Nana’s Anzac Biscuits

April 12th, 2024

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With Anzac Day approaching I wanted to give these favourite biscuits a permanent place here on my website. I have shared them previously on social media but I always find this a fleeting experience and difficult to track down later on. I don’t know about you, but I am finding the movement towards fast-moving videos on social media quite draining, and difficult to engage and create connection. Which is the reason we are there, right? It is sad as I have connected with many readers and other foodies on social channels but I find my brain yearning for a slower pace. I am still engaging (albeit less) on these platforms but I do wish there was a quieter place to be inspired, and hope my website can be a small space that offers this for you.

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On that note, I have decided to add a supporter option to my website using the nifty platform Buy Me A Coffee. This is an optional way to support my recipe creation work and the time involved in keeping my newsletter and website updated. Follow the link below for more details.

For twenty years I have been sharing recipes via my online newsletter and websites making them available for all to enjoy. I have observed the recent trend towards paid subscriptions to recoup time and expertise shared by adding a paywall for exclusive content. For now, I plan to keep this space free for all with the option to support my work with regular or one-off contributions. For regular supporters (monthly/yearly), I have included some fun bonuses such as seasonal online cooking classes, monthly check-ins, and discounts on books and calendars.

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More Anzac + Feijoa Recipes on Homegrown Kitchen

I have included a round-up of feijoa recipes simply because Anzac Day coincides with feijoa season here in Aotearoa NZ. If you are reading this from a location that doesn’t rain feijoas at this time of year you may have no idea what they are – learn more here. Although they are not a native fruit to our shores, thanks to their introduction in the 1920’s they are a common fruit tree in many backyards from Canterbury to Northland. You may notice a common theme of ginger in the recipes as it is a spice that works exceptionally well with feijoas. I also include ginger in the special Anzac biscuit recipe that follows.

Nana’s Anzac Biscuits

Anzac biscuits hold a special place in my heart. They were one of the last foods my Nana Ngaire requested in the weeks before she passed away in 2021. Food had been a big part of her life, and in her last days, she made sure she ate some of her favourites. Nana was very specific about the Anzac biscuits she wanted, calling me aside several times before I realised that she really wanted me to make her some. She wanted them on the thinner side, chewy inside with a crisp outer. I searched her box of handwritten recipes she had given me some years earlier to no avail. So I researched and recipe tested and came up with the following version. Lower in sugar (but you wouldn’t know) and with the addition of ground ginger. The ginger is completely optional, and not at all traditional, but I think it adds a little extra something. Nana did approve. I have included a few extra tips in the recipe to achieve your preferred Anzac biscuit - thin and crispy, or thicker with a good chew. 
Servings 16 biscuits
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (100g) rolled oats - I used smaller porridge oats, can also use wholegrain
  • ¾ cup (110g) plain flour (wheat, spelt or gluten-free)
  • ¾ cup (60g) desiccated coconut
  • cup (70g) sugar - I used raw sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  • 120 g butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan 160ºC). Line a cookie tray with baking paper.
  • Combine the oats, flour, coconut, sugar and ginger in a mixing bowl.
  • In a small saucepan gently melt together the butter and golden syrup. Remove from the heat.
  • Combine the boiling water and baking soda and add it to the saucepan. This is the fun part as the mixture bubbles and foams. Immediately pour this over the dry ingredients and mix into a crumbly dough.
  • Squeeze the mixture into walnut-sized balls and place onto the prepared baking tray. Space about 2-3cm apart as they won’t spread much and should all fit on one tray, but use two trays if needed.
  • Use fingers to flatten - quite thinly if you like your Anzac biscuits thin and crispy, or not so much if you prefer them rounder with a chewy centre.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until golden, or 2-3 minutes longer if you like them a little more crispy. A trick to make extra thin crispy biscuits is after 10 minutes in the oven remove the tray and use a metal spatula to gently flatten (deflate), then continue cooking.
  • Cool the biscuits on the tray then transfer to a biscuit tin and eat within 1 week. Best served with a cup of tea - black with a slice of lemon was my Nana’s preference.

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