My son came home from school on Monday with a great maths homework task of making Anzac biscuits in order to learn about basic volume and weight measurements. Both of us love a good Anzac biscuit, but neither of us can eat wheat flour, so he and I came up with this recipe here, which is a mix of a few of our favourite biscuit recipes. These are chewy and delicious and a great biscuit to make with kids.
For those of you up in the Northern Hemisphere, who aren’t Kiwis or Aussies, ANZAC stands for Australia New Zealand Army Corps. This Saturday the 25th of April is Anzac Day (the 100th Anniversary), which is similar in significance to Remembrance Day for Canadians.
These egg-free biscuits were originally known as Rolled Oat Biscuits or Soldier’s Biscuits and were made in order to raise money for the New Zealand war effort. And apparently they raised more than 6 million pounds during the First World War selling these at fundraising events! I must admit, it is a rather delicious cookie!
Traditionally these biscuits are made from rolled oats, flour, sugar, butter and golden syrup. I have substituted an unrefined sugar in place of the golden syrup. By all means feel free to use wheat flour in place of the other flours if that is what you have on hand. Coconut oil can be used instead of butter. For other gluten free flour substitutions feel free to use brown rice flour, white rice flour, buckwheat flour, teff flour, sorghum flour, quinoa flour, millet flour, or a store-bought gluten free flour blend that ideally doesn’t contain raising agents, otherwise omit the baking soda.
**Different flours will have a difference moisture content and you may find you need more or less than a cup of flour. Best to start with about 3/4 cup and add more at the end if necessary. You will also get better results by combining two or more gluten free flours together, but it isn’t essential. I used white rice and white sorghum flour for these, but I am going to try them with a mix of white rice and buckwheat next. Let me know what combinations you use and how you like them!
1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free oats if needed)
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup flour of choice** (I used 1/2 cup white rice and 1/2 cup sorghum)
3/4 cup coconut sugar (or raw sugar or brown sugar of choice)
1/4 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 TBLS of warm water
125g (1/2 cup) butter or coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 TBLS maple syrup or honey
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Combine oats, flours, coconut and sugar in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter or coconut oil. Add vanilla extract, maple syrup or honey and stir. Add dissolved baking soda and water and stir again.
- Pour melted butter/oil mixture over flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to bring the dough together. Mix with hands if necessary. This will be a bit of a crumbly dough, but should hold together when pressed into a ball and flattened and gently shaped.
- Take about a golf ball-sized piece of dough (or just smaller) and form a ball. Place on the baking sheet and flatten until it is about 1.5cm thick. Neaten up the edges carefully by pressing them gently. Continue with the rest of the dough, leaving at least 2 cm between each one, as they will expand while baking.
- Place in the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 22-30 minutes, or until golden and set. Let cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before transfering to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes for a chewy biscuit, but they are also delicious straight out of the oven with a glass of raw milk!
Store in an airtight container for up to one week. If they last that long, that is.