Here in Australia there is nothing more traditional than a good, old-fashioned ANZAC biscuit. Baked by wives and mothers during World War I, they were packed in food parcels and sent to Australian and New Zealand soldiers in the trenches. The ingredients they used were rolled oats, sugar, plain flour, coconut, butter, golden syrup or treacle, bi-carbonate of soda and boiling water. All items that did not readily spoil and were able to withstand the long voyage to the troops by sea. Originally known as Soldiers’ Biscuits, they were renamed ANZAC Biscuits after the landing on Gallipoli.
A staple in our biscuit tin. So very easy to bake. It’s often one of the first recipes a child will attempt. In fact this particular batch was baked by my daughter this afternoon. Fittingly this recipe is very close to the original published in another Australian icon, The Country Women’s Association Cookbook over seventy years ago.
Old Fashioned ANZAC Biscuits
1 cup plain flour
1 cup dessicated coconut
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
125 g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons boiling water
PREHEAT oven to 160 C. Line two oven trays with baking paper.
COMBINE dry ingredients – flour, coconut, brown sugar and rolled oats in a large bowl.
MELT butter and golden syrup in a saucepan over medium heat.
DISSOLVE bicarbonate of soda in 2 tablespoons of water in a small cup. Add to melted butter and golden syrup mixture. Stir well to combine. The mixture will froth and increase in volume.
POUR the frothy butter mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix well.
ROLL teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on lined oven trays. Allow room for the biscuits to spread.
SLIGHTLY flatten the balls with the back of a fork.
BAKE for 15 – 20 minutes in a preheated 160 C oven until biscuits are golden brown. Cool slightly before transferring to wire racks. As they cool the biscuits will harden.