Not Just Any Cookie - The Story of the Anzac Biscuit
The story goes... a square of baked oats with coconut and syrup made its way to the Australian and New Zealand troops in Gallipoli as part of their rations in World War I. Soon itadoptedthe name of the battalion and was dubbed the ANZAC biscuit.
The original biscuit was used as a replacement for bread in the rations, as it was made without egg or milk so it wouldn’t spoil. It was often referred to as the ANZAC tile, or wafer by the soldiers, and was often so hard it would break your teeth. They were so renowned for their sturdiness that it was often joked they could be passed down generation to generation as keepsakes.
A later recipe was created by the wives of the soldiers to send to their husbands and loved ones, which was closer to the chewy biscuit we know today. These new versions of the treats were sold at fetes and parades to raise money for the war effort and support of the troops as soldier’s biscuits.
While we don’t pass down the original tiles, family recipes of ANZAC biscuits are shared generation to generation as we remember the ones who volunteered for our nation. This year we will remember them in a new way, but some traditions will always remain in sharing a batch of ANZAC biscuits with your family and your neighbors (safely). Here’s a family recipe of ours that we’d like to share with you.
Nana’s Soldiers Biscuits
Ingredients ½ cup Flour ½ cup Sugar ½ cup Rolled Oats ½ cup Coconut 1 dessert spoon of golden syrup 1 tablespoon of water 1 teaspoon of bi-carb soda 1 tablespoon of butter Method:
1. Mix flour, coconut, sugar, and rolled oats together in a bowl.
2. In a saucepan, bring the butter, syrup and water to a boil.
3. Stir in the bi-carb soda to the butter mixture, and when frothy add to dry ingredients and mix into a stiff mixture.
4. Roll the mixture into small balls and place onto a greased tray. Press each one down with a fork.
5. Bake at 160 degrees until golden brown.
6. Once they are cold, store in an airtight jar.
The term ANZAC is protected under Australian law and cannot be used in Australia without permission from the Minister for Veteran Affairs. Misuse of the term ANZAC for commercial purposes can be legally enforced.
New Zealand law has similar restrictions on naming.
Generally, there is an exemption granted for Anzac biscuits, as long as the biscuits remain basically true to the original recipe and are both referred to and sold as ANZAC biscuits and never as cookies!