Cakeboi’s Recipe For ANZAC Biscuits

recipe for ANZAC biscuits from Cakeboi
Extra chewy ANZAC biscuits, from Cakeboi, Reece Hignell’s book and shop of the same name.

For Newcastle bakery, Cakeboi, ANZAC biscuits are in the display cabinet every day. They’re the most common accompaniment to a takeaway coffee, according to Cakeboi’s owner, Reece Hignell.

As you might have discovered from our other post on Cakeboi, Hignell is a former MasterChef contestant who has made something of an artform out of classic baking recipes. He recently produced a cookbook, also called Cakeboi, with recipes for classic bakes.

Hignell says the crunchiness of ANZAC biscuits dates back to the early 1900s. “It was said that soldiers’ wives needed a recipe that would stay fresh for months, so they could send them overseas. Apparently some of these biscuits were so hard that soldiers ground them up into porridge just to eat them,” he writes in the introduction to this recipe.

“Nan would bake ANZAC biscuits for the markets; however, hers were always really flat and crisp. I have adjusted this recipe to allow for a more chewy and pleasurable experience —don’t worry, you won’t need to grind mine into porridge.”

Buy your copy of  Cakeboi from Australian-owned Booktopia.

Cakeboi Extra chewy ANZAC biscuits

Extra Chewy ANZAC Biscuits (Bikkies)

Makes 8 to 10 biscuits

½ cup (125 g) butter
75ml (2½ oz) golden syrup
¾ cup (150 g) brown sugar
1 cup (125 g) self-rising flour
2 cups (200 g) rolled oats
1¼ cups (115 g) shredded coconut
2 tbsp (30 ml) boiling water
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

To start the ANZAC biscuits, preheat a fan forced oven to 180°C (355°F) or a non-convection oven to 195°C (385°F). Heat the butter, golden syrup and brown sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat until the butter is melted. Remove the pan from the heat and leave until it is needed.

Mix together the self-rising flour, rolled oats and coconut in a large mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl, stir together the boiling water, baking soda and salt. Pour the baking soda paste into the melted butter and then whisk it as it foams up. Now add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix everything together.

To make small cookies, use a levelled scoop from a tablespoon (15 g). To make larger cookies, use ¼ cup (60 g) of the dough and roll into a ball. Press the dough balls out into disks about 2cm (¾ inch) thick, then place them on baking trays lined with baking paper, at least 5 cm (2 inches) apart.

Bake the smaller bikkies for 12 to 14 minutes and the larger ones for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the bikkies are evenly golden. Cool them completely before eating them.

Tips and Tricks from Reece: Hannah, a staff member and best friend of 10 years, takes these cookies home and heats them up in the microwave before eating them. Even though they are delicious fresh, she believes heating turns them gooey, which makes them become a delicious after-dinner dessert.

Recipe and image from Cakeboi, by Reece Hignell. Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. Photo credit: Luisa Brimble. Reproduced with the publisher’s permission.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like Cakeboi’s recipe for Nostalgic Finger Buns.

**Enjoy many more delicious recipes from our Food Wine Travel files here.**

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