Anzac biscuits (or cookies, as we’d call them in the States) are so important to Australian history because they were one of the main foods that moms and wives baked for their soldiers fighting in Gallipoli in World War I. The biscuits keep well for months, which is why they were so popular. That part of Australian history is so important that there’s even an Anzac day.
Anzac biscuits are heavenly morsels made without eggs, so they’re perfect for those with allergies or vegans (just sub the butter for margarine). This was the first recipe that I came across with unfamiliar ingredients, but even if you’re not in Australia, you can make it work! I’ll show you how I adapted the recipe so that it can be made even without any special ingredients.
I used this recipe from BBC Good Food as a guide. There, you’ll find the measurements in Celsius and in the metric system. Below, I list the ingredients with alternatives in case you can’t access some of these ingredients, as well as the conversion measurements I used (I used approximates, and the recipe came out amazing).
a little over 1/3 cup oats (be sure to use regular oats and not quick oats—quick oats won’t hold together as well)
a little over 1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup butter
a little less than 1/2 cup flour
a little less than 1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp baking soda
The oven temp is 180ºC or 356ºF.
Before seeing this recipe, I’d never heard of golden syrup or caster sugar. I just assumed golden syrup would be similar to corn syrup, but upon researching it, I found out it really has a unique flavor similar to molasses. I lucked out because my grocery store had golden syrup in its tiny international section, which I wasn’t expecting. I was fully ready to make the stuff from scratch, thanks to this awesome chef that will show you how. Although it would be cheaper to make at home, I wanted to get the real thing the first time so I’d at least have an idea of how it’s supposed to taste. As it turns out, it has a very unique taste that is like a mixture of maple syrup and molasses, with the thickness of corn syrup!
Caster sugar is something else that’s a little hard to find here. Descriptions of caster sugar said that it was slightly finer than white sugar but more granulated than powdered sugar and that this consistency could be achieved in a coffee grinder. That’s the route I went.
Making these was a learning experience because many of the techniques, such as adding baking powder to boiling water, I’d never heard of before. It was fun!
The result was a delicate, light, melt-in-your-mouth, golden treat with just a hint of coconut.
The next day, I gave some to my mom, who said they were the best thing she’s ever tried. She asked if Anzac biscuits for Australians were like the chocolate chip cookie for Americans. Anyone?
Through this experiment, I’m also unexpectedly learning more about my own family. I was telling my mom about the recipe and mentioned the golden syrup. “Lyle’s?” She asked.
“Yeah,” I said. “How did you know?”
“Oh my gosh. Your dad was obsessed with the stuff. When we were dating, he always had a can of it in his kitchen cabinet. He used it in everything, and it had to be Lyle’s. He was a little obsessed with it.”
We decided to call him. “Ah, Lyle’s golden syrup,” he said. “Now did you buy it in a can or a bottle?”
“I got it in a bottle,” I said.
“That’s good, because the stuff that comes in a can tastes like a can,” he said. “I’m glad you were able to find it in a bottle.”
Join me as I generate random coordinates on the planet and attempt to learn to cook those regions' cuisines.
Live at home like a traveler.
—Henry David Thoreau