This year commemorates 100 years of ANZAC spirit, I like to think that each such biscuit represents an ANZAC – meaning they will never be forgotten as long as we make & bake these biscuits.
The term ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) is protected under Australian law and cannot be used in Australia without permission from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. The misuse of Anzac can be legally enforced. New Zealand law has similar restrictions.
However, an exemption has been granted for Anzac Biscuits, providing they remain true to the original recipe and are never referred to as “cookies”.
There is some contention whether Anzac biscuits were invented in Australia or New Zealand, a bit like whether Pavlova originates from Australia or New Zealand and that is a debate I’m not about to enter 😉 What is interesting about their origin though…
Anzac biscuits actually predate the Gallipoli landing and were initially known as Soldiers’ Biscuits but after Gallipoli they were renamed as Anzac Biscuits. It is thought they were brought about by a resourceful group of women who were concerned about the nutritional content of their soldiers’ diet and lack of home comfort food at the war front.
Anzac Biscuits should not be confused with Anzac tiles or wafers. These were pretty unpalatable bread substitutions, usually ground into a porridge given to Australian soldiers – probably the reason the women folk back home rallied to organise something more palatable for their men.
The biscuit had to be something that would not spoil easily, could be easily packaged and which would last the long sea voyage without refrigeration. Eggs could not feature on the ingredient list either, because apart from spoilage issues they were also pretty scarce as most poultry farmers had enlisted to go to the war.
Anzac biscuits are easy to make, you don’t need any machinery to make them, just a little bit of elbow grease. The CWA (Country Women’s Association) made lots of Anzac Biscuits to help the war effort, and I find that their recipe is usually the best as it is simple and to the point and I believe they would have been pretty much in the forefront in the development of this recipe.
So in the name of the ANZAC Spirit let us all make some and dedicate them to our brave ANZACs
The following recipe is from my: The CWA Cookery Book and Household Hints 38th edition
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 125 g melted butter
- 1 tblsp golden syrup or treacle
- 1 cup dessicated coconut
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 level tsp bicarbonate soda
- 2 tblsp boiling water
Mix all dry ingredients together, pour in meted butter, add soda and syrup dissolved in boiling water, and mix well. Drop in small pieces on oven tray (tip: I use an ice-cream scoop for portion size) and bake in a moderate oven (175C) oven for approximately 20 minutes.