ANZAC Biscuits

Hello, Wayne aka the Mad Food Scientist here. 
Today’s post is about an oldie, but a goodie. The famous ANZAC Biscuit. What’s an ANZAC you ask? ANZAC is an acronym for the Austrailia New Zealand Army Corps. This force was originally stood up during World War I and again in World War II. The ANZAC’s are most remembered for the failed Allied attack on Galipoli during World War I. The ANZAC biscuit recipe originated during World War I too. This simple, hearty treat was made by family members of ANZAC’s. This sturdy biscuit ( Americans think cookies ). These inexpensive biscuits, or bickies, had to be robust to stand up to being shipped across the globe to the ANZAC’s. I had come across a video on YouTube about ANZAC biscuits. That piqued my interest so I went looking for a recipe because I couldn’t find the YouTube video again.  Now, sadly, I cannot lay mental fingers on where I found this recipe. However, there’s recipes all over the internet. This is the one that I copied down, but failed to copy the URL to. A lesson, now learned…

*  1 cup quick cooking oats
*   ¾ cup flaked coconut
*  1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda ( 3 tsp baking powder )
* 1 cup white sugar 
* ½ cup butter
* 1 tablespoon golden syrup
* 2 tablespoons boiling water

1. Mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut together.
2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the syrup and butter together. Mix the soda and the boiling water and add to the melted butter and syrup.
3. Add butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Drop by teaspoons on greased cookie sheets (or baking paper).
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 18 to 20 minutes

LAB NOTES: 06 May, 2023
   90g  Old Fashioned oats*
   60g Sunflower seeds, toasted (An addition I chose )
   45g  flaked coconut
 125g  all-purpose flour
 114g  Butter or Vegan butter* 
 105g Turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda.  ( 1 TBSP baking powder )
1 TBSP Golden, Corn, or rich simple syrup* 
2 TBSP  boiling water

 1.)   Mix oats, flour, sugar, sunflower seeds, baking powder, and coconut together.
 2.)   In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the syrup and butter together. Mix the soda and the boiling water and add to the melted butter and syrup.
3.)   Add butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Drop by teaspoons on greased cookie sheets (or baking paper).
4.)   Bake at 175C/350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 18 to 20 minutes
 For fan assisted ovens reduce by twenty degrees so 165.5C/330F 

The first thing I did was to convert what measurements that I am able to into metric. I do this because metric allows me to be more precise when cooking/baking. The next thing I did was to set the butter, or vegan butter on the counter to let it soften a bit. I’ve made these bickies with both butter and vegan butter. Then I weighed out the sunflower seeds and toasted them up, they can also be used untoasted. However, toasting the sunflower seeds really ups the nutty flavour of the end product. I chose to add sunflower seeds to the dough for that very reason. While the sunflower seeds were cooling a bit, I weighed out the flours, yes flours plural. I chose to split the flour half and half with All Purpose flour and Whole Wheat flour. It isn’t necessary, but I choose to do this. I put the 1 TBSP of baking powder in, now the reason for a TBSP of it is the usual substitution rate 3:1. In other words three times the baking powder to the amount of baking soda. The reason that I differ from the original recipe and put the baking powder in the dry ingredients is to concentrate the lift from the leavening agent in the dough, rather than in the wet ingredients. Then I tared the scale and weighed the turbinado sugar. You’ll notice that I’m only using half the amount of sugar called for in the original recipe, the reason for this is that using the full amount of turbinado sugar made the biscuits too sweet, nearly sickeningly so.  Next came the coconut. Lastly, in went the old fashioned rolled oats. I don’t keep quick oats in the house, so I used the ones that I had on hand.  Once all the dry ingredients were in the bowl I whisked them to combine.

Dry ingredients.

I set the bowl aside and grabbed my small saucepan and weighed in the vegan butter version III ( Another future post ), I put in the rich simple syrup and the boiling water. A side note: I used the rich simple syrup because I’d used up the corn syrup I had on hand and because it lends a nicer flavour to the biscuits.

Wet ingredients.

I heated the butter mixture until the butter melted and poured the mixture into  the dry ingredients and began mixing everything together with the handle of one of my wooden spoons. I might be a mad food scientist, but I’m not mad enough to put my hands in a dough that just had a very hot mixture added to it. When all the dry ingredients were wetted.

Ready to spoon drop

I pre-heated my airfryer to 165.5C/330F and set the timer for 18 minutes. Then I lined some baking sheets with parchment paper and spoon dropped blobs of the biscuit dough onto the parchment paper. The first tray was done in due time, they looked fantastic and smelled even better. While they cooled, I baked off the last tray. Let these cool before trying to eat them. 

These historic tasty treats are quick, easy, and fairly inexpensive to make. They’re great any time, but I find myself eating them as my breakfast with a cuppa coffee. I’ve also made these with raisins as well. I didn’t measure, I just threw some in. However, based on the results that I received when I soaked raisins in tea for Raisin Irish Soda Bread ( A future post ), I plan on trying  making ANZAC biscuits with soaked raisins next time.
Please do give these historic biscuits a try. 

Keep Safe!