ANZAC Biscuits – Uniting Nations Divided

ANZAC, The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps commemorate , along with most Australians and New Zealanders, Anzac Day on April 25th each year. This is a sober reminder of the horrors of war and the day marks the contribution made to peace by the members of ANZAC. The story goes that Anzac biscuits were made out of store cupboard ingredients and sent to the soldiers, by the wives and girlfriends of those ANZAC soldiers embedded in the trenches of Gallipoli in Turkey during the First World War. As a result, the Anzac biscuit holds a special place in the hearts of our southern hemisphere friends.

However, all is not as it might be as a small war has raged for decades between lovers of the Anzac biscuit. Should it be crunchy or chewy? They seem to be unable to agree. I am stepping in like a latter-day Boutros Boutros-Ghali to put an end to this conflict. My approach makes Anzacs that are both crunchy and crispy. So, here’s what you need to make a decent supply.

Ingredients

  • 300g plain flour
  • 200g jumbo oats
  • 160g desiccated coconut
  • 330g caster sugar
  • 300g butter
  • 

8 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Side note on the ingredients: You can trick around with the ingredients to a degree. But, don’t mess with the bicarb. If you add too much, you might make a huge mess or you may end up with some not very attractive biscuits. If you use too little, you will have a flat, unappealing mess.

Unlike global politics, these are easy to do. Though, like global politics, timing is everything. Place all the dry ingredients bar the bicarbonate of soda in a big mixing bowl and combine.

The stirring takes very little effort.

Put the golden syrup and butter in a saucepan that is about twice the size you think you may need. Over a gentle heat, melt it and get a gentle boil going. When the butter mixture is boiling add the bicarbonate of soda and stir.

It’s all about to kick off now. The bicarbonate goes to work instantly.

Keep stirring as the hot sticky mixture foams up inside the pot.

This is why you need the big saucepan.

Then pour this into the dry mixture and stir as quickly as the claggy mess allows you, to combine the ingredients.

This has a lovely warm colour.

 

The stirring can be hard work if you are not quick with it.

Turn this out into a lined baking tin and pat it down to get an even layer of biscuit mixture. This can be hard work as the mixture cools.

This is such a sticky mixture, I thought it wasn’t going to work. It does.

Pop it into a 160ºC fan oven and leave for about 20 minutes. When the mixture has risen a bit like a cake and turned a nice mid-brown, place the tray on a cooling rack and leave it to cool completely.

Go for a colour something like this. They are pretty forgiving and will stand an extra couple of minutes in the oven.

Slice the Anzacs into whatever size you think appropriate. I managed 32 biscuits from this lot. The end result is a chewy biscuit with a nice crunchy crust. There is a bit more crunch to the outer biscuits too.

This is the bit I like best, Slicing and tasting, of course.

These are a worthy little biscuit that go really well with a cup of coffee. The only problem I have is limiting myself to one, or even two. Happy Anzac Day.

I hope this settles the dispute. Crunchy AND chewy it is.

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Latest comments
  • We don’t celebrate ANZAC day as it is a national day of commemoration for the more than 60,000 Australians who had died during the war. I shall try this recipe soon. Thanks~

  • Conor, your efforts at rapprochement are admirable, but those little beauties are NOT Anzac biscuits, which are round and rugged and flattish. What you’re showing is what Aussies would call an Anzac Slice. Having said that, I’m pretty sure it’d taste brilliant! And as an Anzac biscuit fan, I’d go for the slice because, well, More.
    The two schools of thought (crunchy vs chewy) are embodied in one biscuit. Fresh from the oven (or packet) they are crunchy. Yum yum. Put them in an airtight container if you prefer them that way. Give them a day in the open air and they become deliciously chewy without being stale and soggy. They never last long enough to get either stale or soggy anyway…

  • Thank you Conor ! You have made my weekend ! I live in a gated Returned Soldiers’ community – wait till I tell them the respect and caring a Dubliner from across the globe just shown to all of us ! Yes, I agree it is a day of commemoration – but even here we also call it a celebration – we remember those thru’ all the wars who have made it possible for us to live in peace . . . the many beers after normal services not possible this year and the backslapping games of two-up are a bond of proudly being together, remembering and celebrating . . . I am afraid I have to agree with Kate – Anzacs are round crunchy flattish biscuits each baked separately – your recipe is very like mine and when I bake mine tomorrow I’ll ask my genie to fly a big plate over to you !!! Your slice looks beautiful tho’ ! Big hugs . . .

  • hi conor
    how lovely of you to make an anzac slice in commemoration of anzac day. it is always a very moving day here. hubby and i go to a 9am ceremony tho many others go to the dawn service. and since covid. we also have Light up the dawn where we all get up early with candles and stand in the street remembering… I made a white choc and rosemary biscuit this year for anzac day. very delish!

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