Saturday, July 2, 2011

fruity anzac biscuits

Call these fruity oat sultana cookies or what you will.  In New Zealand and Australia, a simpler version is known as an ANZAC biscuit.  Originating from the biscuits sent to ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) soldiers serving during the First World War, they were made to be hard and long lasting.  Over the years softer and chewier versions of this popular biscuit have appeared.  The ones I baked were definitely at the softer, chewier range of the spectrum, which I like. 

In this version, dried fruit and toasted sunflower seeds have been added giving a fruity taste and more varied texture.  I particularly liked the toasted sunflower seeds, with their nice snappy crunch.  I toasted the seeds by placing them in a small heavy cast-iron fry pan over a dry heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan for even toasting - but do watch carefully as they can burn quickly. 

I substituted cranberries, which I had, for dried figs, which I didn’t have.  I would have to try them with dried figs before I could confirm my preference, but I really liked the cranberries, both for taste and added colour.

Apparently they also freeze well.  Does the instruction thaw at room temperature before eating seem a bit obvious to you?

I will be making these again – lovely biscuits, little effort!

fruity anzac biscuits
Adapted from recipe by Dean Brettschneider (A Treasury of New Zealand Baking)

140g butter
60g golden syrup
80g rolled oats
70g sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
50g sultanas
60g cranberries
75g dried apricots, chopped
65g desiccated or thread coconut
125g standard flour
90g brown sugar
5g baking soda
2 tbsp boiling water

Preheat oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Melt butter and golden syrup together in a saucepan.

Place all remaining ingredients, except the baking soda and the boiling water, in a large mixing bowl.  Stir well to combine.

Place the baking soda in a small heatproof jug and pour the boiling water over it, stirring well to dissolve.  Add to the butter and golden syrup mixture, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.

Place large tablespoonfuls of the dough on to the trays.  Flatten each to a circle of about 6cm, leaving at least 2cm between each one.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the biscuits have risen, spread slightly and turned golden brown.  Rotate trays halfway through cooking.  Remove from the oven and allow the biscuits to cool slightly before placing them on a wire rack.

Makes about 18 biscuits.


  1. These look great. I've been getting a bit bored with ordinary Anzac Biscuits -- but cranberries (and maybe dried cherries?) would make a nice change.

  2. Thanks Sue - I really enjoyed them and will make them again.

  3. Another one to try! Both for feeding hungry sprog and his friends, and for me to take to work. You're very good at this Lesley :-)