While I was in Sydney, I was introduced to a wonderful little cookie called the Anzac biscuit. The cookies are an Australian tradition and are associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) because they do not spoil easily and were able to be sent to soldiers abroad during World War I. I was happy to sample some while I was in Sydney and could not resist baking a batch when I got home.
Along with these cookies, I thought I would add in a few highlights from my time in Australia and share some non-food photos for the first time. So before I go on about the Anzac biscuits and share the recipe, here is a little recap of what I loved most about my trip:
Sydney itself – Over my three week visit I really fell in love with Sydney. With great sites, beautiful waterfront, good food, and lovely people, it is now on my list of favorite cities.
Seeing Australian wildlife – I am an animal lover, so of course I loved all the wildlife. My favorites were the ibis birds in Sydney, the cockatoos on Hamilton Island, everything I saw at the Great Barrier Reef, and the koalas at the Taronga zoo.
A weekend trip to Hamilton Island and the Great Barrier Reef – Hamilton Island is part of the Whitsunday Islands, a group of islands off the coast of Queensland, Australia, which for the most part are untouched, undeveloped, and therefore incredibly beautiful. I will always remember visiting Whitehaven Beach (it is absolutely stunning), snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, and seeing the reef from above in a helicopter.
Meeting Amanda, the blogger of Chew Town – When I found out I was going to Sydney, I instantly thought, “Hey, I follow a food blogger that lives there.” I reached out to Amanda for some foodie advice and not only did she send me a list of recommendations, but she also took me out to lunch. Could she be any sweeter? We had a great time talking about blogging, food, and Sydney and I’m so happy we met. If you haven’t seen her blog, Chew Town, I suggest you take a look. Her food and her photos are amazing.
All the good food – Thanks to Amanda’s list and a hefty use of Urbanspoon, I ate really well on this trip. I will always remember the fresh seafood, quality Australian beef, authentic Asian cuisine, good coffee, and good wine that I had in Sydney.
I could go on and on about my trip in greater detail, but those are the things that really stand out as the highlights for me. So if I haven’t lost your attention yet, I will get back to what this post is really supposed to be about–the Anzac biscuits.
Much like there are many versions of chocolate chip cookies, there are also many versions of Anzac Biscuits. The basic ingredients are all the same (flour, oats, coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup, and baking soda) but the amounts seem to differ slightly from recipe to recipe. From what I have gathered, it’s all about personal preference–some like their Anzac biscuits nice and crunchy, while others prefer them soft and chewy.
In my haze of jet lag, I couldn’t bear to do any measurement conversions or follow any one recipe, so I whipped up this version after reading several different recipes online. My recipe yields an Anzac biscuit that is chewy in the center and slightly crispy on the edges. I would eventually like to replicate the super crunchy ones that I had at a coffee shop in Sydney, but alas, that will have to wait for another day.
Golden syrup is a classic ingredient in these cookies, but can be difficult to find here in the U.S. I bought a bottle of it while I was in Sydney, but you can order it online if you have trouble hunting it down in stores.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut or unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, coconut, sugar, and salt and set aside.
In a small saucepan melt the butter, then add the golden syrup and stir to combine. Place the 2 tablespoons of boiling water into a small bowl, stir in the baking soda, and then stir that into the melted butter mixture. Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets with a small cookie scoop, about a tablespoon or so of batter per cookie. The cookies will spread so leave some space between them (I fit 12 cookies per baking sheet). Bake for about 7 to 9 minutes until lightly browned. The cookies will go from browned to burnt quickly, so watch them carefully. Cool for 10 minutes on the pan before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen small cookies.