Anzac Biscuits with Coconut

I was curious about baking in WWII with food rations and found this recipe posted to several sites.

Anzac Day (April 25) is the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) in World War I. These biscuits (cookies to us Yanks) have a rich history and are also known as “Rolled Oats Crispies” in some places. ANZAC troops fought in the Middle East and on the Western Front. ANZAC biscuits were (re)invented in New Zealand during the food rationing of World War II. The combination of ginger, maple syrup, oats, brown sugar, and coconut is smashing. Coconut did not appear in this popular recipe until 1927. They are excellent year-round.

Anzac Biscuit (cookie)
1 c flour, sifted
1 c rolled oats, (regular oatmeal) uncooked
1 c finely shredded coconut
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter (1 stick)
2 T maple syrup or honey
1 tsp baking soda
2 T boiling water
2 tsp ginger powder

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheets; set aside.

Combine flour, oats, coconut and sugar in a bowl.

Melt butter with maple syrup (or honey) in a saucepan over low heat to avoid scorching.

Combine baking soda and water. Add to butter mixture. Stir liquid mixture into flour mixture, mixing well.

Drop dough with tablespoon scoop, about the size of a walnut shell, 2″ apart on sheets. Bake 15 minutes until golden brown. Watch carefully: they brown quickly. Remove from sheets and cool on racks. Keep in airtight containers.

Yield: About 3 dozen (Half recipe makes 15 cookies)

Notes: The American tablespoon is a little smaller than the British tablespoon, so be generous with your syrup (or honey) and water. Original recipe said to bake from 15 to 20 minutes; 18 minutes was too long. Start watching these cookies at 12 minutes so they don’t get overly brown.

Recipe Sources and History:


2 thoughts on “Anzac Biscuits with Coconut

  1. woodstockdc

    And thus you have found my two great weaknesses: coconut and cookies. OK, my two great *food related* weaknesses 😉 Question on the coconut, though: sweetened or unsweetened?

  2. Hi, Woodstock. I used medium shred coconut, unsweetened. Ironically, it is from Woodstock Farms in Dayville, CT. Ingredients: Organic Coconut. I will post a photo of the cookies soon — uploads are temporarily disabled on WordPress now.

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