In my opinion, Anzac biscuits are the best part of Anzac Day. Because the best way to make a holiday better is to add cookies to it!
Anzac biscuits (cookies for Americans) were thought to have developed around World War I in Australia and New Zealand and have since been associated with the Anzac Day holiday. You can find them year round in supermarkets, but you have to look hard. In the weeks leading up to Anzac Day every year, however, it’s hard to avoid the sweet delights as they are everywhere – every store, every office, and everyone’s homes. While Anzac Day is supposed to be a somewhat somber occasion, these cookies add a little delight to it.
They biscuits aren’t just for fun – they actually do have a meaning. It is thought that wives sent the biscuits to their husbands who were stationed overseas because the biscuits didn’t spoil and kept well during the long voyage. The reason for this: the recipe for Anzac biscuits contains no eggs. The lack of eggs not only kept the cookies from going off, but also was very convenient since many poultry farmers joined the war effort and eggs were scarce. Also, lack of eggs leaves the cookie dough without risk of salmonella or e coli or any of those nasty bacteria – so make sure you make some extra batter because half of it is sure to disappear before it makes it into the oven.
Anzac biscuits are protected under Australia and New Zealand law, which is a bit strange to me but totally awesome when you think about it. It’d be like the US government protecting the recipe for pumpkin pie around Thanksgiving time (which they totally should so that we could avoid any unfortunate bad pumpkin pies). Everyone is free to market Anzac biscuits under the name “Anzac biscuits” as long as they stay fairly true to the original recipe. Subway found this out the hard way and had to pull Anzac biscuits from their stores after the government told them they’d have to adhere to the original recipe which would have cost them more money. Ha!
This year, I was fortunate enough to be invited to make Anzac biscuits with my friend, Michael. So I put on my baking suit and wandered over to his house the weekend before Anzac day. The recipe was incredibly easy. So, for you Americans who are interested, you may want to give it a go!
1¼ cups plain flour, sifted
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup caster sugar
¾ cup desiccated (shredded and dried) coconut
2 tablespoons golden syrup
150 grams unsalted butter
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons water
So, we had a few substitutions because Michael is a bit healthier than I am. We used wholemeal flour instead of plain flour and margarine instead of butter. Michael needs to keep in mind that a skinny bitch is an evil bitch and she must be destroyed.
(I’ll be using real butter next year.)
Anyway… we also substituted brown sugar for caster sugar (which it seems most people do) and maple-flavoured Aunt Jemima-style syrup (but not actually Aunt Jemima because I don’t think we have that here) instead of golden syrup. I had never heard of golden syrup because it isn’t prevalent in America (thanks, corn syrup), but from what I can tell, it’s sort of like molasses but not nearly as strong or dark. I’ve also heard of people substituting honey for golden syrup and I’m totally going to do that next year (and maybe real maple syrup in one batch too!) Also, we used self-rising flour so we didn’t need the baking soda.
Step 1: Combine flour, oats, sugar, and coconut in a bowl
Step 2: Combine and melt the butter and syrup and water in a saucepan
Step 3: Realize that’s silly and use the microwave instead
Step 4: Combine the wet mixture with the dry mixture and stir well
Step 5: Taste the batter. Fuck yeah.
Step 6: Place tablespoon size balls of batter onto a greased cookie sheet
Step 7: Flatten slightly with a fork
Step 8: Bake at 170°C for 10 minutes or until golden brown
Step 9: Take photos with your cookies.
Step 10: Eat them all and don’t save any for your friends… mwahahahaha!
Nom nom nom!!!
I think Michael just realized that he used margarine instead of butter.
Makes approximately 24 Anzac biscuits.
So you might want to double it.