Let’s call this a ration recipe – a new term that I learnt recently from my daughter Anjali. Seems like a good time as any to share this wonderful recipe again especially as many of us seem to be in a rationing type of mode lately.
What is a ration recipe?
I had never heard of the term ration recipe until Anjali exclaimed “Oh, this is a ration recipe!” when she saw me making these cookies. I asked her to elaborate to which she gave me this explanation, “Ration recipes are recipes that are from WWII whenever they had to ration to maximize food for troops. Every recipe from that time was meant to use ingredients most efficiently and last much longer than normal food. The rationing is also why in the fifties, after the war was over, all of the food was suddenly ridiculously decadent. People had access to ingredients they didn’t have for an entire decade like dairy, sugar and eggs, so they went WILD!” And then she ended her explanation with “Wow my history teacher will be proud, I remembered something from her class 😀😉!”
A ration recipe from WWI
To clarify, this is a type of ration recipe but not from WWII but rather from WWI. My friend Susan who first introduced me to these cookies explained “These cookies are called ANZAC Biscuits – Australian and New Zealand Army Corps Biscuits. During WWI, the wives and mothers of the Australian and New Zealand soldiers would make these biscuits and send them to their soldier son/husbands in Europe. The cookies would last the long trip overseas on ships to Europe because of the combination of ingredients.”
When Susan brought these cookies to our Garden Party or to our Spring Tea these cookies were always the first to go! Folks loved these cookies made with oats, sugar, dried coconut, butter and flour.
These cookies really taste amazing in a humble sort of way. The taste reminds me of an oatmeal cookie with a coconut and caramel flavor. Or think of them like a granola bar but in a cookie form. Golden in color, sweet, and full of oats, they’re crunchy on the edges and soft in the center, and taste wonderful with a good cup of tea or coffee.
All you do is melt butter with golden syrup and then combine it with baking soda, coconut flakes, oats and flour. No eggs required. The only ingredient which maybe difficult to find is the Golden Syrup but as you can see in these photos it looks just like honey. Susan explained that here in the U.S. she has substituted with honey or molasses when making these cookies.
Whether this is a ration recipe or just a cookie recipe, either way you look at it these are delicious! Easy to make at those times when you want to whip something sweet in a jiffy, give this recipe a try. Crunchy and chewy these cookies will satisfy anyone’s sweet craving.
ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Biscuits
From Australian Women’s Weekly
Contributed by Susan
makes 30-40 cookies
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cup coconut flakes
- 1 cup sugar
- 125g butter about 1/2 cup butter
- 2 tbsp golden syrup. Golden Syrup is a thick, amber-colored form of inverted sugar syrup, made in the process of refining sugar cane juice into sugar, or by treatment of a sugar solution with acid. You can use molasses or honey as an alternative.
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp boiling water
- Preheat oven to 250F.
- Combine butter and golden syrup in medium pan, stir over heat until butter is melted.
- Stir baking soda with hot water in a small bowl then add it to the butter.
- Turn the stove off.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, oats, coconut and sugar. Add the butter syrup to the dry ingredients and mix well. It will be a thick cookie dough.
- Line the baking tray with parchment paper. Drop 1 tbsp of mixture about 6 to a tray. Flatten slightly.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on trays.
- Makes about 30 to 40 biscuits.
- Cook’s Notes: The tough part was figuring out the right oven temperature and for how long to get the soft cookie inside and crunchy on the edges. I had to try different times until what worked. For me my oven temperature of 250F and 20 minutes baking time worked. As you will see in the photos, some cookies were thinner and as I got better at figuring out the right amount of time the latter batches were more soft in the center and crunchy on the edges. Here’s the best part, whether crunchy or soft, these are awesome cookies!!
Store in an airtight container.