ANZAC Biscuits with Dried Blueberries

anzac_bluepFirst of all, I I would like to apologise my dear visitors and blogging friends for such a long absence due to wonderful holidays I have spent once more in Japan. As always, the stay in Tokyo was highly inspiring, filled with unforgettable culinary moments and I hope I’ll be able to share with you some of my discoveries in future posts. The only thing I strongly regretted about my trip was having naively hoped once more the plane food would be at least edible. Leaving more than half of the meals intact I kept on dreaming how happy I would have been if I had an onigiri, a simple sandwich or some ANZAC biscuits in my bag… Next time I take a long flight these treats will definitely travel with me!

If you have never heard about these biscuits, ANZAC stands for “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps”, created during the World War I. The biscuits bearing this name were created at the same time by women desperate to send nutritious home-made food to their husbands, sons and boyfriends. This is apparently how the eggless, nutritious recipe ensuring long preservation was born. I first prepared ANZAC biscuits thanks to Mr. Three-Cookies and will always be grateful for this amazing discovery.

ANZAC biscuits might not look very attractive, but with their buttery aroma, slight chewiness and nutty flavours for me they are no more no less but the best thing in the world of crunchy sweet treats. They are also easy and quick to prepare, so I make them quite regularly.  The basic recipe is flexible and every version I have made proved delicious. Apart from the basic recipe, until now I have only posted a dried cranberry version, which I love particularly because of its tanginess and an even higher degree of chewiness.

One day I was given a big bag of luscious dried blueberries and, afraid of spoiling them in baked dishes, I kept on treating them as exceptional snacks. The friend who has kindly offered these blueberries has lived for many years in Australia, so somehow adding them to ANZAC biscuits seemed suddenly obvious. The result was absolutely luscious and much superior to the addition of boring raisins I have tested once.

TIPS: Unless you have a health problem, do not use margarine or any other vegetable shortening. The butter taste and  aroma is so strong, you will lose a big part of the pleasure.

As I have mentioned above, they keep fresh in a tightly closed container for several days (and maybe even more, but I wasn’t able to test more than five days). The biscuits stay crunchy and slightly chewy.

WARNING: do not taste the raw dough! You will end up eating it straight from the pan while you wait for your previous batch to bake.

Preparation: 1 hour (or 30 minutes if you manage to bake everything in one batch)

Ingredients (I have obtained about 35 biscuits, you will obtain a bit less if you skip blueberries):

70 grams/1 cup rolled oats

90 grams/1 cup desiccated coconut

120 g/1 cup flour

125 g/about 4,5 oz butter

160 g/3/4 cup brown cane sugar

1 tablespoon dark syrup (I used 2 tablespoons molasses)

1 teaspoon baking soda (bi-carbonate of soda, in countries where it is not widely available, for example in France, it can be easily bought in pharmacies)

2 tablespoons boiling water

pinch of salt

6 heaped tablespoons dried blueberries

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Melt the butter and syrup or molasses in a big pan.

Combine the flour, the oats, the coconut, the blueberries, the salt and the sugar. Add slowly to the melted butter.

At the end combine the boiling water and soda. Pour the mixture into the dough and stir well with a spoon.

Don’t worry if the dough seems crumbly. It is normal. Just squeeze well the dough when forming balls in your hands and don’t flatten them too much.

Roll small balls, making them as tight as possible (I usually make walnut-sized balls, but this time I wanted smaller biscuits, so I made the balls 1/3 smaller) and put them on a baking sheet (leaving at least 3 cm spaces between each ball since they will spread).

Flatten them slightly (they will flatten even more during the baking process) and bake 10-15 minutes or until golden.

Keep them in a tightly closed container. Apparently they keep for ages. All I know is they keep for at least five days, well closed.

24 Replies to “ANZAC Biscuits with Dried Blueberries”

    1. Thank you. In general cookies/biscuits aren’t supposed to be fancy, aren’t they? I care much much less for their shape for example…

  1. I have been making Anzac biscuits for years ever since my dear Mom saw Martha Stewart make a batch on her show. We love them too. The recipe we have been using uses Lyle’s Golden syrup instead of molasses and plain white sugar instead of the brown cane sugar. It is severely tempting to eat the raw dough so I appreciate the warning. I wish I had read it before making my first batch over 15 years ago! I also really like the addition of the dried blueberries I bet it added a lovely texture as well as flavour. This cookie is always part of my Christmas baking so you know I’ll be making them again soon!

    1. Hi Eva, I’m glad you are also an ANZAC biscuits fan. The dough is irresistible, isn’t it? It was my first time baking with blueberries (dried), so I was really happy the result was so good.

  2. Welcome Home Sissi! So happy that you got another chance to visit your beloved Japan… lucky you! :). yes, I always pack food for the plane … it’s one of those travel preparation musts for me. I was actually pleasantly surprised this time upon our recent return from Canada, there were still a few solid options left by the time the cart made it to us… hummus, fruit and cheese plate and decent protein wraps — they’ve gotten a lot better (Air Canada) but still, I never leave it to chance, my backpack is always full of goodies :).

    I have heard of ANZAC biscuits (I forget which blogger featured them) — and to my eye, these look beautiful. Full of wholesome goodness with a certain artisan quality that I adore. You know, I am going to make these for my husband who was just lamenting over the weekend about how long it has been since he’s had a good oatmeal cookie with nuts/seeds — there you go! Love the inclusion of dried blueberries and happen to have just the right amount left over from my feijoa recipe — perfect!! 😀

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. Next time, whatever the airline, I’ll not be naive and will take my own food too. I have noticed that the worst food is served on long flights… when you are trapped for hours and are forced to eat it. Otherwise, sometimes on European flights certain companies serve wraps or sandwiches which are not that bad…
      I hope you will like these biscuits… They are really exceptional. It was the first time I baked with blueberries and loved them! I prefer them much more than raisins.

        1. We haven’t had anyone coughing this time… though now that I think, we should all bring masks for the trip (many Japanese people wear them on planes and it makes such sense…).

      1. these cookies are so. so. SO. good!! (I’m in serious trouble 😉 ) I thought I would make them for my husband but with him away on business till Friday, the boys and I thought it was only right to test them first (you know, just in case). Oh my goodness… delish.

        1. Thank you so much for such a wonderful message, Kelly! It makes me happy to learn you have like ANZAC biscuits as much as I did! I am sure you will play with the basic recipe soon… They are so versatile… Thank you so much again for this kind message! You know few things make me happier than learning a friend liked my recipe 🙂

  3. You have to know how envious I am that you can just jump on a plane and be in Japan in a few hours. So glad that you had a great trip and can’t wait to hear about it. Glad you made it home safely. I’ve heard of ANZAC biscuits but have never had one and certainly haven’t made them. You really sold me on them with your comment about the “butter taste and aroma is so strong”! There’s nothing like the taste of real butter. And yes, I would be one of those that would eat the batter and only end up with half a batch of cooked cookies. In college I had a roommate that use to bring cookie dough into the dorm room for the purpose of us eating it. We didn’t have an oven, so what else could you do with it. 🙂 As a result, I LOVE dough!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

    1. Hi, MJ. Thank you for kind words. I didn’t have any holidays this year, so I have definitely merited a trip to Japan :-)I think you would love ANZAC biscuits. They don’t taste like “healthy” sweets at all in spite of oats. They are just buttery, crunchy and chewy… I get hungry even writing it!
      As an experienced dough eater you should make maybe a double portion 😉

  4. I hope you had a wonderful time in Japan. I can wait to see the trip photos.

    Unfortunately I never heard of this cookies. But sounds delicious. And the photo looks great!

    1. Thank you, Nipponnin. I did have wonderful time, as always. These biscuits don’t look very attractive, but they are exceptional!

  5. Thank you Sissi for the kind message, much appreciated.
    Unless you have a health problem, do not use margarine
    I am really really jealous that you visited Japan. I love Japan and Japanese people. I hope we can visit together soon. My best friend is there, we need to coordinate timing
    Have a great weekend

    1. I always remember the source or inspiration of crucial culinary moments of my life and tasting the first ANZAC biscuit was one of the biggest ones, so I’ll always remember you.
      Health problems that forbid real butter are for me the only excuse someone could possibly choose margarine (not only here, where the taste of margarine must be disgusting, but in general). I hate this stuff.
      Let me know when you go to visit your friend! Where does he/she lives? We must go at the same time! I go there every year.
      Have a lovely weekend too!

  6. You must have had a wonderful time on your trip to Japan. Airplane food is terrible…I thought when we flew Air France to and from Paris last year that perhaps the food would be good. Unfortunately, it was inedible. Yes, do pack some of your ANZAC biscuits on your next trip…even if it is a short flight, they sound perfect.

    1. Thank you, Karen. I’m glad you agree. When I discuss it, I sometimes feel that people don’t even pay attention… You pay a substantial amount of money and they could at least give simple sandwiches we get for example on European short flights… Frankly I’d happily pay additional amounts of money just to have a Starbuck’s sandwich… or any fast-food meal… Next trip will be 100% my own meal.

  7. I am not sure anymore if I had read and comment on your dried cranberry version. Anzac does sound familiar, it rings a bell. Since these cookies are so nutritious, they would make the perfect gym food no? especially because there are no eggs and lots of Hindus don’t eat eggs here. Sometimes I feel like preparing gym snacks for our gym members, but then I am always worried if the snacks will remain good for more then 24 hours in this humid heat.
    Lucky you!! I want to come with you to Japan!!

    1. Thank you, Hélène. I think these biscuits are most of all particularly good, but they also keep for ages, if closed in an air-tight container (even in the summer they keep for several days). I suppose oats make them good for gym food, but I’m not a specialist… You are most welcome to come with us to Japan!

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