Anzac Biscuit Recipes

Anzac Biscuits have been a traditional cookie recipe (or, as we say downunder, "biscuit") for longer than anyone seems to know. Our best guess, based on the name and the ingredients is that they were developed by the Anzac troops - perhaps in World War 1 - as something they could prepare from the foodstuffs they had on hand to alleviate the boredom of the foods they otherwise had to eat.

An alternative suggestion comes from US reader Barry Moon : "I have always assumed the origin of anzac biscuts was on the "home front" - as the cookies contain no milk or eggs they would not spoil, and, as they are rather "heavy" and softish (not brittle) they would travel well on their journey from Mum to the troops. But what do I know being a Yank and all! Food for thought..." Who knows! Any additional information that anyone can offer on this subject would of course be appreciated.

Anzac biscuits have also been described as similar to mundelbred (I'm not quite sure about the spelling there), which is a sort of Yiddish/German biscuit with a few dozen variations. It is most often shaped and sliced like biscotti, but not double baked. Teresa Martin tells us - "My favorite version (my mother-in-law's, in fact) also has chocolate chips, which was probably her addition, since she's a chocolate fan."

As you can see, they are nutritional, and delicious too! Here are seven (!) different recipes, all quite similar, for you to choose from.

We also include a recipe for a variation on the Anzac concept - the "Tararua" biscuit. Named after the Tararua Ranges north of Wellington, this has become popular with mountaineers and trampers going for walks in the range.

Recipe As Served At Wetherby Outback Station, Just Out Of Port Douglas, Qld, Australia

1 cup plain flour                    1 cup Rolled Oates
1 cup sugar 3/4 cup Coconut
1/2 cup sultanas 1/8 cup Chopped Dried Apricots
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds 2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
1 1/2 Teaspoons Bicarbonate of Soda 150g (6 oz) Butter
3 Teaspoons Hot Water

In a saucepan melt the butter and golden syrup. When melted, added the bi-carb soda which has been dissolved in 1 teaspoon of the hot water. When this all foams up, add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add remainder of water.

Roll into balls and place well apart on tray. Cook at 170 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) until golden brown, then cool on tray.

Recipe From The NZ Edmonds Cookbook

125g flour                           150g (6 oz) Sugar
1 cup Coconut 1 cup Rolled Oats
100g (4 oz) butter 1 tablespoon golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon Bicarb of Soda 2 tablespoons boiling water

Mix together flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats. Melt butter and golden syrup. Dissolve Bicarb Soda in the boiling water and add to butter and golden syrup. Make a well in the centre of flour, stir in the liquid.

Place in spoonfuls on a greased tray. Bake 15-20 mins at 180 degrees Celsius/350 Fahrenheit.

Recipe Courtesy Of Peter Porritt From An Australian Friend

225g (8 oz) margarine                2 tablespoons corn syrup
4 tablespoons water 1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups oats 2 cups sugar
1 cup white flour 1 cup whole wheat flour

Melt the margarine and add the corn syrup and water, all in a small pan. Add the baking soda and stir until fizzy. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients.

Make into balls and flatten with a fork on a tray. Bake at 160 degrees Celsius (325 Fahrenheit) for approx 15 minutes until golden brown. Makes approx 4 dozen biscuits.

Recipe From A Different Edition Of The Edmonds Cookbook

50g (2 oz) flour               50g (2 oz) butter
75g (3 oz) sugar 1 tablespoon golden syrup
2/3 cup coconut 1/2 teaspooon bicarb soda
2/3 cup rolled oats 2 tablespoons boiling water

Mix together flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats. Melt butter and golden syrup. Dissolve bicarb of soda in the boiling water and add to butter and golden syrup. Make a well in the centre of flour, stir in the liquid. Place in spoonfuls on cold greased trays. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 180 deg C (350 deg F).

Recipe From Mrs M Williams, Armidale, NSW, Courtesy Of Rev Neil Thomsen

1 cup(8fl.oz.) rolled oats     1 cup sugar
1 cup plain flour 3/4 cup coconut
1/2 cup(1/4lb.) butter 2 tbsp. golden syrup
1 tsp bi-carb soda 4 tbsp boiling water

Mix oats, flour, sugar, coconut and an optional pinch of salt. Melt the golden syrup and butter and add soda which has been dissolved in the boiling water , mix until frothy.

Add to dry ingredients and bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Makes 11" x 14" pan. Cut while WARM -- this is extremely important, or else you won't be able to cut them at all!

ANZAC BISCUITS From Mrs Anne Ferguson Of Goonellebah, New South Wales

Heather Ferguson writes (April 97) "Here is my mother's recipe for ANZAC biscuits which was much older than her, and used by her mother. It is a simpler recipe, without the coconut and nuts that some of the others have. She grew up in central northern Victoria, but now lives up near Lismore."

Mix well
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 Tbsp castor sugar

In a saucepan, melt
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp golden syrup
1 flat tspn bi-carbonate of soda

Add the melted mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Put dessertspoonfuls on to a cold greased slide or tray. Bake about 20 minutes at about 180°

Ros Mitchell's Anzac Biscuits

Cathie Martin writes (April 97) "I am an Aussie living in Canada. Dad used to make Anzac biscuits for us kids (I think that was the only thing he could cook!!), when we were small tykes growing up in Sydney, and I often get a craving for them over here in the cold north. I had one recipe, but I found that they turned out way too hard, and having written to mum, she came to the rescue with the following recipe. The secret ingredient is the Golden Syrup. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!"

1  cup of Rolled Oats                3/4 cup of Coconut
1 cup of sugar 1/2 cup of butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons boiling water 1 cup of plain flour

Mix oats, flour, sugar, and coconut together. Melt syrup and butter together. Mix soda with boiling water and add to melted butter and syrup. Add to dry ingredients. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture on greased tray. Bake in slow oven for 20 minutes.

A Tararua Biscuit Recipe, Again From Peter Porritt

There must be as many recipes for Tararua Biscuits as there are peaks in the Tararuas. Most of them contain rolled oats and some have reputations as jaw breakers! Here is another to add to the collection - wholesome, easy to make and packs well.

Yield:               50 biscuits
Weight: 1.1kg (2.5 lbs)
Home Preparation: 30 minutes
On Site Preparation: none

Ingredients for Tararua Biscuits

250g butter
1 1/2 cups (250g/10 oz) brown sugar
1/2 tin (200g/8 oz) condensed milk
2 cups (190g/7.5 oz) rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup (45g/2 oz) coconut

Options and Extras
* Add 1/2 cup (60g/2.5 oz) chopped nuts
* Add 1/2 cup (75g/3 oz) currants

Melt butter, sugar and condensed milk together in large pot. Add coconut, rolled oats and baking powder. Divide in half. Spread each half onto a greased tray - spread with a knife into 30 x 30cm square, keeping edges neat and straight. Repeat with other half.

Cook at 150deg Celsius (300deg F) for 10-15 minutes till golden brown. Cut each tray into 25 biscuits - 5x5. Gently loosen, move and leave on tray. To harden off - leave for another 5-10 minutes.

When completely cold, pack biscuits in day lots - number of biscuits depending on size of group.

* Above is recipe from a NZ outdoor cookbook for trampers