ANZAC Biscuits

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If you stick around here long enough you are bound to hear me raving about my favorite Chicago bakery- Floriole. Floriole never ceases to amaze me with the quality seasonal baked goods they produce.  My most recent discovery was a small oat and coconut cookie that the Floriole folks fondly referred to as Scooby snacks. They are like small bits of the butteriest soft granola bar you can imagine. As I sat eating my second Scooby snack of the evening I emailed Sandra at Floriole to tell her I was once again impressed. She explained that the cookie I was eating was an adaptation of an ANZAC biscuit and my quest to make my own version of these sweet cookies began.

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Some rudimentary internet research taught me that the biscuits are associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) and perhaps were popular with soldiers because they transport and keep well. There were a bunch of recipes online and plenty of arguing over what constituted a traditional ANZAC (crispy-not soft and golden syrup-not honey) . I wasn’t so concerned with tradition- I wanted to make a cookie that would satisfy my oat-coconut cravings when I couldn’t get to the market to buy some. The recipe I arrived at could not be easier. The dough takes about 5 minutes to put together and 15 minutes to bake. Pretty ideal for a weeknight. I would also like to make the argument for these being healthy: whole wheat flour, oats, coconut, sugar, butter—okay, I lose the argument. But they aren’t so bad as far as baked goods go and they taste so good, the slightly crunchy exterior gives may to a rich and chewy center. Send some to a friend living far away— if any of the lore is true they should get there in good condition and your friend will be very, very pleased.

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ANZAC Biscuits

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 2 tablespoons mild-flavored honey
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, coconut, sugars, and salt and set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat melt the butter with the honey and remove from heat. Combine the boiling water and baking soda in a small bowl to dissolve the baking soda. Pour the water and baking soda into the butter mixture and stir to combine. Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.

Use a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop to mold each cookie by packing dough into ice cream scoop and then turning out onto cookie sheet. (alternately, you could simply form 1 1/2-inch balls of the dough) Place cookies 1-inch apart on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 18 cookies.

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31 comments to “ANZAC Biscuits”

  1. These seemed to transport well from your apartment upstairs to my car downstairs this morning. What a delightful way to start my morning. Way to bribe me to drive you to the farmer’s market more often. it worked. next week? same time same place?

  2. How perfect…I have every one of those ingredients sitting in my kitchen waiting to be used! Nevermind that I also have loads of vegetables sitting around…cookies are far more appealing.

  3. They must be pretty easy—I get home ten minutes late from work and there’s a whole tray of cookies waiting for me! Go, New Zealand. Maybe we should each bring them to work and see how well they transport via interoffice mail.

  4. The flakey layers of oats are making my mouth water! These sound simple and delicious.

  5. My Australian friends introduced me to Anzac biscuits. Yours look much more moist and flaky. Theirs were a little more like what the soldiers ate, I think.

  6. Karin: Deal.
    Laura: Cookies always win over vegetables!

  7. I’m a huge fan of Floriole bakery as well, they are definitely one of my favorite stops at the Green City marke! These cookies look so good, I’ll have to try making them!

  8. Yay Floriole lovers! I think they usually sell the Scooby snacks at the MCA Farmers Market. Not sure if they ever make it to Green City…

  9. My Mother offered me an Anzac she’d made with a cup of tea just yesterday afternoon whilst I was on the verandah here in Brisbane, Australia painting away happily! Yours do look fab…I tell you, they vary a great deal depending on the cook …its not just the recipe, but the day, how long in the oven…all that! And then there’s the shape…yours are so lovely looking…but I quite like the curious phenomenon of Australian mothers in a rush hurriedly lining up lots of dough on trays which come out of the oven kind of formed into odd shaped square biscuits (our name for cookies)that have merged into each other and have to be cut to separate! I’ve had a lot of these in my time and there’s much nostalgia in this deviant variety for me. The story behind this cookie/ biscuit for us in OZ & NZ is a poignant one. One of Mel Gibson’s early films ‘Gallipoli’ refers to one of the saddest times in our Military history in WWI. So the Anzac holds a very special place in our hearts!

  10. Floriole is a GCM fave. If you focus on volume of “good” ingredients these certainly fall within my definition of healthy snack food. ;)

  11. Sophie: Thanks for the thoughtful comment and for sharing the information.

  12. The lore is true, these are my husband’s platoon’s favorite cookies. I sent him two dozen for his birthday and he got just one before everyone else gobbled them up. It took 11 days for them to get there (ziploc vacuum bags). Can’t wait to try yours, always like using whole wheat in deserts, but use golden syrup instead of honey if you can find it!!

  13. oh my. these look so good! but i’m not sure i should thank you for posting the recipe. as if i need another cookie to obsess about! i’ll just have to try them…

  14. I am obsessed with Floriole. I bet they can’t bring the Scooby Snacks at GCM because the coconut isn’t “local” but I love their oatmeal raisin cookies.

  15. I made them! Mine weren’t as puffy as yours, but they were GOOD.

  16. great! glad to hear it.

  17. emma-kate says:

    August 7th, 2009 at 3:37 am

    anzac biscuits are my favourite! (i’m from south africa, here cookies = biscuits) i made a double batch wednesday evening and they’re almost gone already…oops

  18. I made them yesterday & boy am I glad I did. They are fantastic!! Mine look just like yours and the texture is soft yet a little chewy from the oats and the coconut…just what I look for in a cookie. My 16 year old son, Collin, asked me, “What did you say they’re called?” When I told him ANZAC biscuits, he said, “Do you know what ANZAC is?” And I told him, “Yeah, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.” He said, “No, mom, it’s the name of the guild I used to belong to in World of Warcraft!” He played online with some players from New Zealand. Anyway, thanks for the great recipe. He and my husband love them, and my son doesn’t even like coconut.

  19. Andilynn: so funny that World of Warcraft is involved! Glad you guys liked them as much as I do…

  20. My weekend obsession is a cappucino and large anzac biscuit at my local cafe. These are honestly the best ANZAC’s I’ve ever tasted (this is a grand statement considering ANZACs are traditional fare here in New Zealand). I think that the secret ingedient is dried cranberries…Mmmm

  21. tasty recipe, but my bloody oven is a real pain – their surface began to brown up far too quickly, i had to take them out early to avoid burning.

    good job with the recipe from another australian who has eaten many, many anzac bikkies.

  22. Made these yesterday and OMG are they good!

  23. You not only have one big fan (me), but EIGHT lovers of these tasty biscuits. I made them the other day while at the beach with a houseful of family members…and all of them couldn’t get enough of these cookies. 10 out of 10. Love the chewiness of the coconut and oats, the butter (say no more) and the honey is a delicious touch. I may jsut have to make these for my next supperclub – thank you!

  24. Melissa Dickey says:

    August 19th, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Hello! These are wonderful cookies! I have made them twice for my coworkers and my husband’s. I have noticed that I’m having trouble with the dough though, it just won’t stick together very well! Any suggestions?

  25. Melissa Dickey says:

    August 19th, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Mm, yes. Just add some water. I’m having one of those nights. *SIgh*

  26. Lauren: So glad you liked them, thanks for letting me know.
    Melissa: I was packing the dough into the ice cream scoop in order to get it to stick together. Worked okay for me so maybe give that a try…

  27. hi tim,
    i am not much of a baker or a cook but i absolutely adore your blog, and this entry in particular compelled me to pick up shredded coconut from the store and roll up my sleeves. i had trouble getting the dough to stick so i tried putting a teensy bit of applesauce in there, that helped. they are deliiiicious, thank you so much of all the pretty/yummy inspiration! <3

  28. glad you enjoyed them! thanks for letting us know…

  29. i think they’re healthy; coconut’s good for you. my boy can tell you all about how dessicated coconut is made. hehehe. why don’t YOU test out the ANZAC theory and send ME some.

  30. do i sound pushy? don’t mean to. i’m just excited about cookies! yummy!

  31. These cookies are the solution to so many of life’s problems … like wanting to wash just one cookie sheet, being too lazy to get out the mixer, and never having chocolate chips on hand.

    My apartment considers these cookies the perfect main dish for any meal.
    (We’re working on healthier habits. Not too hard, obviously).

What do you think?