I love a good Anzac Biscuit. Mum used to make these big flat ones that were rich with oats and golden syrup, crunchy round the edges and chewy through the middle, with just the tastiest hint of fresh rosemary to excite the palate and cut through the sweetness. She is a clever cook that mum of mine – I used to (and still do) love getting in the kitchen with her when she was baking – such a treat! I have made them many times over the years, but have never quite captured the classic taste and texture of mum’s recipe. I often wonder if that is all but a trick of the mind though, a longing for times past and reminders of mum’s fabulous home cooking. Probably a little of both I suppose. This recipe was born out of desire to pay homage to the past, and to start a new tradition that fits with life as we know it now. I had some left over almond pulp in the fridge just waiting to be transformed in to something else, when it struck me that I could use in place of flour for some gluten free baked goodness perfect for the whole family.
Traditional Anzacs are made from a combination of flour, oats, coconut and golden syrup. And a fine combination they are! Given this, it is relatively easy to transform these into a gluten free version, using a combination of almond pulp (or meal), quinoa flakes, coconut and rice malt syrup. The results are very similar in taste and texture, though these are less sweet than the original and a whole lot healthier.
If you have and prefer gluten free oats and golden syrup on hand, them by all means use them. I have to keep the fructose content as low as possible to keep my belly happy, so rice malt syrup is a better alternative. The flavour of rice malt syrup, if you have not had it before it more subtle and slightly less sweet than either golden or maple syrup but it makes a great alternative to either in any dish that you want to healthy up a little. It is still a form of sugar though, so don’t go thinking of it as anything but a treat okay.
Very simple to put together in one bowl, these biscuits are a great kids in the kitchen recipe, where your little ones can get involved from start to finish and enjoy the tasting even more knowing they have been part of the making of these gorgeous little morsels. I made these with my lovely little girl, who appeared to have more in her mouth than on her hands in the end, but isn’t that always the way when cooking with kids. Thankfully she left enough dough behind to make a good size batch and the results were golden, crunchy, chewy and delicious.
What I think really separates these biscuits from other Anzac biscuit recipes is the use of fresh rosemary in the mix. Mum always insisted on it in hers, saying it was her way to honour and remember those lost to us and to add the most fragrant and earthy hit of flavour in each wonderful bite.
Here’s how they came together;
- 1 cup almond pulp* or almond meal
- 1⅓ cups quinoa flakes - (or gluten free rolled oats)
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup unrefined or raw sugar
- ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons light flavoured vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons rice malt syrup - (or maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup water - (omit if using almond pulp)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Line a large flat baking tray with baking paper.
- Using a large mixing bowl, add the almond pulp, quinoa flakes, coconut, sugar & rosemary.
- Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.
- Add the oil, rice malt syrup, vanilla & water (if using).
- Mix until well combined.
- Take out golf ball size lots of the dough, form them into a ball & place on baking tray.
- Flatten each one with your hand or a warmed fork.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until browned around the edges. Leave for 5 more minutes if you like them crunchier.
- Allow cool on the tray for at least 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
So there you have it, my version of a gluten free Anzac Biscuit, rich with sweetness and a hint of rosemary to truly take the taste to another level. Another old favourite made new. I hope you likes these as much as we do.
What are your favourite tastes or smells that remind you of your childhood? Does your family have a tradition you use to honour those who fought for us? I would love to hear about it.
Cook! Eat! Enjoy!