ANZAC biscuits: chewy or crunchy? Apparently this debate has been going on for years, along with whether they originated in Australia or New Zealand. My grandmother remembers debating it with my grandfather and my husband and I certainly love a good discussion about it! As with any good debate these days I always give up after 10 seconds and turn to google for the answer.
It’s claimed that wives and mothers desperate to do something for their loved ones would cook these biscuits and send them abroad. Due to the time it took to get to the soldiers, they needed ingredients that didn’t spoil easily – rolled oats, sugar, plain flour, coconut, butter, golden syrup or treacle, bi-carbonate of soda and boiling water. To keep them crisp they packed them in Billy Tea tins.
So there you have it – they are meant to be crisp! Wrong answer in my opinion! So we asked my husband’s 104 year old grandmother and she said when they made them properly in her day they were crunchy on the outside and soft in the centre. Is that a compromise?
Whatever the answer, we’re so lucky that this tradition borne out of love has lasted the years. Recipes have been handed down from generation to generation and the great chewy versus crunchy debate lives on.
I think it’s a really nice way to introduce kids to the ANZAC story and tradition. Get them baking a batch leading up to ANZAC Day while talking to them about this important part of our history and the story behind the biscuits.
In my opinion you can’t go past the tried and true ANZAC biscuit recipe from legendary Country Women’s Association representative and judge, Glad Shute.
Glad Shute’s ANZAC Biscuit Recipe
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup coconut
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- grated rind of one lemon
- 125g butter
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
- 1 tablespoon boiling water
- Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl with the grated rind.
- Put the butter and golden syrup in a saucepan on low until butter is melted.
- Mix the boiling water and bi-carb soda in a cup. Then mix all that in with the dry ingredients.
- Roll into balls (approximately one teaspoon of mixture per ball).
- Place on oven trays and flatten with a fork. Cook at approximately 170 degrees for ten or 15 minutes, or until golden.
So, do you like your Anzac biscuits chewy or crunchy?