Ode To ANZAC Biscuits

DSC_0194-3My home-away-from-home is going to be celebrating ANZAC Day on the 25th of April. This year is a particularly special remembrance of this military camaraderie across two countries, as it marks the 100th anniversary of when on this day during WW1, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC)  landed on the shores of Gallipoli (which btw, is an excellent! movie—rent it, download it, whatever you call it nowadays… do watch it). When I was living in the capital of Canberra, I was fortunate to have attended a very moving ANZAC Day tribute at the Australian War Memorial. This Dawn Service takes place at 4:30am, so it was a very early drive into the city at 3:45am to find a spot and get settled in. All bundled up and way before first light, we listened to an uplifting memoriam including trumpet salutes and readings from the family of surviving soldiers. All the attendees (and there were hundreds of people there) were given candles to light at specific time. It was amazing to see the dawn sky all aglow with candle light. Beautiful.

So what better time to pay homage to the original biscuit (not cookie) from down under, than to bake up a version that’s still just as easy to make and just as tasty. This recipe has a couple more additions with golden raisins and ginger chips (from Australia), making this an even more aussie-fied delicious sweet treat to enjoy at 4:30am, or any time of day. On a random side note: you may have noticed the rather neon-colored drink in the background– you won’t believe this, look what I found….wait for it…Bundaberg Passion Fruit flavor! Yes, let’s pause for a happy dance. You all know how much I adore Bundaberg brand, and to find a passion fruit flavor? Well, life is good. Enough said. And apologies to all my kiwi mates–I don’t have any New Zealand-themed props in my house– nor did the shops. If I could have found a fern growing in my garden, would’ve thrown that into the shot too! Okay, back to the biscuits. I did some research on this recipe and found out these were created during the first world war and were commonly sent to the soldiers abroad in their care packages. They don’t contain eggs, so it was thought not to spoil as easily. Also, the word “ANZAC” is now protected under Australian law, and cannot be used without permission from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. However, given the global popularity of this “baked good”, there is thankfully a general exemption for ANZAC Biscuits, just as long as they basically remain true to the original recipe and are all always called biscuits, never cookies. I’m not joking, totally serious. So can we call these ANZAC-ish biscuits then?
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ANZAC-ish Biscuits
yields 16 large or 24 medium size biscuits | ANZAC-ish Biscuits PDF

The Golden Syrup in this recipe is really essential. It imparts the traditional flavor of an ANZAC biscuit. On its own, the syrup has an almost caramel-buttered-popcorn flavor (don’t worry, that won’t come through in the biscuit) and you’ll need the syrup to get the gorgeous golden color too. Don’t try to substitute it, you’ll be able to find it in any good grocery. I bought mine at World Market (Cost Plus).

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick rolled oats
1 cup dessicated coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup ginger chips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 tablespoons Golden Syrup
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a standard baking pan with non-stick liner or parchment paper. Combine flour, oats, coconut, sugar, salt, raisins and ginger chips in a large bowl. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, along with the golden syrup and water. Only heat enough to melt the butter; careful not to let it brown. Add baking soda to melted butter & syrup and stir to combine. Add butter mixture to dry ingredients and mix well. Using a cookie scoop, drop onto pan with a good amount of space between each biscuit- they will spread during baking.  I was able to get 8 large biscuits on one pan. Flatten slightly with the back of the scoop and bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before moving to wire rack. These will be soft on the interior and crunchy on the exterior. Fantastic!

Off to enjoy my biscuits and passion fruit drink now. Think I’ll watch an episode of Flight Of The Conchords…..
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Note: as always, I share with you all the brands I love and use. This was not a sponsored post, just me giving a shout-out to some pretty awesome products.

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