ANZAC biscuits. Cookies from down under.

Are you also obsessed with foreign supermarkets? When I came to New Zealand 3 years ago, I spent hours in the supermarket, inspecting every row and wondering about many products, looking desperately for others. And of course buying quite a lot to try them out. And everywhere around NZ you will find ANZAC cookies next to the well-known classics like chocolate chip and oatmeal-raisin cookies. After wondering and reading the package, I found out that these cookies were originally sent from families to members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) abroad. I guess they were made without eggs so that they would keep better when being sent halfway around the globe. But nowadays you can make vegan cookies by substituting the butter with a good margarine. 

These cookies are a bit on the hard side, so don’t give them to your granny. Unless of course you don’t mind dipping them into hot coffee or tea. Oh, and by the way: tomorrow (25. April) is ANZAC day!

adapted from Lottie + Doof

1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 cup shredded dried coconut
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 untreated lemon or orange, just the zest (optional)
100 g / 1 stick butter, melted (or good quality margarine for vegan cookies)
2 tablespoons honey or golden, rice or maple syrup
1 tablespoon boiling water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate/natron)

Preheat your oven to 190°C / 375°F, as this recipe is really quick.

Grab a big mixing bowl and fill in the flour, the coconut and the oats. 

Add the sugar, the lemon or orange zest if you like – and don’t forget the salt! Mix all the dry stuff together.

It sounds a bit crazy, but sweet stuff tastes better with a little bit of salt – and salty stuff tastes better with a little bit of sugar. Think of tomato sauce: a little bit of sugar makes a huge difference.

Melt the butter together with the honey or syrup. Be gentle, don’t let it cook or burn. You just want it liquid, not boiling.

Dissolve the baking soda in a tablespoon of hot water. Then mix it with the melted butter. It will foam up a bit, nothing to worry about.

Now you can pour the butter mixture into the dry mixture. Mix it with your favorite tool – mine being an old wooden spoon.

Now try if you have a good consistency. You want a crumbly mixture that will somehow hold its shape when you press it together. If it doesn’t yet keep together, add a bit more melted butter – not water, as they would become terribly hard and impossible to bite through.

I like to form the cookies with my measuring tablespoon, so that they are all round and have about the same size. You can also use a disher / ice cream scoop or simply roll balls with 1.5 inch / 4 cm diameter to make much bigger cookies.

For baking, you will have to set them at least an inch / 3 cm apart. Here, they are much too close because I froze them and bagged / labeled them as soon as they were solid. There’s no need to do that, but I find that this recipe makes much too many cookies for 2 persons to eat. That’s why I like to make a full – or even double – batch and freeze most of it. But you go ahead and bake it all.

So for baking, set them a bit apart on parchment paper or on a silicone mat and pop them in the oven for 15 minutes.

Get them out of the oven and let them cool. Eat them alongside your favorite caffeinated hot beverage.

3 thoughts on “ANZAC biscuits. Cookies from down under.”

  1. Great minds think alike! I do believe the zest adds a little something extra. Yours are such perfect round cookies not like mine all squished onto the tray ;o) or did I mean rustic!

  2. Great job! I made them quite a while ago, but without the shredded coconut, as I do not like that flavour. But yours look not only tasty but beautiful!

  3. Thanks for the comments!
    Actually, I’m not a big fan of coconut either, but I think the oats even it out… Thanks for saying the cookies look nice! At that time, I was more concerned about having them all the same size, so it seemed like a good idea to use a measuring spoon.

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