By Isabella Brady
Previously known as “soldier’s biscuits,” Anzac biscuits are certainly a unique treat with a complex history. Exceeding one hundred years of history, the ethnic staple has origins in Australia and New Zealand where it was created in World War I for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The group was commonly known as ANZACs, from which the biscuit derived its memorable name. Since then, the recipe has adopted a myriad of titles, such as Anzac tiles or Anzac wafers, partially due to its classification as a hard tack biscuit.
The biscuit itself was introduced by women’s groups who began sending the palatable treat in care packages to improve troop’s morale. Shortly, Anzacs proved quite essential to military diets as they were excellent sources of fiber and protein and easily substituted bread. Demand for Anzac biscuits rapidly overcame that of the previous biscuit, which was much harder and often described as “one of the most durable materials used in the war, reputed to be bulletproof!” Combined with its delectable taste, the biscuit itself was enduring enough to travel over three months to reach the soldiers themselves.
As a prominent cultural recipe, the product has adapted into many variations in Australian households as an everyday snack and is established on a variety of name brand lines in grocery stores and homemade in cafes. The biscuit itself is a coconut, oat and golden syrup mixture that can be any thickness, texturally crisp or soft according to preference, and forms a distinguishable golden color. However, in the United States, it is usually more similar to our cookie, and proves considerably more filling.
Quick and easy to prepare, the recipe is entertaining for kids and a healthier alternative to classic cookies. With a longer shelf life and natural ingredients, the cookie can easily be altered for vegan diets by replacing the butter with a vegan option, or coconut oil. To create a sweeter cookie, one can also add chocolate chips, which compliment the oats and coconut well. Through the past century the biscuit has proven a great success, has become a common staple in many households, and is guaranteed to become a new family favorite.
2 cups oats
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups brown sugar or granulated sugar
1 ½ cups dessicated coconut
2 tbsp golden syrup or honey
4 tbsp water
2 sticks of butter
*Optional: chocolate chips*
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper
- Mix coconut, flour
- Melt butter and honey until melted
- Microwave until warm, add baking soda and stir
- Add melted butter/honey to water and baking soda
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients
- Roll dough into balls and place on baking sheet
- Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes
**no eggs, baking time flexible to desired consistency**