If there was a cookie of my childhood, this would be it. They were such a prolific staple of my schoolyard days that they made it into the Franklin Elementary School Cookbook, somewhere between Carol Beitcher’s fabulous Mandel Broit and another mother’s Choco Peanut Butter Dreams. I remember devouring the warm sticky dough by the handful and the incredulous looks on my classmates’ faces when I offered them these foreign biscuits. They’re not the most attractive cookies for kids — no shapes or chunks of chocolate — but once they get past the exteriors, these cookies make for a perfect recess snack.
Originating from the World War I Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, Anzac Biscuits became popular for their durability due to the lack of eggs and milk (sort of an Aussie version of Lembas Bread); the basis of the recipe are rolled oats and other ingredients that do not spoil easily. But it’s not like that really matters, as within a day of baking them they’re entirely devoured. Enjoy!
The following is an original recipe that my Great Grandma used, adapted from a recipe by Bob Lawson, an ANZAC present at the Gallipoli landing.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup coconut
4 ounces unsalted butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup (you can find it on amazon, here)
3 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
Grease a cookie sheet (or line with a silicon mat) and pre-heat oven to 350 F.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, rolled oats, and coconut. In a small bowl over medium heat, melt together butter and golden syrup. Combine water and baking soda, and add to butter mixture. Stir together (it should froth up a little). Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together. Add more water if necessary, the dough should have a sheen and clump together. Drop tablespoons of dough onto tray, allowing room for spreading. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks.