In Australia and New Zealand, April 25th serves as a day of remembrance for those who have served and died in the armed forces, with a historic emphasis on the Battle of Gallipoli. ANZAC {Australian and New Zealand Army Corps} Day is a public holiday, and well-honored day of commemoration.

The first April I was in Australia, AW and I caught a bus at 4am on the 25th to head to the War Memorial for the Dawn Service {services at dawn are held all over the country}. It was a dignified and moving event, and a memorable occasion to be a part of. The rest of ANZAC Day is spent in various ways; there are more ceremonies and parades, and the ANZAC Day football match takes place in Melbourne every year, which draws a huge crowd and viewing audience.

This year we decided not to attend the Dawn Ceremony, and after sleeping in a little later than 4am, have been relaxing and enjoying a beautiful day off. As I type, Andrew is watching the ANZAC Day match on TV, and I have just finished at batch of ANZAC biscuits. It is said that ANZAC biscuits got their name for being a popular treat for military wives to send their husbands overseas as they don’t easily spoil. I’ve always liked these oat-y and sweet cookies, but today was the first time I’d ever tried making them.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t feel like I’m ‘honoring’ the ANZACs by making these biscuits today. To be honest, we should have gotten up and attended the Dawn Service, especially as it used to be so important to AW, but he decided to forgo it this year. I guess it’s my attempt at feeling Australian today, as this is a day that truly seems to bring the country together. It was reported earlier 30,000 people attended the Dawn Service in Canberra this morning.

Oddly enough, the recipe I used was extracted from an American cookbook a dear friend gave us for our wedding. I checked, and the recipe is as authentic as any other. I cut the recipe in half, and substituted honey for corn syrup. You can bake these to be crunchy or a bit chewy, just watch the cookies and adjust the baking time accordingly.

ANZAC Cookies

Recipe from Bountiful Blessings: From Our Table to Yours printed by White Memorial Presbyterian Church

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats, not instant
  • 3/4 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup or honey
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine oats, coconut, flour, sugar and salt.
  3. In a saucepan, melt syrup and butter over low heat.
  4. In a separate small bowl, combine boiling water and soda; mix until smooth.
  5. Combine butter mixture and soda mixture; add to dry ingredients. Blend well.
  6. Drop mixture by teaspoons 1 1/2 to 2-inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Press with a fork. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container. May be frozen for up to 3 months.
  8. Feel Australian and enjoy.