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Anzac Cookies {Secret Recipe Club}

by Jeanette on May 16, 2011 · 41 Comments
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Anzac Cookies
This month, I joined the Secret Recipe Club, created by Amanda of Amanda’s Cookin’.

This month there are over 40 food bloggers participating in the Secret Recipe Club. The idea behind this club is to give bloggers the chance to try each other’s recipes without the other bloggers knowing it until everyone posts their results. I love having the excuse to try other people’s recipes, so I couldn’t wait to see who I was assigned…I was so excited to hear that I got Katrina of Baking And Boyswho I recently met through the blogosphere.

Interestingly enough, Katrina also has four boys (or perhaps Amanda paired me up with Katrina knowing this!) so I knew I would be able to connect with her instantly (e.g., the noise level, the wrestling, the mess and dug-in-dirt laundry, and all the cooking from morning until night to fill ever hungry tummies!). As you can guess from the name of Katrina’s blog, she does a lot of baking. There are lots of cookie and muffin recipes, as well as a few savory dishes. I decided to try Katrina’s Anzac Biscuits (Crispy Oatmeal Cookies) recipe.

Anzac Biscuits are named for the cookies that were shipped from Australia and New Zealand to Anzac soldiers (“Australian and New Zealand Army Corps”) around the world during World War I. Wives made these sturdy cookies for their soldier husbands who went abroad using ingredients that did not spoil easily. 

These Anzac Biscuits looked like a simple enough cookie to make, plus I love coconut, so it seemed like the perfect recipe to try. I have to admit that at first, I tried making these cookies gluten/dairy free. Although the results of my gluten/dairy free experiments produced a spectacular cookie, they did not look at all like Katrina’s Anzac cookies (Stay tuned, I will be posting this gluten/dairy free recipe soon!).

I reverted back to Katrina’s original recipe, this time making just a few adjustments to make them slightly healthier, but sticking to similar ingredients: substituting white whole wheat flour for white flour (which Katrina mentioned she might try this next time), organic evaporated cane juice for white sugar, and unsweetened coconut for sweetened coconut (Katrina also mentioned she might try this).

With the exception of changing out these few ingredients, I followed the recipe as is. I was a bit gun shy after making two previous batches of gluten/dairy-free cookies that did not resemble Anzac Cookies at all, so I didn’t want to mess anymore with the recipe. Although the cookie dough seemed dry, I continued to form and bake my first sheet of cookies.  Not surprisingly, this batch of cookies came out crumbly, almost like shortbread consistency, not nicely formed like Katrina’s. 
Not enough moisture made for a crumbly shortbread like cookie – still delicious!
For the second sheet of Anzac Cookies, I added a little bit of water, just enough to bind the ingredients together. I baked the cookies for 8 minutes until lightly browned, although Katrina baked hers for 16 minutes. This batch came out perfectly (phew!!). Temperatures do vary oven-to-oven, and I did change out a few ingredients, so perhaps this accounts for the dryness of my dough (in my first batch of cookies) and the reduced baking time. Although I had a few mishaps when I tried to modify this recipe, the end result was well worth it!

Like Katrina, I have a house full of boys; however, I’m more of a cook than a baker, which is probably a good thing; otherwise, I would be eating all the test cookies. Thumbs up to Katrina!

Anzac Cookies

From Katrina’s Baking and Boys! with a few adaptations. I made these cookies slightly healthier by using white whole wheat flour, organic evaporated cane sugar and unsweetened coconut (these cookies are plenty sweet!).


  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Stick
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1-2 tablespoons additional water, to bind cookie dough if it’s too crumbly


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut. Set aside.
  2. Combine butter and syrup and melt in the microwave. Set aside.
  3. Mix together baking soda and water and add to butter mixture. 
  4. Mix into oat mixture. 
  5. Add more water if necessary to bind the cookie dough together. 
  6. Place tablespoons of batter onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake about 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

I submitted this recipe to be a part of Cookie Exchange 2011 hosted by Rianne at Art of Dessert.

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  1. Heather Davis says:

    Well I don't have four boys but I do have four children (3 girls and 1 boy) so while the wrestling and mud might not be so bad I definitely get the noise level! These look really good and I like your healthy take on them.

  2. Jeanette says:

    Hi Heather – I agree, the noise level in any house with lots of kids is at a high decibel! Glad you like these cookies – they are good!

  3. Jennifer (Savor) says:

    Thrilled to have taken part on the secret recipe club with you and to discover more blogs.

  4. Jason's BBQ Adventures says:

    Those cookies look absolutely delicious.

  5. danasfoodforthought says:

    Ooh those look just perfect! I like that you tried to make them a little healthier, without sacrificing the taste or texture!

  6. BigFatBaker says:

    I don't happen to have any children, so I tend to eat all the stuff I make. Which is bad…I need to start giving it away! But these cookies sound mighty tasty. I love trying new flavors too. Happy Monday!

  7. So glad you participated this month, your blog is so beautiful! Love the design :) Glad you stuck with the recipe and kept trying, looks like they were definitely worth it!

  8. Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks! says:

    I'm looking forward to seeing your gluten free version as well!

  9. I have never heard of an Anzac Cookie, but now I will never forget them :) delish!

  10. Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] says:

    These cookies look gorgeous. Very nice photography in the last picture. I love Katrina's blog too, it's fun to read about! Welcome to the group 😀

  11. Suzanne says:

    You had me at the first picture! Nothing like a good cookie and the coconut clenches the deal. Spectacular pics!

  12. These look scrumptious! Yum! :)

  13. I have have only 4 kids but at times you'd think there were 10 here!

    I've never tasted these cookies but yours look great! Bet they were yummy.

  14. Kristen says:

    Coconut and oats sound like a perfect combination in these cookies. YUM! Isn't the Secret Recipe Club fun?!

  15. Jeanette says:

    I'm glad everyone's liking these cookies! What a fun event – great way to meet so many wonderful foodies and bloggers at the same time!

  16. Shumaila says:

    Like you, I love coconut too. In fact its my current favorite these days. I can have anything with coconut and these cookies sound and look great! By the way, thanks for the info on how Anzac cookies got their name (did not know that!)

  17. Cooking Rookie says:

    Beautiful cookies. I'm glad to see that you are also in the Secret recipe club. Hope I'll get to cook one of your recipes sometime soon :-).

  18. I had a lot of fun looking through the recipes for my SRC pick too. We're coconut lovers here too, so these sound great!

  19. Jeanette says:

    So glad to find other coconut lovers! Looking forward to trying out more recipes in future Secret Recipe Club events!

  20. LOVE Katrina too! She is so fantastic! I'm happy to have found your site through SRC – I've wanted to try making Anzac's forever – they look wonderful!

  21. Katrina says:

    Thanks for baking along with my blog! I thought these were really unique with their ingredients and how easy they were. Nice healthier subs!
    You can't really tell from my blog, but I like making healthy substitutes in things. Then I can have treats with less guilt! 😉

  22. Deeba PAB says:

    What a great pick from Katrina's blog Jeanette. K and her boys always amaze me, and her cookie posts are wonderful. I love the way you adapted and experimented with the Anzacs … WOW! Just what I love about food blogs – the connect, enthusiasm and camaraderie. Yay for the SRC!

  23. Your cookies look deliciously golden and crunchy. What a great pick!

  24. Jeanette says:

    I'm so glad I had the opportunity to try one of Katrina's recipes. She is an amazing baker! That's why this Secret Recipe Club was so fun – I love have the excuse to try other people's beloved recipes! They're tried and true.

  25. I have always wanted to try Anzac cookies. They looks REALLY delicious Jeanette!

  26. I'm glad this doesn't call for eggs; I can't wait to see your gluten-free version and then I can make it for my son. They look yummy!

  27. Jeanette says:

    Thanks Winnie and Anne,
    I'm really glad I had the chance to try these cookies. I'm hoping to post the gluten-free recipe soon (they don't look anything like these, but they are absolutely delectable!)

  28. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    These look great! I love Katrina's blog…full of tasty recipes :) I also really like the healthy substitutes you made. It makes eating a few cookies not feel so bad :)

    Glad you had fun in the SRC :)

  29. Jeanette says:

    I totally agree, moderation is key, but if you can make a few healthy substitutions, even better! Looking forward to next month's Secret Recipe Club!

  30. Barbara | Creative Culinary says:

    Such fun discovering so many amazing blogs…both the writers and the huge array of foods and food choices. Loved seeing your revisions; that's what makes it fun for me…the journey to make things my own!

  31. Delishhh says:

    Four boys – yikes :) But i have to say YUM to these cookies – this is my type of cookie, easy and containing coconut.

  32. I've never heard of an anzac cookie, but they look SO yummy! And I really like the adjustments you made. You sound like one busy mama :) Hope you have a good day!

  33. Jeanette says:

    Yes, four boys! Lots of noise and mess, but they're great fun – everything just rolls off their back, they never take anything too seriously. They make great taste testers too!

  34. Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking says:

    What a fun club! I'll have to look into it. Thanks for sharing these delicious looking cookies, too! Wonderful recipe.

  35. Jeanette says:

    Georgia – definitely look into joining in on the fun, it's a great way to explore other people's recipes and blogs!

  36. Oh! Anzac biscuits are so awesome! I lived in Australia for a period, and people will usually make these biscuits during Anzac day or Australia day. But in my opinion, these cookies should be made all year round. I've actually made a similar one last month, using GF flour instead of the regular flour; and using 2/3 cup brown sugar instead of the evaporated cane sugar.

  37. Jeanette says:

    Kayla, I agree, these cookies are good anytime of year. Like your idea of adding citrus zest or cinnamon. I'll have to try that next time!

  38. Kim-Cook It Allergy Free says:

    What a fun club! 😉 I love the recipe for these cookies and love your photos of them! 😉 I am going to try the gluten-free version!

  39. Jenny Erb says:


    We just made these! Or, my husband did. Since I can't post the photo here, I'll just post on my blog!!!

    He did make some changes:
    • Used only 3/4C sweetener, a mixture of xylitol, honey, and agave.
    • Added 1/4C chocolate chips
    • Substituted gluten-free flour and a pinch of xanthum gum. He used half Bob's Red Mill all-purpose GF flour, and half fine oat flour.

    Thanks for the recipe. It's made my afternoon happy.


  40. Anzac cookies are one of Grumpy's favorites! I have never used maple syrup in the recipe however I love the addition and will definitely try this one next time I make cookies!

  41. Jeanette says:

    Kim – let me know if you try a gluten-free version – I'm still going to try to get my gluten-free version another try to see if they'll come out like these.

    Jenny – thanks for sharing your gluten-free version with chocolate chips!

    Shelby – hope you try the addition of maple syrup next time you make Anzac cookies.

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