The 25th of April marks one of Australia’s most important national events. Anzac Day is an occasion that commemorates the soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) who fought the fierce eight month campaign at Gallipoli during World War I.
The history behind the Anzac biscuit is an intriguing one as it has long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Apparently, the biscuits were sent by the mothers, wives and girlfriends to the soldiers abroad because they were made using ingredients that did not spoil easily. Indeed, being eggless confections, they were less likely to go bad during the long journey by ship.
These homemade Anzac biscuits are a real traditional treat, with chewy rolled oats and fragrant shredded coconut standing out as key ingredients. While the individual components you need to create these modest-looking biscuits are fairly ordinary, you’ll be delighted by how absolutely heavenly they taste. Brought to life by a deep caramel flavour, these sweet, buttery biscuits are beautifully crisp around the edges and slightly chewy in the middle. My boyfriend is convinced that the best way to eat these is with a tall glass of cold milk.
One arguably traditional step left out of this recipe is the use of baking soda mixed with boiling water. This step allows for the cookies to rise a little more, but because I had self-raising flour on hand, I figured that it would make a decent (and much more convenient) substitute.
Also, one of the best things you can do to give these biscuits a real boost in flavour complexity is the generous addition of salt. Give it more than a pinch; up to a half teaspoon, even. It really sets these biscuits apart. The salt melds with the concoction of melted honey, butter and dark brown sugar to create the most luxurious of blends. I mean, who doesn’t like the rich, heady, mouth-watering taste and aroma of salted caramel?
Anzac Biscuits (Coconut Oatmeal Cookies)
1 cup self-raising flour
a generous dash of salt
1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey*
* I used Organic Outback Honey made by the Australian Organic Honey Company.
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, desiccated coconut and oats. Mix well, set aside.
- Melt the cubes of butter, dark brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is smooth and fragrant.
- Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking tray. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until a deep golden.
- Remove from oven and let cool on baking tray until slightly firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.