Anzac biscuits. Yes they are delicious and yes they are a national treasure, but there’s more to these delicious oat-y morsels than meets the eye. As their name suggests, Anzac biscuits have historical origins, dating back to World War I, when Australian and New Zealand women sent Anzac biscuits to their loved ones fighting in the war.
So why were they the biscuit of choice? Surprisingly, it wasn’t just because the soldiers loved the mouthwatering combination of rolled oats, golden syrup and brown sugar – oh no, in fact the recipe has changed quite a lot since then – it was because these biscuits, in their first incarnation were both nutrient dense and able to survive the long voyage overseas.
The original Anzac biscuits were more savoury in comparison to today’s sweet-and-sometimes-chewy take on the humble treat and being quite the sweet-tooth myself, my version contains a few extras… Think juicy cranberries, creamy chocolate buds, shredded coconut and some sugary liquid gold (aka golden syrup!).
For this recipe you’ll need the following ingredients, all of which are available at Woolworths:
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1 cup shredded coconut
¾ cup chocolate buds
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
To start, line two baking trays with baking paper and preheat the oven to 160 * C.
Heat the butter and golden syrup in a saucepan over low heat for 2-3 minutes or until butter melts. (Sidenote: Does anything smell as good as warm, gooey, melted butter? I think not.)
Once the butter has melted, add the boiling water and bicarb soda, but don’t be afraid when the mixture froths up – it’s supposed to do that! Remove from heat.
Grab a large bowl and combine all of the dry ingredients, letting a well form in the centre.
Pour the melted butter mixture into the well and stir thoroughly until the mixture has a firm consistency. Try to refrain from eating raw mixture if possible because chances are you won’t have any left to bake once you start… not speaking from experience or anything…
Using a teaspoon and clean hands, spoon the mixture from the bowl, roll each spoonful into a walnut-sized ball and arrange lovingly on the baking tray, leaving enough space for them to spread and grow.
These babies only need 8-10 minutes of oven time, or until they are a beautiful golden brown colour, but make sure you turn the tray at approximately the 4.5 minute mark so they are baked evenly.
Once removed from the oven, allow your Anzac biscuits to cool on the tray for 10 minutes so they can harden and once cool, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
This recipe may not have the longevity of the biscuits the soldiers received back in 1916 but let’s be honest, they probably wouldn’t last that long in your house when they taste this good anyway!
Today’s blog is in memory of Colonel Chapman and his son Austin Chapman, the father and grandfather of some very dear friends of mine. The Colonel fought in Egypt between 1914 -18 and his son served in New Guinea during WWII at just 16 years of age. I attend the Dawn Service in memory of them every year and have heard many stories of their bravery. Lest we forget.
Janet Rockes is a stylish Bendigo local and creator of The Travelling Table. A family lady at heart, Janet enjoys cooking up big feasts on weekends for her grandchildren. In a professional sense, her talent lies in her ability to transform nothing into something amazing. As a visual merchandiser, Janet shines in handcrafted props and food styling, creating unique concepts for events. Check out her website here