As a human being, I have a natural affinity for anything with an Australian or Kiwi accent. And that still (albeit loosely) applies in the case of these bad-boys: ANZAC biscuits. The ANZACs, standing for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, were made and sent to soldiers during the war because, made without eggs, they kept really well. And so of course, I was tempted to try them without using any dairy, so our vegan friends wouldn’t miss out.
Anyway, anzac biscuits: what are they? They’re essentially biscuits made with oats, coconut and golden syrup. Crisp on the outside, chewy in the middle. Sweet, fragrant* and moreish.
*(We say “heung” (香) in Cantonese, which describes the kind of fragrant taste of something. I don’t think there’s a word in English that has quite the same meaning but what I mean is the subtle natural flavour of an ingredient that comes through with every bite, in this case the coconut-y and slightly rich syrup-y flavour, of the biscuit).
So here’s my version of the biscuit. The ones in the pictures feature dried cranberries and white chocolate but I prefer them without chocolate, with just raisins or even better, plain!
Makes 18 small biscuits
- 45 g rolled oats
- 75 g plain flour
- 30 g dessicated coconut
- 90 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 60 g butter (or dairy-free spread)
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp boiling water
- (15 g dried cranberries + 15 g white chocolate chips minus 10 g caster sugar)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C.
- Line a large tray with greaseproof.
- Medium sized bowl – mix flour, sugar, coconut, cranberries and chocolate.
- Small (non-flat/deepish) saucepan – melt butter and syrup over a high heat.
- Mix the bicarb and the water in a mug making sure it’s dissolved.
- Pour into the hot butter mixture and remove pan from the heat as it froths up a bit.
- Roll into small balls (about a heaped teaspoonful of mixture) so they don’t fall apart – they also don’t need to be packed tightly.
- Place 9 balls far apart from one another (roughly 10 cm) because they will spread!
- Lightly press them down with a fork so there’s barely a dent in them – just to encourage them a bit.
- Bake for 10 – 14 minutes. Check on them at 10 minutes and keep an eye on them as they change pretty quickly. You’re looking for golden but a little paler in the middle.
- Leave them to cool so you get that crispy-chewy texture..
- I can’t stress enough how good these taste without anything else in them! Really recommend trying them plain and then add anything you like if you feel like something’s missing.
- If you prefer them less crispy, more moist and more substantial in the middle, skip out Step 9 or simply make them a little bigger. A tablespoonful of mixture would need about 15 minutes.
- Replace the butter for a dairy-free spread to make them vegan-friendly!