What are ANZAC Biscuits?

ANZAC Biscuits are classic, traditional Australian biscuits made on ANZAC Day (and any other day of the year). They were commonly sent to the troops in the First World War and are named after the soldiers. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

The ANZAC biscuit was called a variety of other names before 1915, and the current name came in to use after the battle on Gallipoli Beach in Turkey. The first version of this rolled-oat based biscuit reportedly appeared around 1823, and over the next century took on various names such as Surprise Biscuits,¬†Rolled Oat Biscuits, Munchies, Nutties and Crispies. Then around the early WWI years the name changed to Red Cross Biscuits and Soldier’s Biscuits. They were used as a form of fundraising, so they gave them a war connected name which helped sell them. The biscuits quickly became a popular food to send to Australia’s overseas forces, due to their accessible ingredients, easy cooking method, and lack of eggs that meant the biscuits kept well.

It is said that they were also known as Army Biscuit, ANZAC Wafer and ANZAC Tile, and were essentially a long shelf-life, hard tack biscuit which was eaten as a substitute for bread. The biscuits are very, very hard. Some soldiers preferred to grind them up and eat as porridge. They were made commercially from flour, sugar, milk powder and sugar.

Early on there was a home version of the ANZAC Biscuit that included eggs and that were sandwiched together with jam.

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Buttery Australian ANZAC Biscuits | Egg Free

Generally I use my Grandmother’s recipe for ANZAC Biscuits, but was curious about a recipe that increases the amount of coconut and butter. Other than that, the recipe is the same – a traditional one without the additions that the US variety of these “cookies” include. Good grief, USA, leave our beloved ANZAC biscuits alone.

The result of the slight alterations is a blonder biscuit, but otherwise a delightful one, perfect for a cuppa for afternoon tea on any day of the year. The biscuit is quite buttery with a definite coconut flavour.

It is the day after New Year, and it is likely to be one of my 2 or 3 baking efforts per year. I don’t have a sweet tooth, thankfully, and also do not use eggs in my recipes. Thus, the options for baking are limited on both accounts!

Originally, ANZAC Biscuits were made for the troops in the World Wars, and did not contain coconut (as it deteriorates rapidly, and possibly it was not readily available). The biscuits were “flat packed” for transport to the troops. Then, it seems, a little coconut was added to the recipe, and as times became easier, the amount of butter and coconut increased. Thus we have the buttery biscuits of today.

See this post for some notes about the use of bicarb soda in the recipes for ANZAC Biscuits. Don’t substitute the use of bicarbonate of soda with Self Raising Flour or Baking Powder, as its use is essential to the biscuit. The other essential element is Golden Syrup. There is no substitute, and this Australian ingredient gives these biscuits their beautiful caramelised taste.

You can read more about the history of ANZAC Biscuits here.

Similar recipes include Lemony Pepper Crackers, Tahini Biscuits, Australian Quick and Easy Date Slice, Scones, Oatmeal Crackers, and Traditional ANZAC Biscuits.

Browse all of our Biscuits, and explore our Mid Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Buttery Australian ANZAC Biscuits | Egg Free”

Traditional Australian ANZAC Biscuits – My Grandmother’s Recipe | Egg Free

Traditional and delicious, enjoy these ANZAC Biscuits.

On ANZAC day it is traditional to bake ANZAC biscuits. It creates a wonderful memory of childhood days past, of cooking dozens of dozens of biscuits on the old wood stove, of thin crisp crunchy ANZAC Biscuits more often than ANZAC Day comes around. I am a country girl, and these mega baking days were very common in our house when I was a child.

Don’t be fooled, this is a traditional recipe. None of those thick, soft biscuits that try to pass as ANZAC Biscuits can be found in this kitchen. No sultanas, raisins or other dried fruits in sight. Just thin ones that start on the tray as a lump, and gradually spread out and brown up nicely. Yep. Traditional. Just like my Grandmother made. With a cuppa tea, a good yarn and a wood fire.

Unlike many modern versions, particularly those made commercially or made to suit US tastes, this traditional ANZAC biscuit recipe produces flat, chewy biscuits tasting of caramel. Originally, in 1926, the ANZAC biscuits sent to the soldiers on the war fronts didn’t have coconut in them; that was a later addition, perhaps by the 1930s. These flat, chewy biscuits would pack easily and not crumble or break, and so could be transported easily to the soldiers.

You can read more about the history of ANZAC Biscuits here.

Similar recipes include Tahini Biscuits, Scones, Buttery ANZAC Biscuits, and Oatmeal Crackers.

Please also have a look at our other crackers and biscuit recipes too. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Traditional Australian ANZAC Biscuits – My Grandmother’s Recipe | Egg Free”