Baked by Australian wives during World War I for their soldiers overseas, these cookies were made without eggs to enable them to endure the long shipping times.
These cookies have achieved an almost iconic status over the years and are now made and sold commercially. The story goes that they were originally made by Australian wives for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) established in World War I.
Traditionally made with flour, oats, coconut, butter, golden syrup, boiling water and baking soda, the eggs were intentionally left out so the cookies wouldn’t spoil during their long naval transportation. Anzac biscuits are thin and chewy and are in texture unlike most cookies you’re probably used to. Some people prefer them crunchy and adjust the Golden Syrup accordingly. I’ve made a couple of adjustments to the traditional version, adding slivered almonds and almond extract for added texture and flavor. I’ve also used brown sugar instead of white.
These cookies traditionally call for an ingredient called Golden Syrup, which is a caramelized inverted cane sugar syrup. It has a very distinct flavor and there is no adequate substitute for it. (If you must, use corn syrup. No need to add a little molasses as some substitute recommendations make since this recipe uses brown sugar).
Unless you live in the UK, Canada or Australia, you’ll have a difficult time finding golden syrup. You can, however, conveniently purchase it online. Click link below:
You can also purchase it in bottle form: Lyle’s Golden Syrup
UPDATE 6/11/14: I’ve been informed that some World Markets in the U.S. carry Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Also, for Canadian residents, Roger’s Golden Syrup is readily available in Canada.
It’s well worth it to purchase this syrup. It adds a wonderful flavor these thin, chewy cookies.
Let’s get started! Combine all of the dry ingredients (except for the baking soda).
Melt the butter and Golden Syrup in a small saucepan. Stir the baking soda into the boiling water and add it to the butter mixture. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture.
Stir to combine.
Scoop out 1-inch balls and place them 2-3 inches apart on a nonstick cookie sheet. The cookies will spread and be thin.
Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Let sit for 3-4 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup desiccated/shredded coconut
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter
- 2 tablespoons Lyle's Golden Syrup (see Note)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine all the dry ingredients (except for the baking soda) in a mixing bowl.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the golden syrup. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Stir the baking soda into the boiling water and then add to the butter mixture.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir to combine.
- Scoop out 1-inch balls and place them 3 inches apart on a nonstick cookie sheet (cookies will spread - they are thin and chewy). Bake 13-15 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.
- Let sit for 3-4 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.