21 Apr 2009

The yummy side of ANZAC Day

Is there a holiday that our family celebrates that doesn't have food attached?

The traditional food for ANZAC Day is the eponymously named ANZAC Day biscuit. If you passed by our kitchen yesterday you would have been lured in by the smell of these beautiful biscuits baking away. It will be the same in many Australian kitchens this week in the lead up to ANZAC Day.

Of course these delicious butterry oaty bikkies bear only a passing resemblence to the original 'soldier biscuit' - a long shelf-life, hard tack biscuit, eaten by the Aussie Great War Diggers as a substitute for bread. Unlike bread though, the biscuits were very, very hard. Some soldiers preferred to grind them up and eat them with milk as porridge.

Here's our recipe for the decadent modern ones pictured above, filled with butter and coconut:

1 cup each of plain flour, sugar, rolled oats, and coconut
125g butter
1 tbls golden syrup
2 tbls boiling water
1 tsp bicarbonate soda

1. Grease biscuit tray and pre-heat oven to 150°C.
2. Combine dry ingredients.
3. Melt together butter and golden syrup.
4. Combine water and bicarbonate soda, and add to butter mixture.
4. Mix butter mixture and dry ingredients.
5. Drop 3 level teaspoons of mixture onto tray about 4cm apart to allow room for spreading.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on tray for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

I've been making this recipe for so long that I don't know where it came from originally, but most of the recipes are pretty similar anyway. I do know that it is delicious - crunchy and yet chewy at the same time.

More ANZAC Day posts tomorrow...


  1. Those look so yummy! I like that traditional Austrailian cup and dish you have with your biscuits there ;-).

  2. Thanks, Sue.

    They're obviously original Australian designs, aren't they!!

  3. We're doing an ANZAC theme this week too. I'll post something later in the week. Same recipe we use. I remember in "the good ol' days" mum would put orange or lemon peel in the biscuit tin to keep the anzac biccies from going rock hard. They go too fast here for that!

  4. I enjoyed these for for the ANZAC holiday in 90 and '91 in Africa thanks to a wonderful Aussie family living near me. They were yummy and I've often thought of making them. Thanks for the recipe! I'll try to work them in sometime soon.

  5. Oops! Sent too soon! Too bad you can't find real, honest-to-goodness Golden Syrup here! Karo is as close as I can get. I do miss cornmeal porriage [Southern African breakfast staple] with Golden Syrup!!

  6. Hi Lisa,
    You can use treacle or honey as a substitute for the golden syrup, I believe.


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