This homemade ANZAC biscuit recipe belonged to my Great-Grandma. She made and sent ANZAC biscuits to my Great-Grandfather while he was fighting in New Guinea during World War 2.
ANZAC Biscuit History
ANZAC biscuits (originally called Soldiers’ biscuits) came into being around 1915 – during World War 1 – when soldiers’ wives and/ or mothers would bake and send the biscuits to the troops stationed overseas. The biscuits were ideal because they were cheap to make (remember that it was the Great Depression), non-perishable (ANZAC biscuits contain no eggs or milk) and so didn’t need refrigeration, and the biscuits gave the men some added nutrition and sustenance. As a bonus, the ANZAC biscuit recipe is also really quick and easy to make!
After the now-famous landing of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) in Gallipoli, the biscuits were renamed in honour of those brave soldiers who landed that fateful 25th day of April on the coast of Turkey, now known as Anzac Cove.
Today, Australians and New Zealanders alike pause and reflect on Anzac Day, and take time to remember those fallen soldiers – as well as those who served – in times of war in service to their country, their flag, their people, their customs and traditions, and the freedoms that we enjoy today as a result of those efforts. There are dawn and memorial services held all around the country on Anzac Day which hundreds of thousands of people attend to pay tribute to their forebears.
Now, more than 100 years after their conception, ANZAC biscuits are still hugely popular, and are even available to buy commercially in supermarkets. But – as always – the best tasting ones are those you bake at home.
(If you’re looking for more Australian fare to bake, you might like to try our Australian pavlova. It is truly amazing, even if I do say so myself!)
I’ve put together a selection of variations of the homemade ANZAC biscuit recipe – gathered from Grandmothers on both sides of the Tasman, as well as from some of the original ANZACs themselves. I hope you can try baking some for yourself, and that you enjoy them as much as my family does. I’ve loved sharing some of my ANZAC knowledge with you – passing it onto you, as my Grandmother passed it onto me.
- Mixing bowl
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (level spoon)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (or approx 375 degrees F).
- Grease a biscuit tray or line with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
- In a small saucepan over a medium heat (or in a microwave proof jug or bowl in the microwave), combine the butter and golden syrup until the butter has melted.
- In a small bowl, combine the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda.
- Add the bicarb and water mixture with the melted butter and golden syrup.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Dollop teaspoonfuls of the biscuit mixture onto the greased baking tray.
- Don't forget that the biscuits WILL spread during baking, so make sure you leave room for them to spread!
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven.
- Allow the Anzac biscuits to cool on the tray for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
If you have a recipe you’d like to share with us (and the rest of the world!), or if you have an Anzac-related anecdote, we’d love it if you’d take the time to email us. ANZAC cookies, as some people call them, make a delicious treat.
Until next time…
Love & Grandma’s recipes, Bella X