This month our Creative Cookie Exchange group theme is Healthy Cookies. My younger daughter and I were brainstorming ideas – I was pushing for a homemade Hobnob (a crispy oat cookie) when she suggested ANZAC biscuits. When we lived in Kuala Lumpur the first time, we enjoyed home baked ANZAC biscuits at least once a year, when one of our Australian friends made them for ANZAC Day. Happily, she also shared her recipe.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, a joint outfit that fought together during World War I. ANZAC Day, which falls on April 25th every year, is a national holiday in Australia that has grown from its original intent in 1916 to honor the more than 8,000 Australians who died in the campaign to take Gallipoli, to a day to honor all who have fallen in military and peacekeeping missions.
There are several stories about the origin of ANZAC biscuits. One says that they were baked to send overseas in care packages to soldiers. More likely, say historians, they were created and baked to sell at fundraisers to collect money for the war effort. Original ANZAC biscuits were made only of flour, oats, and butter with syrup as the binding agent. They had a long shelf life and were full of energy and nutrition. Coconut has become a popular, later addition.
First, a word about the units of measure. Australian cups and tablespoons are not the same volume as American cups and tablespoons.
1 Australian cup = 8.45 fl oz
1 US cup = 8 fl oz
1 Australian tablespoon = 4 teaspoons
1 US tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
Mercifully, the teaspoons are equal. To make this the least complicated as possible, I’m going to leave the cups the same, since they are 1:1 anyway, but add the gram measurements of an Australian cup of rolled oats, flour, sugar and butter, if you want to use a scale.
1 cup or 120g rolled oats (Don’t use the quick cook oats.)
1 cup or 132g plain flour
1 cup or 237g caster sugar
3/4 cup or 75g coconut
1/2 cup or 125g butter
8 teaspoons golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon bi-carbonate of soda (baking soda, not baking powder)
8 teaspoons boiling water
Preheat your oven to 300°F or 150°C and line two cookie sheets with baking parchment or silicone liners.
Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a large bowl.
Mix the soda with the boiling water and add it to the butter mixture (it should froth up) and then add the whole lot to the oat mixture. Stir well.
Use a cookie dough scoop or a couple of spoons to divide the dough into about 24 pieces, placing them on your prepared pans.
Bake in your preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Rotate the pans mid way through baking time so they will brown evenly. If they are undercooked, they will be soft in the middle. If they’ve run together a little bit, just use a knife to gently separate them.
Remove the biscuits from the pan while warm and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week. If they last that long.
Many thanks to my dear friend Glenys, for being the kind of friend who not only shares her recipes, but one whose friendship over the years has helped me stop questioning my sanity. Knowing she chose this same nomadic life means I must not be nuts, but if I’m crazy at least we are both crazy together. Everyone should be blessed with a friend like Glenys.
A big thank you also to Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories and Holly of A Baker’s House for stepping up to create and update the link list. Want to see the rest of our healthy cookies? Check out the list below.
- ANZAC Biscuits from Food Lust People Love
- Avocado Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from 2 Cookin Mamas
- Banana Oatmeal Cookies from A Baker's House
- Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies from All That's Left are the Crumbs
- Four Ingredient Healthy Cookies from Spiceroots
- Honey Chia Cookies from Basic N Delicious
- Multigrain Snickerdoodles from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Whole Wheat Digestives from Flours and Frostings
Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life. We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!