ANZAC Biscuits

I’ve been in New Zealand since September 2011, and I think this is the first traditional Kiwi recipe I’ve tried. Which is crazy, but I’ve enjoyed bringing American recipes here too much to try my hand at something everybody’s had before. Still, it is ANZAC Day, my third ANZAC Day here, so it’s time.

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ANZAC Day, for those of you in other parts of the world, is a Kiwi and Australian holiday in honor of members of the Australian New Zealand Army Corps. It falls on the 25th of April, the date in 1915 when the ANZACs landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Thousands died, and from 1916, ANZAC Day has been celebrated as a memorial for the fallen and a celebration of those still serving.

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The history of the ANZAC biscuit is a bit hazier – as far as I can piece together, these were made during WWI by women back home to be a long-lasting, tasty, and nutritious treat for the servicemen abroad. How much the original recipe has changed I don’t know, but all the recipes I found were more-or-less identical. Here’s how I did it.

ANZAC Biscuits

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats (I used wholegrain, because that’s what I had)
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
125 grams salted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoon golden syrup (could be replaced with maple syrup or honey in other countries, but if you can track it down, use it.)

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1. Preheat oven to 140 Celsius (285 Fahrenheit) You want to cook these at a nice low heat so they go thin and crispy.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, coconut, and sugars.

3. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat butter and golden syrup over low-medium heat until butter is melted.

4. Mix baking soda and boiling water in a separate bowl. Add to the butter and syrup mixture. It will foam up a bit and pretty much mixes itself. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until well-combined, using your hands if necessary.

5. Roll the cookie dough into very small (mine were about a teaspoon) balls and bake on parchment-covered cookie sheets until they are deep golden, about 15 minutes. Give them plenty of space to spread – I wouldn’t put more than ten on a tray. Let cool a couple minutes on the cookie sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely. These are best at room temperature, preferably with a cup of tea.

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