Very few biscuits are laden with as much significance and nostalgia as the humble Anzac biscuit. Symbolic of a generation of men who gave their lives, and also a nod to times of austerity, these simple treats are sure to appeal to adults and kids alike.
During World War I, care packages were sent off to the troops on the front line and among the items often delivered were Anzac biscuits. This recipe was popular because the biscuits were non-perishable and very affordable, even during hard times or on wartime rations.
Interestingly, the Country Women's Association notes that these biscuits were also used to raise money to assist returned soldiers. They were only dubbed the Anzac biscuit after the conclusion of the First World War, to honour the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp.
The delicious texture and taste of an Anzac bikkie is achieved using the right measure of ingredients, baked for a precise amount of time. But they became popular for both emotional and practical reasons. A batch can be whipped up with only rolled oats, flour, sugar, butter, golden syrup, baking soda and boiling water. Additions or substitutions may also include coconut and cereals.
Opinions are varied, but to really perfect the Anzac biscuit you need to balance chewiness and crunch. Bake for too long, and your biscuits will go hard. Undercooked bikkies can also go awry if they're too gooey.
According to the Country Women’s Association, the font of all knowledge when it comes to upholding the highest standards of Australian baking, the place to start is the right recipe.
Most of the key ingredients will already be in your cupboard, so you may be able to get to work straight away. The Exeter branch of the Country Women's Association of New South Wales has compiled three different variations, including one recipe that harks back to 1933. The CWA has also published a gluten-free Anzac biscuit, and a very popular recipe that featured in the Australian Women's Weekly.
Anzac bikkies are a true cultural icon. Whether they conjure memories of childhood, remind us of our troops currently serving overseas, or are enjoyed as a tribute to the sacrifice of our fallen Anzacs, they are symbolic in a way that is distinct to Australia and New Zealand. They also happen to be delicious, and a tradition that keeps our history alive.
If you're looking for Anzac bikkies to commemorate Anzac day this year, browse our range here.
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