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Gluten Free Mock “Anzac” Biscuits

Cookies & Biscuits Slices, Bars & Sweet Treats
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OK, so this post is a few weeks late! It was Anzac Day in Australia a few weeks ago. For those of you in other countries, this is a national holiday and day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand where we celebrate and honour the contribution made to our great countries by the soldiers in World War One when they landed in Gallipoli. It now also commemorates the efforts in World War Two. I always get a bit choked up at the service; and have proudly watched my grandparents march in the parade with their medals on more than one occasion. It is a special day of pride, gratitude and reflection for most Australians and New Zealanders, as the “Anzac legend” has had a significant impact on defining the identity of both nations. My grandparents have all passed away. But we continue to celebrate their experiences, and the impact those have had on our past and our future.

One delicious way to commemorate Anzac Day is in the kitchen, by baking up a huge batch of Anzac biscuits! Anzac biscuits (or gluten free oat cookies, as they are called in The United States) are traditional sweet baked treats made in Australia and New Zealand using rolled oats, flour, coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup, baking soda and boiling water. They are scrumptious, really easy to make, inexpensive; and are part of the baking repertoire of every self-respecting Aussie.

The origins of Anzac biscuits is a subject of some debate. The most commonly accepted story is that they were sweet treats made by army wives to send to their husbands at war, as they needed to make something that would survive the long journey to Europe. Another story, that has survived, is that they were made in the trenches by soldiers utilising the limited provisions they had. Either way, they have become one of those iconic Australian foods; and unlike Vegemite, can be happily enjoyed by everyone the world over!

The recipe for gluten free Anzac biscuits is fairly standard. You do get gluten free Anzac biscuits that are a bit more exotic and contain LSA and nuts. But typically people stick to the basic traditional recipe, which is pretty delicious. These cookies really give weight to the adage that the simple things in life are the best. This year, my old mate Pete gets the remembrance and credit for inspiring my gluten free adaptation of the tried and tested wheat-inspired Anzac biscuit. Pete was Lyn’s husband (from the broccoli salad post); and was like my second father. I was remembering the phenomenal Anzac biscuits that he used to make as I got uncommonly nostalgic for old-fashioned, traditional Australian culinary “delights”. I say “uncommonly” only because I very rarely indulge in such treats because they are filled with gluten, dairy and sugar, and usually make me sick! But my mouth just waters thinking about Pete’s Anzac biscuits. To decline one would simple be “un-Australian”! Delicious little toxic treats they were! You know the kind? “Oh so good” going down, and “not so good” coming back up!

Pete and I were known on more than one occasion to polish off a whole batch of Anzac biscuits in one afternoon as we quietly solved the problems of the world over a lazy game of cards. He would smugly grin as he looked over me saying, “You made light work of those didn’t you veggie head”! I would sheepishly nod as I surreptitiously grabbed for yet another taste of sugar-filled heaven that I knew would make me sick!

I have modified Pete’s Anzac biscuit recipe to make it a little more forgiving. I used rice flour, coconut sugar, and maple syrup instead of brown sugar, golden syrup and wheat flour. I have still used butter -- you really need it for the depth of flavour. But you could always use vegan butter in order to make these dairy free. But you could use another natural granulated sugar of your choice if you can’t source coconut sugar. My friend Kris put me onto coconut sugar a while ago, and have to say, "I am in love"! This nutritionally dense sweetener made from coconut palm blossoms is low GI, and has a rich toffee-like flavour that makes if perfect for replicating the quality of the golden syrup in this recipe.

These gluten free Anzac biscuits are nothing short of spectacular. Cook them for exactly 20 minutes and take them out of the oven (they will still be soft) and allow them to solidify at room temperature. Then they will be crunchy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. “Bloody Beeyutiful” as Pete would say. These cookies are a bit more naughty than most of my other recipes. But I am posting these to commemorate the sixth anniversary of Pete’s death this week.

Pete – I love you, and miss our talks every day.

Gluten Free Anzac Biscuits - Gluten Free Oat Cookies

Gluten Free Mock “Anzac” Biscuits

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  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup organic shredded coconut
  • 1 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 125 gms organic butter
  • 4 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp boiling water
  1. In the large mixing bowl or mixer combine oats, sifted flour, coconut sugar and coconut.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the butter and maple syrup, and stir over a gentle heat until melted.
  3. Mix the baking soda with the boiling water in a small bowl and add it into the melted butter mixture.
  4. Stir the butter mixture into the dry ingredients.
  5. Lightly grease two oven trays.
  6. Place tablespoons of the mixture onto the oven trays; allowing room for spreading.
  7. Cook in a slow oven for 20 minutes at 150 C / 300 F
  8. Loosen while warm then cool on racks

Makes about 30 biscuits

Tip: the best way to clean your blender

After blending up something sticky, gooey or smelly, just place a few drops of soap in the carriage with some warm water and blend on high until all of the congealed food slips away from the blades and sides. Then repeat this process. Then rinse with water and presto! Clean carriage. 
If you have smells or stains repeat this process with some bicarbonate of soda or lemon juice and water. 
Check out the video on A No Hassle Way To Clean Your Blender that I did as part of the Chow Tips Series.

These are absolutely delicious. I had never used coconut sugar before. I only used 3/4 of the sugar and they still tasted great.

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I can’t stop eating these…..not good for my diet.

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The coconut sugar makes these delicious.

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Being Aussie i can’t go past a good ANZAC biscuit. I am new to the cooking world and am Gluten intolerant and i can’t wait to give these a try and impress my wife! Brownie points! Or Anzac points in this case.

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These are very tasty. I had never used coconut sugar before, and boy is it rich! I made another batch using less sugar and they were perfect.

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Hurry up ANZAC day! I wanna make these again! Tooo good!

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I made these in honor of my parents flying halfway around the world to NZ, to see my step brother. I have to say, I’m very glad no one else is around, because now there are more for me! I love the taste, but I think since I used a baking stone, my cookies came out very flat and crispy. I decreased the bake time on the second batch, and that seemed to help a bit. I think next time I’ll try a traditional cookie sheet. But, there will deffo be a next time as these little darlings are DELICIOUS!

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Can’t wait to make these ‘mouth watering’ delish looking cookies.  They are just right for my new found vegan lifestyle! Big Thanks! :D

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Anzac Day is coming up! Just found this on your site. Am so pleased to have a gluten free option this year.

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Who needs ANZAC day as an excuse to bake these scrummy biscuits…I am going to bake these this weekend. All my Gluten Free thanks to you Blender girl. Mona from OZ ;-)

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You cannot call these ANZAC biscuits as they are not made with Golden Syrup.

Legal issues

The term Anzac is protected under Australian law[5] and therefore the word should not be used without permission from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs;[6] misuse can be legally enforced particularly for commercial purposes. Likewise similar restrictions on naming[7] are enshrined in New Zealand law[8] where the Governor General can elect to enforce naming legislation. There is a general exemption granted for Anzac biscuits, as long as these biscuits remain basically true to the original recipe and are both referred to and sold as Anzac biscuits and never as cookies.[9]
This restriction resulted in the Subway chain of restaurants dropping the biscuit from their menu in September, 2008. After being ordered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to bake the biscuits according to the original recipe, Subway decided not to continue to offer the biscuit, as they found that their supplier was unable to develop a cost-effective means of duplicating the recipe.[10]

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Thanks Ron,
I didn’t know that. I will change the title now.

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I have modified this as we don’t eat maple syrup - have used one tbs agave and 3 tbs rice syrup… Here’s hoping it works!!

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Wonderful Janet!
Thanks for sharing your blend.
Let me know how they turn out. YUMMO!

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