Apr 23, 2012

Guilty pleasure: Anzac Biscuits

One of my favourite guilty pleasures is an Anzac Biscuit. I love nothing more than dunking an Anzac in a fresh glass of milk. Mmmm.

So here’s some trivia about the good old Anzac bikkie just in time for ANZAC Day.

·       Anzacs are an iconic, delicious biscuit particularly famous amongst Australians and New Zealanders of all ages.

·       Different people like their Anzac Biscuits different ways. Some like them rock hard and tough to break, some like them softer and chewier. Others, in between. I think it’s reasonable to assume that the soliders on the front were enjoying their Anzac Biscuits rock-hard post-transport from Downunder. (I’m from camp chewy though I will dunk a hard Anzac rather than miss out on it).

·       ANZAC is a protected term in Australia and New Zealand and misuse (particularly for commercial purposes) is a major no-no. One exception is the Anzac Biscuit but only when it’s made to the traditional recipe. And only when it’s called a biscuit (never a cookie).

·       Reportedly, women Downunder sent their loved ones on the front Anzac biscuits because the ingredients lasted particularly well on the long journey from Aust/NZ. The biscuits were often packed into old billy-tea tins so that they were airtight for their long journey overseas.

·       The secret to a good, chewy Anzac Bikkie is the brown sugar.

·       Anzac ‘wafers’ (or ‘tile’) were a standard ration for soldiers at the front but that was more like a hard, tasteless, solid bread-substitute than a biscuit. So hard that some soldiers had to grind it down to make a porridge.

·       Not everyone packaged their Anzacs up and shipped them off to the front. Some women back home sold them locally and used the $$ raised to buy small treats/comforts for their fighting men

·       The RSL receives royalties from the commercial sale of most Anzac biscuits.

So there you go. A history lesson and a snack all in one. I’m not a cook and I’ve never made successful biscuits in my life, Anzacs included. But I do love to buy them. But if you wanted to have a crack at Anzac Biscuits this April 25th in honour of the many thousands of men lost at Gallipolli, try here .
Bake em, dunkem, eat em.



  1. Wicked post, Nikki. Yum!

    I have a fab recipe for ANZAC biscuits and I've made them more often than is good for the waistline. I'm in camp hard and dh is in camp chewy -- I just cook half the batch a little longer for that extra crunch. :-) They smell divine while cooking too...hmm, off to check the pantry for ingredients.

  2. I love ANZAC bickies! I prefer mine crunchie but chewy is just as good. I've always loved those crepe paper poppies, too. Think they went for 5 cents when I very young. Every kid at school had one pinned to their shirt.

    My husband goes to the dawn service every year because his dad used to take him. Now he takes our 9yo daughter along. The tradition continues =)

  3. My family loves ANZAC bikkies. So I make them all the time (even so, they still vary, sometimes crunchy, sometimes chewy).

    Dawn service is a tradition in our family (dh served for 12 years), although I haven't made it for the last few because of sick kids. This year looks like we'll all make it *touch wood*.

  4. I make an ANZAC slice - much softer and chewier because you don't get all the crisp edges. Yum!

  5. Michelle - send me the recipe or post it here, I'm always inspired around this time of year to try harder to make a good batch. Would love someone's tried'n'true recipe...

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  7. The danger, of course, Rach is that the more chewy and easily accessible it is the more you eat :)

    And now I have to go have one with a cuppa...

  8. Robbie - LOL that you swing both ways when it comes to Anzacs, like me. As long as it's yummy, right? And gorgeous about the special daddy-daughter time. That's special.

  9. Anita - Nice that Anzac Day is a big deal in your family and that your kids are growing up really respecting it.

    And EXTRA nice to know that even someone who makes them all the time struggles to get them just right. I'm feeling a smidge more vindicated for my failure to ever make them right.

  10. My Mother makes THE best ANZAC biscuits in the world. Not an idle boast.

  11. I'm making ANZAC biccies with the(ESOL)kids at school tomorrow and Thursday. New immigrants (to NZ) need to learn new traditions!!! :-) The kids take the recipe home and make them with their parents too - and they LOVE them. This year I have found 2 new recipes to try at home - ANZAC Blueberry Muffins AND Gooey Caramel ANZAC Slice. Mmmmm, my tummy's rumbling just thinking about them. They sound so-o-o good. (And I agree about the smell!) Here's to a special respectful ANZAC day - lest we forget!

  12. Fab post :) I love Anzac bikkies esp when they are crunchy. I'll definitely be making some this Wednesday :)

    BTW - my aunty used to make the best Anzac bikkies and when I have one they always remind me of her. Shame I don't have her recipe :(

  13. I love ANZAC bikkies, whether they're crunchy or chewy. It was always a bet on how my mum's turned out. Sometimes small and hard, other times huge and chewy joined together on the tray. Still tasted wonderful though.

  14. Nikki, wow, you know so much about Anzac biccies! I didn't know the RSL got a cut from commercial sales. I like the idea. Even better if it went to Legacy. Maybe it does. I'm looking forward to snacking on a few this week.

  15. Growing up my favourite thing about mum making ANZAC biscuits was eating the dough.....I think only half the quantity ever made it to the baking tray

  16. ANZAC Biscuits:

    1 cup plain flour
    1 cup rolled oats
    3/4 cup dessicated coconut
    3/4 cup castor sugar
    125g butter
    1 tbsp golden syrup
    1 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
    2 tbsp boiling water

    Method: preheat oven to slow (150C). Brush 2 oven trays with melted butter or oil. Combine flour, oats, coconut and sugar in large bowl. Combine butter and golden syrup in small pan, stir over high heat until melted. Mix soda with boiling water, add to melted butter. Add to flour mixture, stir until combined. Shape level tablespoons of mixture to balls and flatten slightly. Place on trays about 6cm apart. Bake 15-20 mins or until crisp and golden. Stand in trays for 2 mins. Loosen biscuits and cool on a wire rack.


    NB: The longer they're cooked the crunchier they'll be :-)