Today (25 April) is ANZAC Day. Alongside Australia Day it is easily the most important national holiday here. It commemorates the first military action fought by Australian (and New Zealand troops). Australia was only federated in 1901 so when the First World War broke out the nation was a baby. In 1915, Australian and New Zealand troops were deployed to Turkey and they landed at Gallipoli on this day.
In theory, it was going to be a quick strike, but that single campaign was to last eight months and by the end of the year the allied troops had to be evacuated. Over 8000 Australians had been killed.
Today, ANZAC Day commemorates all Australian servicemen and women, and the national holiday and dawn services give everyone an opportunity to reflect on the commitment that those who serve give to their fellow countrymen.
Anyway, history lesson over. Let’s get to the biscuits (note, biscuits, NOT cookies). The story goes that these egg free biscuits were sent to troops by loved ones back in Australia. Food historians may wish to argue this point, and while I am normally a really tedious stickler for facts, in this instance I think we should let accuracy slide and just go with the collective wisdom.
This is my recipe for ANZAC biscuits. It’s not a tried and tested family recipe but one I created back in 2006. It is egg free but not dairy or gluten free. Apologies in advance for the imperial measurements and the mix of volume and weight measurements!
It’s a really simple recipe – so simple in fact that I made these biscuits this afternoon with my toddler.
Just remember – these are ALWAYS biscuits!
- ¾ cup dessicated coconut
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 tsp bicarb
- 2 tbsp boiling water
- Preheat oven to 180°C (convention).
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- On the stove, melt the butter and the golden syrup. Then add the bicarb and boiling water. The mixture will froth a little.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. You may need to add a little extra boiling water.
- Make large walnut sized balls of mixture and flatten on baking trays (lined with baking paper). The biscuits will spread as they cook, so ensure you leave ample space between them.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes. Less cooking leads to chewy biscuits, more cooking: crunchier biscuits.
- Makes approximately 18 biscuits.