This whole thing started with a Buzzfeed article.
I think we can all agree that Buzzfeed is the worst. But every so often there’s an article that seems fun. This recipe came from one of those articles that I couldn’t stop myself from clicking on… “19 Australian Snacks Every American Needs to Try Immediately”. I’m helpless to anything about animals, snacks, or cute things for my house that I don’t need to buy but want anyways.
I clicked and scrolled down the list. Lamingtons? Delicious. Fairy bread? Also delicious. Spaghetti Jaffle? Never tried it, but you bet I will now (I’ve made a spaghetti sandwich before, but this is next level).
And then I saw them, ANZAC BISCUITS.
I’ve never heard of Anzac biscuits before, but they looked amazing, so they immediately jumped to the top of my “To Bake” list that I keep in the front of my brain. But like the food nerd that I am, I first wanted to research them and why they’re an Australian staple. Yes, I am that person who got into baking equally because of my interest in science. And yes, I was that annoying kid in culinary school who would raise my hand to say, “ok but why does it do that”. I’m actually shocked that the people in my class didn’t avoid me, but that’s neither here nor there.
Anzac biscuits are crispy oatmeal cookies with golden syrup and packed with shredded coconut. These cookies were popular during World War I as a snack for the Australian & New Zealand Army Corps (thus the name) because they transported easily, had easily-obtained ingredients, and didn’t spoil quickly. And they’ve been a classic ever since! I’m a huge fan of reinvented desserts, so I knew I wanted to make these, but make them a little more modern.
I replaced the shredded coconut with toasted coconut, replaced the golden syrup with molasses (we don’t have golden syrup in America), and sprinkled sugar on top to give it a little bit of crunch. Guys, these are AMAZING. Like the perfect middle ground between a chewy oatmeal cookie and a delicate lace cookie.
Spruced-Up Anzac Biscuits (Vegan)
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 Tbsp. boiling water
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. molasses
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- granulated sugar for sprinkling
- To toast the coconut: spread the shredded coconut on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place in the oven at 350ºF and toast for 10-15 minutes, stirring the coconut halfway through to brown it evenly.
- In a large bowl, mix together the baking soda and boiling water (this will bubble up a bit, so make sure you put it in a large bowl). Add the melted butter, granulated sugar, and molasses and mix well.
- Sift together the flour and salt and add to the mixture. Stir in the oats.
- Fold in the toasted coconut. Mix well, then wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Scoop the cookie dough into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently press down on the cookie dough balls to flatten them slightly.
- Sprinkle cookies with granulated sugar and bake 12-13 minutes until golden brown around the edges. The cookies may still seem underdone or gooey in the middle, but trust me! Take them out as soon as they turn golden brown on the edges because they will continue to cook and then firm up once they cool.
- Once out of the oven, let the cookies rest for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack or plate and let cool completely.
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