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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Anzac biscuits



Anzac biscuits are as quintessentially Australian as Vegemite and lamingtons. Ensconced in national pride and beheld with reverent affection, Anzac biscuits were originally developed by hardworking mothers and wives, keen to send biscuits to their loved ones at the battlefront of World War I.

The word Anzac is an anagram of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, who suffered heavy losses during the protracted campaign waged for possession of the Dardanelle Straits in Turkey. Lauded as a turning point for Australia's burgeoning sense of identity, Anzac biscuits are probably one of the few edibles which engender fierce patriotism wrapped up with the birth of the fighting Aussie spirit.

The Anzac biscuit keeps tremendously well, specifically devised to withstand long transport in warm cargo holds whilst maintaining its crunch factor. Due to the national shortage of eggs, Anzac biscuits are also unusual in their incorporation of golden syrup as the binding agent, and the readily-available ingredients make them an easy, cheap and effective crowd pleaser.

Anzac biscuits
From Edmonds Cookery Book

1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup coconut
3/4 cup rolled oats
50g butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water

Mix together flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats.
Melt butter and golden syrup.
Dissolve baking soda in the boiling water and add to butter and golden syrup.
Stir butter mixture into dry ingredients.
Place level tablespoonfuls of mixture onto cold greased trays.
Bake at 180C for about 15 minutes or until golden.

Makes 20.

TIPS:
The mixture will be a little dry but they seem to bind as they bake so don't worry too much about making precise patties or balls.

The baking soda will make them rise in the oven, and I found flattening them down again with a spoon about 4 minutes into the baking quite effective. You have to time this well though--wait too long and the biscuits will just split, as the mixture will no longer be pliable. The ones pictured here are a little on the chunky side for my liking. In fact Niki's probably look more like the real deal.

19 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 7/23/2005 09:00:00 pm


19 Comments:

  • At 7/23/2005 9:44 pm, Blogger Niki said…

    Isn't it interesting that our recipes are both from the Edmonds Cookbook, but the quantities are quite different. I got mine from Barbara from Winos & Foodies, and it does say 'adapted', but by whom, I wonder?
    I'm usually pretty stingy when dolloping out biscuit dough, wanting to make as many as possible, so that may be why mine came out thin and crispy; a legacy of that wartime suspicion of extravagance! ;-)

     
  • At 7/23/2005 9:51 pm, Blogger Clare Eats said…

    LOL!
    I think it is funny that you are using a NZ cookbook to make something quintessentialy Australian :)
    How good are ANZAC biccies! YUMMMMM!

     
  • At 7/24/2005 3:57 am, Blogger Cathy said…

    Hi AG - I ate my first Anzac last night - wonderful! Still very crunchy and absolutely delicious. What a great oatmeal cookie... oops, I mean biscuit! Thanks again so very much for such a great Blogging by Mail package!

     
  • At 7/24/2005 8:47 am, Blogger Kelly said…

    Yum! I love Anzac biscuits! One of our friends became an Aussie last week so we made him a little food welcome pack (Tim Tams, Vegemite, Caramello Koalas etc) and I very nearly forgot to include any Anzac biscuits! I remembered at the last minute and had to buy some instead of baking them myself. Turns out he's already a big fan!

     
  • At 7/24/2005 10:04 am, Blogger Fanny said…

    Nice blog. Id love to go to australia.
    Fanny

     
  • At 7/24/2005 3:55 pm, Blogger J said…

    hi, wow!love anzac biscuits and yours look phenomenal...can't wait to try the recipe...cheers,j

     
  • At 7/24/2005 5:39 pm, Anonymous Julia said…

    Ah, your biscuits look absolutely scrummy. They sound even more special after reading your write-up on its touching history. :)

     
  • At 7/24/2005 5:45 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Niki - Well my recipe is straight from the source. I think the recipe must've been adapted by Barbara? I did notice the quantity variances. I think Barbara may have added a touch more butter too.

    Hehe... I'm usually quite stingy too. But then I'm also quite lazy too and want to cook them as quickly as possible - lol.

    Hi Clare Eats - Yeah but Edmonds is so handy. After you said that I checked my Aust Womens Weekly cookbooks and found one in there--it had more butter too. 125g instead of 50g. I might try this one next time.

    Hi Cathy - When I was pondering what to make to my Blogging By Mail package, Anzac biscuits seemed like the ideal choice! Glad they kept well and looking forward to your post on your encounter with all the package components! =)

    Hi BrisKJJ - That welcome pack sounds like a great idea! You'll find my Blogging by Mail package had very similar articles in it too!

    Hi Fanny - Thanks, and welcome to my blog. The more I go away the more I realise how lucky we are in Australia when it comes to food. Helps to justify my excessive enjoyment of it, too!

    Hi J - Thanks, although as I mention above, they probably should be a little flatter rather than chunky.

    Looking forward to hearing how your batch turns out.

     
  • At 7/24/2005 6:10 pm, Blogger Clare Eats said…

    Hi AG
    Don't worry, I love the edmonds cookbook too ;)

    I have heard that you should press them half way through cooking to help them become really crispy.....

     
  • At 7/24/2005 6:38 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    I've never heard of these, but they look delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe because I want to try and bake some. Just a question. What is golden syrup?

     
  • At 7/25/2005 11:42 am, Blogger deborah said…

    Yum! These look fab... and I'll have mine with a glass of milk please. :)

     
  • At 7/25/2005 6:32 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Julia - Yeah it's funny how emotional Aussies get when the word "Anzac" comes about! And it helps that Anzac biscuits are pretty tasty too!

    Hi Clare Eats - I'll have to try the Woman's Weekly version next time! =)

    Yes I think the trick is definitely to press them down halfway. Funny that neither cookbook actually says this though! Argh. Those CWA members are trying to keep this secret to themselves!

    Hi Reid - You'll have to try them out sometime. They are pretty easy to make and the fact they keep well is brilliant. You could store these for a couple of months I reckon, and they'd still taste good.

    It says here that golden syrup can be used in the same way as corn syrup. Here it suggests you use 2 parts light corn syrup and 1 part molasses, or equal parts honey and light corn syrup.

    I hope this helps!

    Hi Saffron - lol. I prefer mine with a nice cuppa tea personally! But ok, I'll know for next time!

     
  • At 7/25/2005 8:42 pm, Blogger Clare Eats said…

    Yeah they don't want us to know, they just want to keep all those sydney royal easter show awards by themselves!

     
  • At 7/26/2005 11:05 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Clare Eats - Hehe. They're crafty alright! =)

     
  • At 8/03/2005 9:42 pm, Blogger SL said…

    Hi

    Did you know Coconut is not part of the traditional recipe for Anzacs. Anzac biscuits first sent to the troops in WWI did not contain coconut however it was in biscuits sent to the troops in WWII.
    For a recipe check out hte ABC website at
    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/saturday/stories/s1351964.htm

     
  • At 8/04/2005 10:04 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi SL - I had no idea, but then I have seen Anzac recipes with and without coconut (I prefer the coconut version).

    Thanks for the tip!

     
  • At 4/23/2009 12:16 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Clare..... ANZAC biscuits are NOT quintessentially AUSTRALIAN, they are also NEW ZEALAND classics. Do you forget that Kiwis fought the war as well?

     
  • At 4/24/2009 12:33 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Anon - Good point. Otherwise they'd be called AAC biscuits :)

     
  • At 4/25/2014 1:13 pm, Anonymous Spencer @ Moo-Lolly-Bar said…

    Making Anzac Biscuits with the kids are a big thing in our household. Yours look pretty good!

     

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