Sunday, 17 August 2014

Anzac biscuits

This is a recipe that has been on my ‘to bake’ list for far too long.  Before baking them I had never eaten an Anzac biscuit but I knew I would love them as they contain three of my all-time favourite ingredients: oats, coconut and golden syrup.

Anzac biscuits originated in war-time and were, so the story goes, a popular biscuit sent by Australian and New Zealander wives to their soldier husbands serving overseas.  The biscuits are egg-free (like so many war-time recipes), keep well and are robust enough to withstand transportation.  There are stories on-line that the military-issued Anzac biscuits were quite different to these lovely home-baked treats; made from hard tack – a long life bread substitute made from flour, water and salt – the soldiers referred to them as ‘dog biscuits’, ‘tooth dullers’, ‘sheet iron’, ‘molar breakers’ and I suspect several other names that I wouldn’t be able to include on my nice, family friendly blog!

I made two batches of biscuits; the classic version and a chocolate chip version.  The latter is identical to the former but for the addition of some chocolate chips, which melted due to the hot butter.  Both were lovely!  The biscuits were crisp and chewy with a lovely buttery taste.  These aren’t tiny, thin little biscuits that you eat without knowing; these are substantial hearty biscuits – perfect with a big mug of tea.

This recipe came from the BBC Good Food site (I love that site!); some of the commenters said the mix was too dry and they had to add milk.  To combat this, in my chocolate batch, I added 2 tablespoons of golden syrup which is why they spread much more than my plain batch (which used 1 tablespoon).  You don’t need any extra liquid and I think I twigged why people may have had a problem.  The key to shaping these biscuits is to do it while the butter is still warm; as soon as it starts to cool the mix becomes crumbly.  Work quickly and it’s fine.


100g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons boiling water
85g porridge oats
85g desiccated coconut
100g plain flour
100g caster sugar

Optional: 100g milk chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Line two baking sheets with baking paper or non-stick foil.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan making sure it doesn’t burn.

Remove from the heat and mix in the golden syrup.

In a bowl (use a larger size than you’d think based on the quantities as it will froth up!) mix together the bicarbonate of soda and boiling water.

Add the bicarb liquid into the butter syrup mix and stir together.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, coconut, flour and sugar.

Make a well in the centre and pour in the butter mixture.

Stir to incorporate all the ingredients.

If using, stir in the chocolate chips.

If the mixture is very dry and won’t hold together when you squeeze it, add the milk – only use if necessary.

Take scant tablespoons of the mixture, roll into balls, flatten and place onto the baking sheet – leave them 3-4cm room to expand on baking.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden.  I like to rotate the baking sheets halfway through cooking time to ensure a nice even bake.

When I checked on them after 8 minutes they had puffed up a bit so I poked them to let the air out.  Brutal, but it works!

They will be soft straight from the oven so leave them for 10 minutes to firm up before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

The biscuits will store in an airtight tin for several days…given the chance!

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Gloria Baker said...

Love these biscuits CC look yumm!

Laura Denman said...

Your description has me craving tea and biscuits now! I'm a big golden syrup fan too and yay for do a chocolate chip version =)

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

These are pretty much my all time favourite biscuits- tasty, chunky and a lovely, easy Sunday bake. Hope you enjoyed them too!

Dipika said...

Ok this is spooky - I made these biscuits from the same recipe earlier in the week! I didn't read the comments but I'm glad I didn't - although my mix only just held together before baking, they certainly didn't come out dry at all. Yours look a lot neater than mine though! :o)

Baking Addict said...

I used the BBC good food recipe as well. love your addition of chocolate chips.

Jo said...

Mmmm oaty, syrupy biscuits. And they're a good substantial size. I like when a biscuit is so big it takes a few bites before it's slim enough to dip in your mug of tea!

Katie said...

I've never made Anzac biscuits, but they look delicious. I love the sound of the choc chip ones. Anything oaty with syrup is always a winner :)

Cakelaw said...

I like my biscuits substantial, and Anzacs are one of my favourites.

Lucy said...

Love these biscuits and the history behind them - I know from experience Anzac biscuits can be very addictive!

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

I have been wanting to know what Anzac biscuits were for ages (they keep appearing on the school lunch menu)...... finally I know! And they look really yummy...... Must try making some. Looks like they should be quite straight forward to convert to GF...

snowy said...

These look so good. Great idea to make some with chocolate chips.

Maggie said...

I don't make Anzac biscuits nearly enough. The commenters on the BBC site are brilliant, they're mostly always right. Great biccie bake!

Choclette said...

Oh yes - these have been on my to bake list for a very long time too. And I'm a big fan of the substantial biscuit ;-)

Stuart Vettese said...

I love Anzacs - it's the golden syrup that does it for me!