These are my personal favorite Australian treat. They aren't too sweet, have an amazing toffee like flavor, and a nice crunch. They pair very nicely with tea and coffee. And frankly I can't have them in the house because I'll eat them all!
So a brief history that I have researched and been told about.
The wives, mothers and girlfriends of soldiers in WW1 were concerned for the nutritional value of the food being supplied to their men. Here was a problem. Most had no refrigerated facilities, so any food sent had to be able to remain edible after periods in excess of two months. A body of women came up with the answer - a biscuit with all the nutritional values possible. The basis was a Scottish recipe using rolled oats which were used extensively in Scotland, especially for a heavy porridge that helped counteract the extremely cold climate.
The ingredients they used were rolled oats, sugar, plain flour, coconut, butter, golden syrup or treacle, bi-carbonate of soda and boiling water. All these items did not readily spoil. At first the biscuits were called Soldiers' Biscuits, but after the landing on Gallipoli, they were renamed ANZAC Biscuits.
A point of interest is the lack of eggs to bind the ANZAC biscuit mixture together. Because of the war, many of the poultry farmers had joined the services, thus eggs were scarce. The binding agent for the biscuits was golden syrup or treacle.
As the war drew on, many groups like the CWA (Country Women's Association), church committees, schools and other women's organisations devoted a great deal of time to the making of ANZAC biscuits. To ensure that the biscuits remained crisp, they were packed in used tins such as Billy Tea tins. The tins were airtight, thus no moisture in the atmosphere was able to soak into the biscuits and make them soft.
Now for the recipe! They are super easy to make, the trick is finding golden syrup to get that lovely toffee flavor, as it is not easily found in America unless you know where to look (or order), but it's no secret recipe.
▢ 1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
▢ 1 cup rolled oats
▢ 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
▢ 1/2 cup white sugar
▢ 150g / 5oz unsalted butter
▢ 4 tbsp golden syrup
▢ 1 tsp baking soda
Preheat the oven to 350. Line baking trays wirh parchment paper
Combine all dry ingredients
Melt butter and golden syrup over medium high heat
Add baking soda to butter mix stir to combine and turn off the heat. It will fix up and that's good!
Pour the butter mix in the flour mix and stir until just combined
Roll tablespoon balls, flatten, and place an inch apart.
Bake 15 min, turning halfway, until golden brown
Remove from oven, put on cooling racks. They will harden as they cool!
Store in an airtight container to keep hard
Now if you don't want to find golden syrup, or not much of a baker, come get some cookies from Sheila's! Everyone that has tried them say "wow!"
Stay tuned for another recipe
Credit to anzacday.org.au for the history lesson!