Delightfully chewy and crisp, these ANZAC are my new favorite thing. I’ve noted on several posts recently different ‘crushes’ I’m having for people and blogs. Well folks, I’ve got to say that the ANZAC biscuit is my new food crush.
Although there is some debate about whether the biscuit originated in New Zealand or Australia, the name ‘ANZAC’ is the abbreviation for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. It is believed that the biscuits were created during World War I as an easy to pack and ship biscuit to those fighting overseas.
Australia and New Zealand celebrate ANZAC Day on April 25 as a memorial to the military who entered into World Word I battle on this day. ANZAC biscuits are especially popular at this time of year. Since I know of a few Australian readers of my blog, I hope they can weigh in on their ANZAC biscuit experiences.
I wish I could say I was worldly enough to have known this information off the top of my head. No such luck. I discovered ANZAC in A Baker’s Odyssey, which I recently reviewed. Eager to bake something from the cookbook, this recipe used few ingredients and was quick, so I decided to give it a try. I’ve since noticed Heidi of 101cookbooks recently posted a recipe as well.
Many recipes I’ve seen on the web appear much thicker and crisp. I liked the recipe in Greg Patent’s book since the biscuits are intended to be thin and chewy.
adapted from A Baker’s Odyssey
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, chopped
3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
8 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup (or honey or corn syrup)
3 tablespoons boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Since the biscuits are thin, it’s best to bake them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. When removed from the oven they are too fragile to remove by spatula, with the parchment you can lift them off of the baking sheet and can set on a rack to cool.
In a bowl, mix the flour, oats, sugar, and coconut. I realized at the last minute I was out of white sugar. I decided to replace it with brown sugar and it worked perfectly. I’ve also seen recipes using a combination of half white and half brown sugar. Feel free to experiment!
Combine the baking soda and boiling water in a small bowl to dissolve, and set aside. In a small pan, melt the butter and stir in the golden syrup. Since golden syrup is nearly impossible to find here, I used light corn syrup. Once the syrup is mixed into the butter, stir in the baking soda and water mixture. Remove from heat and pour into the mixing bowl containing the dry ingredients.
Stir until the dough forms. It should be moist and able to hold its shape. If too dry, add a few drops water. If too moist, add a sprinkle of flour. Mine turned out fine and didn’t need either adjustment.
Place rounded teaspoon of mixture on parchment and generously space apart. I made 12 biscuits to a sheet to make sure they had enough room to spread. The biscuits will each be 3-4″ wide.
Place baking sheet into a preheated 300 degree oven for 12 minutes or until the biscuits are a deep golden brown on top. They will puff up during baking and once cooled will be very thin. Makes about 3 dozen biscuits. I made mine a bit larger, so resulted in 2 dozen. Also, I sneaked a bit of the raw dough as a snack … it’s seriously addictive.
The biscuits did not last long in our house. The taste is slightly sweet and buttery while the texture is crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle. Add these to your list of things to try — they are well worth it.
Update 3/24/09: I’ve updated the post to remove the term ‘cookie’ which is the equivalent term used here in the States. I realize it may have offended some people and for this I apologize. I should note that I’ve since made the recipe using golden syrup which is really a must-do. Golden syrup is extremely hard to find in the states but well worth the hunt. I could eat it all day with a spoon! It has a deep, rich flavor that this biscuit is known for. You can order golden syrup and many other Aussie products online from Australian Products Co..