In Australia and New Zealand, Anzac Day is on the 25th of April and these oat based cookies or biscuits are a mandatory fare.
Yes, I know they traditionally should be called ‘biscuits’, however in the USA biscuits are what we call ‘scones’ here in Australia. The recipe author, Danielle, and I didn’t want to totally confuse our friends in North America.
This recipe was kindly contributed by the lovely Chef Danielle Shine. Danielle has many versions of Anzac biscuits as she cleverly creates a version for every diet preference and allergy.
What is “Anzac”?
ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
“Anzac Day is one of Australia’s most important national commemorative occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.”
My great Uncle was a Light Horseman in the Boer War. He was a very young man who believed he was doing his duty and I admire his courage and conviction. However, the reality of war was such a harsh one that he never ever spoke of his experiences as a soldier. He even refused to accept a prestigious medal of honour that he had been awarded.
My much older cousin was conscripted into the Vietnam War. I can’t imagine the emotions my Aunt must have felt as she saw her precious oldest son go off to a war he didn’t want to fight; and then be rejected for it when he came home.
I am so very grateful that I live in a country and in a time where I don’t have the unfathomable nightmare of seeing my children have to deal with war.
Anyhow, on a lighter note, according to the New Zealand National Army Museum, rolled oats based biscuits were “sold and consumed at fetes, galas, parades and other public events, to raise funds for the war effort.” This connection to the troops serving overseas led to them being referred to as ‘soldier’s biscuits’ and later ‘Anzac biscuits’.
To get your biscuits the same size, use a measuring tablespoon or a cookie scoop. A cookie scoop is like a small ice cream scoop and I now wouldn’t be without it.
Because these biscuits don’t have egg as a binding agent, don’t press them down too thinly before cooking, or they may be too fragile once cooked.