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The origin of the crunchiness in Anzac Biscuits can be traced back to their inception. They were created by the wives of soldiers who required a biscuit recipe capable of retaining freshness during the extended overseas journeys to reach soldiers in the early 1900s. The distinct taste of these Australian biscuits stems from the harmonious blend of the warm sweetness of golden syrup and the nourishing qualities of oats and coconut, resulting in their characteristic crunchiness.

Anzac Biscuits
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Anzac Biscuits

The most beloved biscuit in Australia! Adored for its rich buttery caramel taste, satisfying crunchiness, forgiving recipe, and the historical significance it holds – Aussies proudly bake these biscuits to honor ANZAC Day.

“ANZAC” represents the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and ANZAC Day, observed on April 25th each year, stands as Australia’s paramount national commemoration. This date marks the anniversary of the initial major military engagement involving Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I, a somber event marked by substantial casualties.

Legend has it that the original Anzac Biscuits were ingeniously crafted by soldiers’ wives, utilizing ingredients that preserved the biscuits’ freshness throughout the weeks of travel to reach overseas soldiers. It’s said that these first biscuits were exceptionally hard – so tough that some soldiers ground them into a makeshift porridge.

For me, the Anzac biscuits of today are much more to my taste preference!

Golden syrup


The sole ingredient that might appear unfamiliar to those beyond Australia and the UK is golden syrup. This amber-hued syrup, resembling honey in texture, boasts a toffee-like flavor with a touch of robustness. Due to its somewhat robust profile, I reserve its use primarily for baking. However, it’s worth noting that some individuals employ it as a replacement for maple syrup in applications like pancakes.

The optimal alternative for golden syrup involves blending light molasses or treacle with honey. My preferred ratio is 1 part molasses or treacle to 3 parts honey. This combination results in a taste that closely mirrors the original, accompanied by a nearly matching shade (albeit slightly darker).

How to make Anzac biscuits

The process itself is remarkably simple: melt butter together with golden syrup, introduce the baking soda, and combine this mixture with the dry ingredients. Shape the resulting mixture into balls, gently flatten them, then proceed with baking!

Should Anzac biscuits chewy or crisp??

Evidently, the matter of whether Anzac biscuits ought to possess a crisp or chewy texture sparks considerable debate.

In my perspective, there’s no room for doubt. Anzac biscuits should resound with a resounding crispiness! Just as the pioneers – the soldiers’ wives – crafted them more than a century ago.

However, should you fancy a chewier rendition, the solution is uncomplicated: a mere adjustment of baking time, trimming off a few minutes.

In essence, Anzac biscuits cater to every preference!

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Anzac Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits

maimoona
The origin of the crunchiness in Anzac Biscuits can be traced back to their inception. They were created by the wives of soldiers who required a biscuit recipe capable of retaining freshness during the extended overseas journeys to reach soldiers in the early 1900s. The distinct taste of these Australian biscuits stems from the harmonious blend of the warm sweetness of golden syrup and the nourishing qualities of oats and coconut, resulting in their characteristic crunchiness.
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
20 mins
servings
2
total time
30 mins

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

1
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F (or 160°C for fan-forced ovens).
2
Cover two baking trays with baking paper.
3
In a bowl, combine flour, oats, coconut, and sugar.
4
On medium-high heat, melt butter and golden syrup in a saucepan, stirring until the butter is fully melted.
5
Add baking soda, causing a fizzy reaction—this is normal. Remove from heat promptly.
6
Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and mix until just blended.
7
Shape the mixture into balls using about 1 tablespoon of dough, then flatten them into patties. Arrange the balls about 2.5 cm/1" apart on the prepared trays.
8
Bake for 15 minutes, rotating trays halfway through, until a deep golden color is achieved. (For a chewier texture, bake for 12 minutes!)
9
Allow the cookies to rest on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack; they will firm up as they cool.

Notes

Golden syrup is a sweet amber-colored syrup mainly used for baking in Australia and the UK, known for its caramel-like taste. To replace it, you can combine 1 tbsp of light molasses with 3 tbsp of honey or light corn syrup, or try 1 tbsp of treacle with 3 tbsp of honey or light corn syrup. The consistency of oats and batter can vary across different oat brands due to varying absorbency levels. Your dough should strike a balance: firm enough to shape into balls without sticking to your hands, yet pliable and moist enough to flatten the balls without the dough falling apart. Adjust the dough by adding more flour if it's overly sticky, or more melted butter if it's too dry. Feel free to experiment with this recipe; the dough is forgiving and flexible! When stored in an airtight container, Anzac cookies remain crispy for approximately a week. Beyond that, they may soften slightly but still maintain their taste. If the cookies lose their crispness, you can reinvigorate them by placing them in an oven at 180°C / 350°F for 5 minutes. Nutritional information per biscuit.
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