How to bake the ultimate Anzac cookies
Get the texture right
Nobody likes a soggy cookie or an el blando biscuit so, when it comes to the classic Anzac, you want to get the texture just right. That’s why you’ll never see an authentic Anzac recipe that calls for anything other than rolled oats. These ensure the biscuits have plenty of rustic, homemade appeal.
Decide if you’re going for chewy or crispy biscuits
While the topic of chewy v crispy Anzac biscuits has been the cause of much debate, we think it comes down to personal preference. If you prefer your Anzacs on the crispy side, look for recipes with a higher granulated sugar content compared with golden syrup or molasses. Reducing the amount of liquid will result in crispier cookies. More golden syrup, on the other hand, increases chewiness.
Thick or thin?
When it comes to Anzacs, the thinner the cookie, the crispier it will generally be. If that’s the aim of your game, you can achieve it in a variety of ways. The first is by manually flattening the balls of dough on the tray before you bake them. The second is by adding more sugar or, if you’re not concerned about texture, using quick oats rather than rolled. Lastly, adjust the cooking time and oven temperature. Cooking at a slightly lower temperature for longer will result in thinner, crispier Anzacs.
Reduce the spread
If you’ve ever baked Anzac biscuits, you’ll know they spread. A lot. You might have started with a tray of neatly scooped spoonfuls, but you’ve ended up with something more akin to a misshapen Anzac slice (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). Traditional Anzac methodology would suggest leaving about seven centimetres between each biscuit, but the appropriate level of cookie dough distancing depends on the desired size of your Anzac. The bigger the biscuit – the more space you need to leave.
All about that dough
How absorbent your dough is depends on the thickness of the rolled oats. When it comes to rolling or scooping out your balls, you want the dough to be firm enough that it doesn’t stick to your hands, but wet enough that it doesn’t crumble if you try to flatten it out on the tray. If it’s too sticky, add a little flour. Too wet? Add a little melted butter.
Is it okay to add non-certified Anzac ingredients?
It might not be allowed according to the Anzac rulebook but, these days, many chefs and bakers are putting their own delicious spin on these classic treats – like adding chocolate chips, chopped macadamias and even sprinkles to the biscuit batter. Anzac biscuits are very forgiving so anything goes. The important part is to have fun making – and eating – them.
The balls aren’t the only things that need space…
Make sure your oven racks are adjusted, too. Chances are, you’re going to have at least two trays of Anzacs in the oven at the same time so you want to make sure there’s plenty of room for the air to circulate to allow for even cooking. Don’t put trays of biscuits on the oven floor.
Don’t overdo them
Depending on how you like ’em, Anzacs should be ready once they’ve turned golden and started to firm up. You want them to still be a little soft when you take them out as they’ll harden up on the tray while they’re cooling.