There are a few theories as to the origins of ANZAC biscuits and these probably came about during the First World War, around 1914 to 1915. Some stories will foretell that ANZAC biscuits were made by the Australian/New Zealand troops in the trenches with whatever provisions they had at hand to relieve the boredom of their battle rations (and who could blame them). And some say they came about due to resourcefulness of the women on the "home front" in an endeavour to make a treat for their loved ones fighing the war.
There is even the suggestion that they originated from Scottish Oatmeal Cakes which is entirely possible. Whatever the origin, they have won the hearts of all Aussies the globe over as the pseudo National Biscuit. Today, ANZAC Biscuits are manufactured commercially for retail sale. Because of their military connection with the ANZACs and ANZAC Day, these biscuits are often used as a fundraising item for the Royal New Zealand Returned Services' Association (RSA) and the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) veterans' organisations.
I've not tasted ANZAC biscuits before and to me it looked like any other oatmeal cookie. However this biscuit does have the addition of dessicated coconut and the method of preparation is somewhat different. It didn't have the creaming method so it made things a bit more easier. However I did find the rolling bit somewhat messy as the balls of biscuit dough was pretty oily. Overall it is a truly delicious chewy cookie with plenty of texture, think of it as a health snack bar if your guilty conscience starts to creep up on you!
(recipe from Bills Sydney Food by Bill Grainger)
Makes 25 cookies
1 cup plain all-purpose flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
125g unsalted butter
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 Tbsp boiling water
1) Preheat oven to 160C. Place flour, coconut, sugar and oats in a bowl. Mix well.
2) Place butter and golden syrup in a saucepan over medium heat and melt.
3) Place bicarbonate of soad in a small bowl and add hot water. Stir to combine. Add bicarbonate mixture to saucepan and stir. Pour over oat mixture and stir all ingredients together.
4) Roll teaspoon of biscuit mixture into balls and place on a greased and lined baking tray, leaving room for spreading. Flatten each ball gently with a fork.
5) Bake biscuits for 15 - 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown at the edges. The centers will be slightly soft but will harden when cooled. Allow biscuit to coll slightly on trays before transferring to a wire rack.
6) Store in air-tight containers.