Origins of the ANZAC Biscuit

For over 100 years, the buttery, sweet, and crispy taste of ANZAC biscuits has become a national ANZAC Day tradition. But how did the ANZAC biscuit originate?

In a time where eggs and other supplies were short, ANZAC biscuits inventively blended a simple combination of rolled oats, flour, sugar, coconut, and butter. Yet, this accessible ingredient list and uncomplicated baking methods did more than just ration ingredients. The biscuit’s lack of eggs made it a great option for preservation, allowing ANZAC biscuits to remain edible and nutritious for long periods of time without refrigeration.

Primarily though, the biscuits were also used by friends, family, and community groups to fundraise. They were sold and consumed in galas, parades, and other public events. During this time, ANZAC biscuits were not known by their current commemorative name. Their humble beginning was instead defined by terms such as “Surprise Biscuits” and “Crispies”.  It was these fundraising events that started names like “Red Cross Biscuits” and “Soldiers’ biscuits” to increase the biscuits’ fundraising sell-ability, eventually transforming into the ANZAC biscuit we know and love today.

ANZAC Biscuit Recipe (RSL Australia) – https://lightupthedawn.com.au/blog/ANZAC-Biscuits

1 cup plain flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup desiccated coconut

1 cup brown sugar

125g butter

1 tbsp golden syrup

1 tbsp hot water

1 tsp bicarb soda

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

Combine the flour, oats, coconut and sugar in a large bowl. In a saucepan, melt the butter and then add the golden syrup. Bring it to the boil before removing it from the stove.

Mix the hot water and bicarb soda and add it to the butter and syrup – it should froth up. Pour this into the dry ingredients and stir together. If the mixture is a little dry, add some water.

Taking spoonfuls of the mixture, roll them into balls and put them on a greased baking tray, about 5cm apart. Use a fork to flatten them and then put them in the oven for 15 minutes or until they’re golden brown.

Let them cool on the baking tray for about a minute, and then move them to a wire rack to cool properly.

We are happy to have celebrated another great ANZAC day, honoring the courage and sacrifice of our Australian and New Zealand soldiers. Whilst physical sales from the ANZAC Street Appeal did not take place this year due to COVID-19, we welcome you to show your support online. Donate Here.

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