ANZAC Biscuits Recipe

Delightfully chewy and crisp, these ANZAC are my new favorite thing. I’ve noted on several posts recently different ‘crushes’ I’m having for people and blogs. Well folks, I’ve got to say that the ANZAC biscuit is my new food crush.

Although there is some debate about whether the biscuit originated in New Zealand or Australia, the name ‘ANZAC’ is the abbreviation for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. It is believed that the biscuits were created during World War I as an easy to pack and ship biscuit to those fighting overseas.

Australia and New Zealand celebrate ANZAC Day on April 25 as a memorial to the military who entered into World Word I battle on this day. ANZAC biscuits are especially popular at this time of year. Since I know of a few Australian readers of my blog, I hope they can weigh in on their ANZAC biscuit experiences.

I wish I could say I was worldly enough to have known this information off the top of my head. No such luck. I discovered ANZAC in A Baker’s Odyssey, which I recently reviewed. Eager to bake something from the cookbook, this recipe used few ingredients and was quick, so I decided to give it a try. I’ve since noticed Heidi of 101cookbooks recently posted a recipe as well.

Many recipes I’ve seen on the web appear much thicker and crisp. I liked the recipe in Greg Patent’s book since the biscuits are intended to be thin and chewy.

ANZAC Biscuits
adapted from A Baker’s Odyssey

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, chopped
3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
8 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup (or honey or corn syrup)
3 tablespoons boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Since the biscuits are thin, it’s best to bake them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. When removed from the oven they are too fragile to remove by spatula, with the parchment you can lift them off of the baking sheet and can set on a rack to cool.

In a bowl, mix the flour, oats, sugar, and coconut. I realized at the last minute I was out of white sugar. I decided to replace it with brown sugar and it worked perfectly. I’ve also seen recipes using a combination of half white and half brown sugar. Feel free to experiment!

Combine the baking soda and boiling water in a small bowl to dissolve, and set aside. In a small pan, melt the butter and stir in the golden syrup. Since golden syrup is nearly impossible to find here, I used light corn syrup. Once the syrup is mixed into the butter, stir in the baking soda and water mixture. Remove from heat and pour into the mixing bowl containing the dry ingredients.

Stir until the dough forms. It should be moist and able to hold its shape. If too dry, add a few drops water. If too moist, add a sprinkle of flour. Mine turned out fine and didn’t need either adjustment.

Place rounded teaspoon of mixture on parchment and generously space apart. I made 12 biscuits to a sheet to make sure they had enough room to spread. The biscuits will each be 3-4″ wide.

Place baking sheet into a preheated 300 degree oven for 12 minutes or until the biscuits are a deep golden brown on top. They will puff up during baking and once cooled will be very thin. Makes about 3 dozen biscuits. I made mine a bit larger, so resulted in 2 dozen. Also, I sneaked a bit of the raw dough as a snack … it’s seriously addictive.

The biscuits did not last long in our house. The taste is slightly sweet and buttery while the texture is crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle. Add these to your list of things to try — they are well worth it.

Update 3/24/09: I’ve updated the post to remove the term ‘cookie’ which is the equivalent term used here in the States. I realize it may have offended some people and for this I apologize. I should note that I’ve since made the recipe using golden syrup which is really a must-do. Golden syrup is extremely hard to find in the states but well worth the hunt. I could eat it all day with a spoon! It has a deep, rich flavor that this biscuit is known for. You can order golden syrup and many other Aussie products online from Australian Products Co..

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  1. Cool background on the name and origin of the cookie. This is much better than what the Allies were given in their kits….SPAM!

  2. Very neat and uniform, Allen! Almost seems like they were made by an obsessive-compulsive :p They look good, even with the coconut in. Thanks for giving us more ideas about Patent’s book content.

    I did some research for you and you can buy Lyle’s Golden Syrup online at or for $4.95 or just visit their store at 15th Street (shoppe) or San Carlos (buybritish). Actually, looking up “british food products” in the SFO area on Google Maps resulted in plenty of options :) As I am not a Brit, I can’t tell you what else would be good to buy.

  3. OK, as an Aussie I have to say that that I am super glad the Americans have finally discovered our fave biscuits! Anzac biccies, as we call them, are a staple Aussie food especially on ANZAC day when they are sold EVERYWHERE.

    You can get golden syrup from the Aussie Products store on Stevens Creek Blvd in San Jose, as well as dessicated coconut which is the ONLY type of coconut you should use when making these.(actually, they sell a brand of ANZAC biscuits too if you are interested in trying the store bought type)

    My tried and tested recipe:
    1 cup rolled oats
    120 grams butter
    2 Tbs golden syrup
    1 cup dessicated coconut
    1 cup plain flour
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 Tbs boiling water
    1 tsp bi carbonate of soda

    15-20 minutes in 180degree celcius oven. (sorry I am not sure of the US conversions from metric)

    It is also hard to translate some of these ingredients exactly to US products so would recommend the Australian store for sure to get the authentic goods!

    Traditionally these are cooked till they are really dark and crisp and almost bitter, but I agree with you that when they are chewy and a little gooey they are much yummier. I actually love the raw mixture the best :)

    Am expecting Joe to bring some of your batch to work soon……

  4. AP or SH – I think I’ve been to the store you mentioned on Stevens Creek. I can’t remember what I got there. I know where we’ll be going tomorrow. By the way, I’m still using Celcius after living here for over 10 years. I keep asking Allen during the winters – Is 32F the freezing point?

  5. I have a crush on any cookie that’s chewy and crisp! These just might be my new crush too, just don’t tell Todd.
    Thanks for he history on this cookie, I feel so much cookie smarter!

  6. OMGoodness – Anzac cookies! I get them everytime I go back to Sydney – and just never bothered to make them myself, though yes, I do have recipes!!!! You are truly my foodie/cooking hero if I’ve never told you so yet!!!! q

  7. Peter M: Haha! I haven’t featured any SPAM recipes yet … but there’s likely a can in the cupboard :-)

    Kevin: You seem to be baking more lately, so maybe you’ll have to give these a try!

    Cookingpanda: Definetly worth a try!

    Manggy: Hmmm, fortunately these cookies shape themselves. I am far from obsessive-compulsive when it comes to make things neat and orderly!

    I’ve since discovered from another reader that there’s an even closer Australian store. We drove by today but it was closed. I’ll pick up the golden syrup soon and try it.

    You’re getting good with the Bay area — are you hoping to move here some day? :-)

    Anonymous: Thank you for the info! Joe mentioned he had sent to this to a couple Australian coworkers. We drove past the store today but it was closed. I promise to use the proper ingredients on my next batch (and a few may even make it into the office). :-) I have a hard time calling them biscuits still, you know how we are here in the States, everything is a ‘cookie’.

    White on Rice Couple: your secret is safe with me — Todd will never have to find out ;-)

    Anonymous/Queenie: Haha! I can’t believe you’ve been holding out on me … you never told me about Anzac biscuits! What other goodies are you hiding from me?

    Helen: Thank you!

    Farida: I think you’d love these!

  8. Oooh, my favourite! (Yes, I’m Aussie).

    I usually add more golden syrup though. Yum, yum.

  9. Hmmm…I left a huge message earlier today about this but it didn’t go through! Just wanted to say that its wonderful you cooked these and explained the history behind them. I don’t mind them chewy or crunchy…they are plain addictive!

  10. Christie: I’m anxious to try golden syrup and learn more about it. I’m curious what it’s flavour is like.

    Peter G: Oh no — sorry your message didn’t go through. Likely, a Blogger issue. I’ll try these again once I track down the golden syrup!

  11. I have never made anzac cookies, Allen. These look great – no surprise they were gone so fast! :)

  12. Hi, I’m from Australia, and considering it’s ANZAC Day this Friday (25th April) I made some ANZAC bikkies last night. I used treacle instead of golden syrup, and they turned out fine. I would suggest mollasses would also be a good substitute. I haven’t tried it, but corn syrup prob wouldn’t be as good as these other alternatives because it doesn’t have the flavour that golden syrup or other sugar-refining by-products do (that’s also why brown sugar is a good idea – it has a similar flavour).

  13. G’day from anothr Aussie.

    Just a point…

    The name ANZAC is protected by law… an exception being for ANZAC Biscuits… on the proviso that 1) The recipe is essentially the original recipe, and 2) They are ALWAYS to be referred to as ANZAC Biscuits… NEVER Cookies.

  14. Well, it’s ANZAC day here in OZ and I’ve just made the obligatory batch of ANZAC biscuits. For those who are interested, the term ANZAC is protected under law here in Australia, to protect it from commercial exploitation. There’s a general exemption for the biscuits as long as they conform to the original recipe (more or less) and are ALWAYS referred to as ANZAC biscuites and NEVER cookies! Think of it as part of the cultural quirk and great story of these treats.

  15. Trap for the uninitiated. English golden syrup (Tate and Lyles) is much paler and has a very different flavour from the Australian version. If using corn syrup or English golden syrup, substitute a bit of molasses or some dark brown sugar into the recipe.

  16. I made it on Saturday night and by Sunday night they were all gone. Thinking of making more tonight. They were so easy and delicious.

  17. I’m glad you all seem to like Anzac BISCUITS .But anonymous at 6.07 am, you say you get Anzac cookies every time you go back to Sydney. Sorry, but that’s impossible. We don’t have Anzac cookies down under, we have Anzac biscuits or bickies. Not having a go at you, just trying to educate you people up there.

    Charlie South Oz

  18. Interesting fact, its illegal to call them Cookies

    “The term ANZAC is protected under Australian law and therefore the word should not be used without permission from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs; misuse can be legally enforced particularly for commercial purposes. There is a general exemption granted for ANZAC Biscuits, as long as these biscuits remain basically true to the original recipe and are both referred to and sold as ANZAC Biscuits and never as cookies.”

    sok i wont tell ;)

  19. hi,
    i happened to google search for anzac cookie recipe and found u’r blog.
    i made these cookies.they were awesome.everyone loved it.
    thanks a ton.

  20. Umm, its a NZ tradition too. Interestingly no-one knows if it originated from NZ or Aussie, although the recipe probably has it’s origins in the Oatmeal biscuits of the Old World.
    ANZAC Biscuits are much nicer than Oatmeal biccies though!
    I made 3 batches for work last night – they disappeared quickly! everyone seemed to come out of their hidden friday spaces :-)

  21. I can’t believe someone got angry over Biscuits vs Cookies! Thank you for trying/tasting and learning about ANZAC cookies/biscuits. You also put a lot of effort into letting people know how to find Golden Syrup in the US which i thank you for. I took them to work to celebrate ANZAC day. I had to send out your recipe link to everyone! They were a huge hit.

  22. Just got back (to US) from NZ and Oz. On ANZAC day we were on a day trip to the Blue Mountains (Syndey). The drivers pulled out a tablecloth, hot water for tea and coffee, and ANZAC biscuits!!! What a treat! Didn’t find any roos, tho :(

  23. mmmmm Anzac biscuits…
    have you ever thought of trying damper??? Yummo if you love golden syrup!!!!

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