Like the pavlova, Anzac biscuits have had to share the invented-here credits with our Australian cousins. Legend has it the biscuits were baked and sent to troops in World War I. Early versions of Anzac baking included cakes and other biscuits, so food historians haven't found printed recipes for the rolled oat and golden syrup biscuits we recognise today until the 1920s (first called Anzac Crispies). The biscuit was economical to make (no eggs), could survive long enough to make the sea journey to the troops, but was still filling and tasty.
The essence of the biscuit is the buttery warmth of golden syrup with the tang of baking soda and chewy rolled oats and coconut. However, some people omit the coconut, some add new-fangled ingredients like sunflower or pumpkin seeds or cranberries, others cook the biscuit at a lower temperature for longer to vary the crunchy vs chewy texture. Try sandwiching small biscuits with a creamy chocolate filling, crumbling as a topping for fruit or using as a crust for a decadent cheesecake.
This recipe has been supplied by Chelsea Sugar - in 2014, Chelsea celebrated the heritage of Anzac with a vintage golden syrup collectors' edition tin (see recipe image).
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Greast or line a baking tray.
- Melt golden syrup, raw sugar and butter over a low heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Dissolve baking soda in boiling water.
- Add the baking soda liquid to the golden syrup mix together with the dry ingredients.
- Spoon tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto a tray - leave enough room to allow them to spread.
- Flatten with a fork and bake for 12 minutes, or until golden.