If you've known me for a long time, you remember 5-6 years ago when I was going through the torturous infertility treatment process, which eventually resulted in no children and a divorce. During the whole thing, I developed an amazing support system on the infertility blog network and made some lifelong friends. One such friend is Ms Kate, who lives in Australia. I've never been to Australia. She's never been to America. We have exchanged boxes of food (yay Tim Tams!) and talk regularly on the internet. Seriously, the internet is incredible.
Anyway, my beautiful Kate posted on her Facebook the other day about baking some Anzac Biscuits. I was immediately inspired to make them for Cookie Monday. Anzac Biscuits, so named for the Australia New Zealand Army Corps, are made of oatmeal and coconut. Depending on how long you bake them, they can be chewy or they can be crispy. Most of the traditional recipes call for golden syrup, which is like our American corn syrup but made of cane sugar. I've found it before and used it long ago, but I haven't been able to find a jar of it in years. If you have some Lyle's Golden Syrup or something similar, look for a traditional recipe. But if you can't find it, use this Americanized version, which I found on Pinterest. It doesn't substitute corn syrup, because corn syrup is gross and doesn't taste very good. instead, it uses a combination of maple syrup and honey. This is AMAZING and tastes awesome. It mixes well with the brown sugar and everything caramelizes so beautifully during baking.
These are delicate little cookies and are VERY sensitive to the heat. All my cookies looked like they were burned or severely overbaked, and they weren't at all. It's all caramelized and delicious! It just looks burned. So probably they really will burn quickly if you're not careful. They're soft and chewy, and the coconut disappears into the batter (in a good way). These were very popular at work!
Anzac Biscuits: Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Brown Sugar Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons honey (golden syrup may be substituted)
2 tablespoons maple syrup (golden syrup may be substituted)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)
Heaping 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 pinch salt, optional and to taste
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
Add the brown sugar, honey, maple, and stir to combine. (If you prefer drier cookies, reduce honey and maple to 1 tablespoon each)
Add the flour, oats, coconut, optional salt, and stir to combine; set aside.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, add the water and heat on high power to boil, about 1 minute.
Slowly and very carefully add the baking soda to the water. Use caution because it will bubble up vigorously. Stir to dissolve the baking soda.
Pour water-baking soda mixture over dough and stir to combine. Dough will look like streusel topping. Fluffy and loose, but when squeezed together, compacts to form a dough.
Preheat oven to 350F, line baking sheets with Silpats, or spray with cooking spray. Place mounds on baking sheets, spaced at least 2 inches apart. Bake for about 9 minutes, or until edges have set and will be just beginning to brown (the coconut in the dough is prone to burning so watch them) and the tops are just beginning to set, even if undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than 9 to 10 minutes for soft cookies because they firm up as they cool; bake for 10 to 12 minutes if you like firmer, crisper cookies. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
Store cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
Yield: I doubled the recipe and got about 40 cookies