It's almost Anzac Day and what better way to commemorate the occasion than with baking a batch of these delicious Anzac biscuits. But the big question is which type to make: chewy or crunchy Anzac biscuits? We've got you covered with both recipes! There's also a bonus Anzac biscuit ice cream sandwich recipe with a golden syrup and ginger ice cream filling!
Anzac biscuits date back to World War I where ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. One story says that they were sent over to the troops in care packages as the ingredients didn't spoil easily but other stories say that they were used in a fundraising effort. ANZAC day is celebrated on April 25th every year and serves to commemorate the sacrifice the troops made in the war.
Don't mess with Anzac biscuits! The term ANZAC is protected by Australian law and there are restrictions for commercial use of the name. There is an exemption for Anzac biscuits as long as the ingredients remain true and they are never to be referred to as cookies, only biscuits.
[For American readers, biscuits in Australia are different to American breakfast biscuits. Biscuits in Australia are what Americans call cookies. In Australia, Southern American style biscuits are not widely known.]
The only thing I did was brown the butter for an added nuttiness to them. This is a subtle but delicious step to them that will turn an excellent biscuit into an award winning one.
Chewy or crunchy? That's the big question really. People tend to have a preference for their Anzac biscuits.
There are a few things that ensure you get chewy, softer biscuits:
1 - Bake biscuits at lower temperature
2- Use brown sugar instead of white sugar
3- Use butter (instead of shortening)
Conversely if you want crunchy, hard biscuits or cookies do the following:
1 - Bake a higher temperature
2 - Use white sugar
3 - Use shortening rather than butter
In this case I used butter for both (because I love the flavour!) but altered the baking temperature and changed the sugar to make two batches, one chewy and one crunchy and they were both pretty damn fabulous. My friend Laura tried them and she said they were one of the best Anzac biscuits she had ever tried. My secret tip is the browned butter.
Golden Syrup is to a key ingredient for Anzac biscuits. This is a British and Australian ingredient and not so common in countries like America where it can be difficult to find. In its place you could use treacle or honey.
Tip: always taste your Anzac biscuits for salt level. There aren't any eggs in Anzac biscuits so you can easily taste the dough mix in the bowl before you shape them. I like adding a bit more salt than normal for these to counter the sweetness. Trust me, it makes a huge difference.
Want to make vegan ANZAC biscuits? Anzac biscuits are one of the easiest biscuits to make vegan because there aren't any eggs in them and just requires one ingredient change. Just sub the butter for coconut oil in the same quantity. There's coconut in the biscuit itself so it's a very natural tasting substitute.
Do you need to refrigerate the biscuit dough? You will get less spread and a thicker, fatter cookie if you refrigerate these for an hour or even overnight. However here's a tip before you do: shape these into balls first before refrigerating them because once chilled and stiff they are harder to shape into balls.
Mr NQN is not a big biscuit or cookie fan but the only exception is for my Anzac biscuits. In fact I'd actually forgotten about how much he loves them so I gave most of them away to friends and I gave him a couple and he excitedly took them.
Another fan of these biscuits was little Mr Teddy Elliott. Now that we've been in confinement for over a month he is enjoyed having both of us around. I think Mr NQN finally realises that while Teddy is adorable, he is a still a puppy so you do need to keep your eye on him a lot. He loves to chew anything he can get his hands or mouth on.
The latest thing to go missing was a pair of ear plugs. I need earplugs to sleep and I had a pair sent from America. They're more expensive and hard to get so I only bought one pair. They're bright purple and attached by a long purple cord. However when I went to bed one night I looked for them and couldn't find them.
"Teddy!!!" I said turning around to see my fluffy boy looking as innocent as a lamb lying on his side in light slumber. He raised his head for a brief moment before setting it down again. Tiredly I got out of bed and looked everywhere for them-they weren't in his "apartment" i.e. crate or in any of his beds. Then I looked at the side of our bed and lo and behold, I found the cord that attached them.
"Teddy!! You naughty boy!" I cried holding the purple cord that was now missing the two earplugs.
The next day Mr NQN took Teddy out for his evening constitutional. He sent me a message about 30 minutes after they left. "I found one of your earplugs LOL!" he said in a much too delighted tone (you can probably guess where!). Teddy was probably thinking that if only I had given him a cookie he wouldn't have felt so peckish!
So tell me Dear Reader, are you a chewy or crunchy Anzac biscuit lover? Who is the naughtiest member of your household?