The only Anzac biscuit recipe you’ll ever need

Living Well | Tianna Nadalin | Posted on 21 April 2020

Move over CWA. RACV pastry chef Josh Cochrane shares his ultimate Anzac recipe.

It’s not Anzac Day without the memorial’s namesake rolled-oat-and-golden-syrup biscuit. And, in these times of social distancing and self-isolation-induced cooking frenzies, the simple act of baking and sharing (even virtually) a batch of these buttery, coconut-laden delights is a way of remembering and honouring our troops.

So, if you’re in the mood to get your bake on, we caught up with RACV executive pastry chef Josh Cochrane to find out everything you need to know about whipping up the ultimate Anzac biscuits. Plus, he also shares his official Best Ever Anzac Recipe. 

Anzac biscuits


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. 

Anzac biscuits on table with golden syrup

Josh's Best Ever Anzac Recipe  


(Makes 24)  

INGREDIENTS 
  • 150 grams plain flour  
  • 80 grams desiccated coconut 
  • 90 grams rolled oats 
  • 110 grams caster sugar 
  • 55 grams brown sugar 
  • 125 grams butter 
  • 25 grams (1.5 tablespoons) boiling water  
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup 
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
METHOD 
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Place the flour, coconut, rolled oats and combined sugars in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. 
  2. Place the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for three minutes or until butter is melted. Set aside for five minutes to cool slightly. 
  3. Combine boiling water and the bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl. Add to the oat mixture along with the butter mixture. Stir until well combined. 
  4. Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the lined trays, allowing space for spreading. Gently press each ball to flatten slightly. Bake for 15 minutes for crisp biscuits. Set aside on the trays to cool completely. The biscuits will harden as they cool.