Anzac Biscuits (Cookies)

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Anzac Biscuits have been on my to-bake list for the longest time. These cookies are traditionally made in Australian and New Zealand on Anzac Day, April 25. This holiday honors the memory of the soldiers in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) who fought in the WWI battle of Gallipoli.

If you don’t know the tragic history of this battle, I highly recommend the 1981 movie by Peter Weir. Although, according to Wikipedia, it contains historical inaccuracies, Gallipoli is a great movie.  

 

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I researched recipes for this cookies before taking the plunge, and found that most have a simple 1:1:1:1  ratio of dessicated unsweetened coconut, rolled oats, sugar, and flour. The basic recipe is one cup each of flour sugar, dried unsweetened coconut, and rolled outs mixed with a half a cup of melted butter, one or two tablespoons of golden syrup, a bit of  baking soda, and a tablespoon or so of boiling water to dissolve the baking soda. 

(here are some of the inspiration recipes: anzacbiscuit.net, allrecipes, chowhound, 101cookbooks, Nancy Silverton, NPR, and Hungry and Frozen )

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There is some debate over whether the cookies should be chewy or crispy. I went with crispy.

The raw cookies dough is addictively good. Try to resist.

raw cookie dough

The cookies are great, with a taste reminiscent of crispy granola bars. They are on the sweet side, so you might want to try dialing down the sugar content or upping the oat content. The recipe does not call for salt, but the salted Earth Balance tub margarine worked perfectly in this recipe.

Anzac Biscuits (cookies)

Combine in bowl:
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats (I used quick oats, not old fashioned)
1 cup unsweetened dried coconut
1 cup sugar

In a small saucepan, melt:
½ c (or even more, 9 tbl., or 125 g.) butter [I used Earth Balance Margarine (salted) ]
Add:
2 Tbl. Golden syrup (or honey or corn syrup)

Add:
1 teasp. Baking soda dissolved in 2 Tbl. hot water
Add the melted margarine mixture to the oats/coconut/flour mixture. The mixture will not seems moist enough, but if you squeeze a bit, it should hold together. Use a small cookie scoop to shape 3 dozen cookies (or more if you want to make them smaller).

350 degrees, 12-15 min. (14 minutes was more than long enough in my oven). Some recipes call for baking these cookies at 300 degrees or 325 degrees.

Options: toast the oats and coconut before adding them to the batter. (see here)
Less sugar? 2/3 c instead of full cup. (see here)
Brown sugar or half brown sugar/half white sugar instead of all white. (see here)
Double the amount of rolled oats (see here)
Bake longer at a lower temerature
Try adding orange rind or orange blossom water or macadamia nuts (see here and here)

baked anzac biscuits

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