Anzac Day is an important day for anyone in Australia and New Zealand; it is a national day of remembrance that commemorates all those “who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”. Held on the 25th of April each year, Anzac Day was devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War (1914 – 1918). For many of us, it is a solemn day marked by marches, dawn services and poppies on the graves and memorial stones of those who served.
Aussies and Kiwi’s have been arguing over many things over the decades; pavlova, Phar lap and if they’re jandals or thongs for many years. Nothing quite brings us together as the Anzacs, well maybe the rugby as well, and of course, the iconic Anzac biscuit. This humble bikkie has a bit of a scattered history and if you are interested in its history, definitely check out Allison Reynolds’s book, ‘Anzac Biscuits – The Power and Spirit of an Everyday National Icon’ which is a fun and interesting read. Reynolds writes that “The Anzac biscuit recipe evolved in both countries around the same time. While New Zealand may have the first published recipe in a cookery book, recipes often take a few years to filter into published books.” She says that “some early cookery books recipes used the name ‘Anzac biscuit’, but the recipe was not the recipe we know today”.
There’s no definitive recipe or even a definitive recipe origin date, many argue over when they were first created. There are several early variations of the Anzac biscuits and the recipes are quite varied with some of the iconic ingredients we know to add today being omitted. Although the recipe I am using states it was created in 1914, other sources say that the biscuits weren’t officially named so until 1915, a year later. This recipe comes from the Country Women’s Association cookbook and states it was from 1914 but wasn’t judged until 1981. I couldn’t verify the exact date it was created but I figured we’d test it out nonetheless.
-2 cups rolled oats
-1 cup plain flour
-1/4 cup sugar
-125g butter, cubed
-1 large rounded tablespoon Golden Syrup
-1 teaspoon bicarb soda
-2 tablespoons hot water
-Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Grease or line two baking trays.
-Mix together the oats, flour and sugar in a bowl. Melt the butter and Golden Syrup together, add bi carb soda dissolved in the hot water. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well.
-Roll into balls the size of a walnut and place on the prepared trays. I opted for trays lined with baking paper. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden. Move biscuit positions while hot; allow to cool and crisp on tray.
I’ve never made Anzac biscuits before but after testing out this recipe, I’ll certainly be making them more often. The making process was super easy to follow and I was happy that the batter wasn’t overly sticky. When rolling the biscuits into balls to place on the tray, I spaced them out as best I could and I ended up making about 26 biscuits. I think I made mine a bit chunkier than the recipe wanted because it said I can make between 40 and 60 which I certainly didn’t. Honestly, I prefer chewy biscuits and cookies so I was a lot happier with my outcome as it was rather than smaller and crispier biscuits.
The ANZAC biscuits tasted delicious! Like caramelized deliciousness and a hint of oat; they basically tasted like caramel. As my biscuits were thicker and larger, I had quite a bit of bite and chew which I loved. I really enjoyed the texture and found myself walking past my kitchen just to grab another biscuit. I boxed up any leftovers and sent them to work with my husband and all his office mates seemed to enjoy them too. Seems like a success to me.
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