Cooking the Book: ANZAC Biscuits

The Road from CoorainThis isn’t my usual Cooking the Book post – instead of being inspired by a cookbook, and trying a recipe from that title, this time I’m inspired by a memoir, and sharing the recipe I made to go along with our book club discussion of that memoir.

The Road from CoorainThe Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway is about Jill Ker Conway’s Australian childhood. We read it for our book club’s annual tea party, so we tried to get tea party appropriate dishes to bring to the meeting.

I immediately thought about ANZAC biscuits, remembering a college roommate’s description of the cookies. Oatmeal, coconut – they sounded perfect to accompany tea.

And they were. While my version isn’t completely Australian (the golden syrup I used is the English version), the recipe is otherwise similar to ones I found on a couple of Australian websites. The final recipe I used comes from The King Arthur Flour Cookie CompanionThe King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook (and can be found on their website).

ANZAC biscuits and tea

How I made ANZAC Biscuits

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) salted butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets.

2) Mix together the oats, flour, sugar, salt, and coconut.

3) Combine the butter and syrup in a saucepan and heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is bubbling.

4) In a medium-sized bowl, combine the baking soda and boiling water, then stir in the butter mixture. Make sure there is space in the bowl because it will bubble up quite a bit.

5) Stir the butter mixture into the dry ingredients.

6) Drop the dough, by teaspoonfuls, onto the baking sheets. Leave space between them as they’ll spread.

7) Bake for 13 to 15 minutes; the cookies are supposed to be dark brown and crispy-crunchy, not light brown and chewy.

They’re very easy to make, although watch the baking time – I was making these with all three kids around, and right when I needed to pull them from the oven I couldn’t because baby needs trump overbaking cookies. And so they were overbaked, and not as tasty as they would have been. Sorry book club friends – I really can bake tasty things, I just always seem to run into trouble when I’m making things for our meetings.

See all the Cooking the Book reviews and recipes I’ve shared.

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  1. Mmm… Anzac biscuits are tasty! (But you’re right — easy to overcook!)
    I really want to join or start a book club but I’m new in town and not sure where to start. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. (Future post idea?)

    • I’ve been working on a post on some great book club books. One of these days I really need to finish it. 😉

      Have you read Sarah Ronk’s book club series?

      Beyond that … let me think – sometimes I’m not sure what’s obvious and what would be useful info, so let me know if you’ve got specific questions.

  2. Heather in VA says:

    Thanks so much for this post! I had ANZAC biscuits several years ago and never found a good recipe since then. However, I have some golden syrup in the pantry leftover from WW2 cooking last year so this is perfect. We’ll have these for ANZAC day.

    • They would be perfect for that! I think you’ve inspired me – I may have to make a second batch for that, especially since I still have plenty of syrup left, and I’m now restocked with coconut.

  3. After college I moved to London for six months and worked at a college under a matron who was Australian. I copied down the two recipes I loved the most from our dessert repertoire: Anzac biscuits and Pavlova. I have never made either one and dug the recipe out to compare to yours. Laughing because everything is listed in oz. and I didn’t even copy down a temperature, just put “bake in a slow oven 15-20 minutes” – ha! Now that I have your recipe, I might just have to give it a whirl. And if you’ve never tried Pavlova, you really must give that a whirl – yum!

    • I’ve never tried Pavlova, because I don’t like meringue. Otherwise I would definitely try it! One of these days I’ll make it for my family, since I’m the only oddball who isn’t likely to enjoy it. 🙂


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