Anzac Biscuit: On 25 April, residents of Australia and New Zealand – and related territories such as Samoa and the Cook Islands – will celebrate Anzac Day, a national day of remembrance for the sacrifices made by Australians and New Zealanders in World War I. Observances include the wearing of poppies, processions and parades, special ceremonies and commemorations – and the eating of Anzac biscuits.
Wait, what’s an Anzac?
Anzac is an acronym for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.
So what does it have to do with cookies?
During World War I, Anzac biscuits were prepared by women in Australia and New Zealand and sent to soldiers stationed overseas at Gallipoli. They were a useful war ration, as their ingredients – rolled oats, flour, margarine, baking soda, sugar, hot water, and coconut – would not spoil; Cookies, in particular, do not contain eggs.
The first printed reference to Anzac cookies appeared in 1917 in the War Chest Cookery Book published in Sydney, Australia, but that recipe was completely different from the one for Anzac biscuits as they are known today (curiously, the recipe that most Hoga, identified as one for Anzac Biscuits, also appeared in War Chest Cookery, but under a different name: they were called simply, “Rolled Oat Biscuits”).
In 1919, the St Andrews Cookery Book, published in Dunedin, New Zealand, described a recipe for biscuits prepared using the above ingredients (rolled oats, flour, margarine, baking soda, sugar, hot water, and coconut) as “Anzac Crispy”. printed in, In later publications, these were called Anzac biscuits, and have remained as such ever since.
Where can I get them now (Anzac Biscuit)?
If you are in Australia, New Zealand, or any other region that celebrates Anzac Day, you can buy them at grocery stores year-round. If not – well, we guess you’ll just have to travel there.
Can I just make them myself (Anzac Biscuit)?
Of course! Click here for an Anzac biscuit recipe (Link)
Frequently Asked Questions About Anzac biscuits
Q. Do Anzac biscuits have to be chewy or crunchy?
A – Because of the time, it took to reach the soldiers, they needed ingredients that would not spoil easily – rolled oats, sugar, flour, coconut, butter, golden syrup or sugar syrup, bicarbonate of soda, and boiling water. To keep them crisp, he packed them in tins of Billy T’s. So it is – they’re meant to be crisp!
Q. What’s so special about Anzac Biscuits?
A – Anzac biscuits have long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), established in World War I. It has been claimed that biscuits were sent to soldiers abroad by groups of wives and women as the material did not spoil easily and the biscuits were kept. Well during naval transport.
Q. Is It Illegal To Call Anzac Biscuit Cookies?
A – Calling an Anzac biscuit a “cookie” is officially considered un-Australian and can even earn a fine from the federal government if used to market the goods. The department states on its website: “No person may use the word Anzac or any similar word in relation to any trade, occupation, calling or profession.”
Q. What are Anzac biscuits called?
A – In Gallipoli, where it was often difficult to maintain a supply of fresh food and water, hardtack biscuits became notorious. They have been so closely intertwined with the entire Gallipoli experience that they are sometimes referred to as Anzac tiles or Anzac wafer biscuits.
Q. Why are my Anzac biscuits not flat?
A – If it’s hot, the mixture will dry out more – you need to add more moist ingredients so that the mixture is more dilute – it will then expand more and be thinner and crunchier! I find if I use more butter/syrup mixture it will be flatter and chewier. That’s how I like my Anzacs too.
Q. Why are my Anzac biscuits soft?
A – Anzac biscuits are quite soft when you first take them out of the oven, so leave them on the tray to cool completely and firm up before removing them.