ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand; it is a day to remember and honor those who died while serving their military operations during World War I. During the war, it is believed that these sweet, oat-filled, coconut-flavoured biscuits were sent by wives to their husbands serving in the military overseas because the ingredients of these biscuits do not spoil easily, and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. As such, a close relation is draw between these biscuits and the ANZAC.
If only History in school was as simple as the story behind these biscuits.
Although I am not living in Australia now, I decided to bake some ANZAC biscuits -- gluten-free and vegan, as usual -- because I was supposed to meet some of my friends who used to live in Australia. Because I am still nursing a cold and a bad throat, I didn’t have any of those cookies. Thankfully, my three friends seemed to have enjoyed it; they finished up ALL the cookies that I brought them, and couldn’t even tell that it was gluten-free and vegan – I was a proud baker :)
While these biscuits may be called ANZAC biscuits, the fact of the matter is that you can make them any time! I think it will be pretty awesome with some cinnamon or citrus zest added to the mixture too!
Adapted from Ooh Look
Makes about 24
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour / GF flour mix
1/4 tsp xanthan gum (Note required for plain flour. Only for GF flour mix)*
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
2/3 cup brown sugar
125g (4oz) butter / dairy-free butter
2 tbsp golden syrup / honey
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp boiling water
- Preheat oven to 150C/300F. Line baking tray with baking sheet; grease.
- Sift flour in a large bowl; mix sifted flour, oats, coconut and brown sugar.
- Over low heat, combine butter and golden syrup (or honey) in a saucepan until it is melted. Mix the baking soda with boiling water and add to the butter mixture.
- Add the butter mixture into the oat mixture and stir using spoon, or with your hands (I used my hands, so that it will be evenly mixed).
- Roll teaspoon of biscuit mixture into balls, place on baking tray, and flatten the balls gently with a fork. Do leave some room for spreading.**
- Bake for 15-20 minutes (mine took 17 mins) or until biscuits are golden brown. Allow biscuit to cool slightly on trays before transferring to a wire rack.
- Store in air-tight container. Enjoy!
*Gluten-free: Check if your Gluten-Free flour mix contains xanthan gum. If it already does, you can omit the 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to add in the 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum.
Vegan : Use golden syrup instead of honey.
**If you prefer chewier biscuits/cookies (like me), flatten the balls only slightly. Flatter biscuits/cookies will require a shorter baking time. Approximately 12 - 17 mins.
Did you like History as a subject in school?