ANZAC biscuits are believed to have been developed in World War I as a derivative of the hard-tack soldier’s biscuit eaten on the battlefields. This may be apocryphal as a confusion between “Oatmeal Biscuits” and a recipe for an ANZAC cake published in 1915. In any case it is thought that something of the type was created by women searching for a solution to a biscuit that could be easily transportable to their men on the front line without spoiling. Its ingredients were selected to not spoil in the long voyage, were readily available and delivered nutritionally, hence the inclusion of golden syrup and the exclusion of eggs and butter traditional used in biscuit cookery. The biscuits were then packed into tins, sometimes billy tea tins, to keep them airtight.
They have now become one of the symbols for the annual 25 April celebration of ANZAC Day and are often used as fund-raisers for Veterans societies. By Australian law regarding the use of the term “ANZAC”, they must be referred to as ANZAC biscuits and made with the traditional ingredients.
Ingredients (Makes 2 Dozen)
1 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup flaked coconut
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 tablespoons boiling water
1. Mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut together.
2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the syrup and butter together. Mix the soda and the boiling water and add to the melted butter and syrup.
3. Add butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Drop by teaspoons on greased cookie sheets (or baking paper).
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 18 to 20 minutes.