The humble Anzac biscuit is an important commemoration to the soldiers who fought (and continue to fight) bravely for our freedom, but there is a lot more to these chewy golden morsels than meets the eye.
For one thing, did you know that there are strict rules that need to be followed in order for you to call your creation an Anzac biscuit? According to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, any recipe that claims to be an Anzac biscuit must “not substantially deviate from the traditional recipe and shape,” and cannot call them ‘Anzac cookies’.
A true Anzac biscuit is also made using golden syrup as the binding agent, not eggs. This approach was taken with the original wartime recipe for two reasons: one, any recipe that used eggs wouldn’t last the months-long journey from Australia and New Zealand to overseas soldiers; and two, many of the chicken farmers were serving, meaning a nationwide egg shortage.
So, with all that in mind, we’ve pitted three Aussie chefs against each other to see who can make the best Anzac biccy. Who will win: Maggie Beer, Curtis Stone or Hayden Quinn? We’ll let you decide!
Maggie Beer’s Anzac biscuits
Maggie Beer’s recipe pays tribute to the iconic Australian biscuit, with an extra addition of lemon rind for sweetness balance.
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- ¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 lemon zested
- 125g butter melted
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 tbsp verjuice
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Mix the flour, rolled oats, coconut, brown sugar and lemon zest in a medium bowl.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter with golden syrup and Verjuice. Once butter has melted bring the mixture to a simmer before adding the bicarb soda. Stir to completely dissolve.
- Add the hot butter and sugar mix to the dry ingredients and fold through.
- Roll mixture into even sized balls and place onto a lined baking tray, leaving 2 – 3 cm between each biscuit. Using your fingers, squash to flatten slightly.
- Place into preheated oven and bake for 18 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Curtis Stone’s Anzac Biscuits
“Chefs love to riff on familiar favourites,” says Curtis. “My Anzac biscuit recipe honours traditional recipes but this one is nice and buttery and adds a bit of chew… so ideal flavour and texture to help set it apart.”
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ¾ cup unsweetened shredded desiccated coconut
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 185g unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 tbsp boiling water
- 1 ½ tsp bicarb soda
- Position racks in the top third and centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 150°C. Line two large (45 × 33 × 2.5 cm) heavy, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the oats, coconut, flour, and sugar to combine.
- In a medium heavy saucepan, stir the butter and syrup over low heat until the butter is melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat. In a small bowl, stir the water and bicarbonate soda together, and stir into the butter mixture. Stir into the flour mixture.
- Using 1 tablespoon dough for each cookie, drop 12 mounds of dough onto each baking sheet, spacing them evenly. Do not crowd the biscuits, as they will spread considerably.
- Bake the biscuits, switching the positions of the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the biscuits to wire racks and let cool completely. The biscuits will become slightly crisp and chewy once cooled. Repeat with the remaining dough, being sure that the baking sheets are completely cooled before adding the dough. The biscuits can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to five days.
Hayden Quinn’s Anzac Biscuits
Hayden’s favourite 100-year-old recipe was created by Uncle Toby’s Oats and is approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- 1 ¼ cups of plain flour, sifted
- 1 cup UNCLE TOBYS Traditional Rolled Oats
- ½ cup caster sugar
- ¾ cup desiccated coconut
- 150g unsalted butter, chopped
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 1½ tablespoons boiling water
- ½ teaspoon bicarb soda
- Preheat oven to 170°C.
- Place the flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- In a small saucepan place the golden syrup and butter and stir over low heat until the butter has fully melted.
- Mix the bicarb soda with 1½ tablespoons boiling water and add to the golden syrup mixture. It will bubble whilst you are stirring together so remove from the heat.
- Pour into the dry ingredients and mix together until fully combined. Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper, pressing down on the tops to flatten slightly.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.