccated coconut , unsweetened
- 3/4 cup white sugar , preferably caster / superfine
- 150g / 5oz unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp golden syrup (Note 1)
- 1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate soda)
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C fan forced)
- Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Mix flour, oats, coconut and sugar in a bowl.
- Place butter and golden syrup in a saucepan over medium high heat and stir until butter has melted.
- Add baking soda and stir to combine - it will fizz up, this is normal. Immediately remove from heat.
- Pour butter mixture into flour and mix until just combined.
- Roll level 1 tablespoon mixture into balls, flatten into patties. Place balls, 2.5 cm/1" apart, on prepared trays.
- Bake for 15 minutes, swapping trays halfway during cooking, or until deep golden. (Bake 12 min for chewy biscuits!)
- Stand on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool - they harden as they cool!
- 1 tbsp light molasses + 3 tbsp honey or light corn syrup
- 1 tbsp treacle + 3 tbsp honey or light corn syrup
Anzac biscuits originally published July 2014, refreshed in 2019 and 2020. Updated with new photos, new video and most importantly, Life of Dozer section added! No change to recipe.
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