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Tweak the Recipe of This Australian Biscuit, and You Can Get a Hefty Fine or Even Jail Time | Travel

Anzac biscuits

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Australia is a country with a history of convicts, bushrangers and outlaws. Breaking the law seems to be in our blood, and we have a reputation for being quite notoriously adventurous. We swim with sharks, and we battle crocs in the wilderness. We are dare devils. Yet, one thing that many Aussies will absolutely not do—in fear of landing themselves in jail—is tweak the recipe of the humble Anzac biscuit.

An Anzac biscuit (not to be mistaken for a cookie) can be eaten soft and chewy or crisp and crunchy. Either way the Anzac bikkie (Aussie slang for biscuit) is best enjoyed with a hot mug of coffee or tea to dunk the sweet treat in. While Australia has a lot of favorite biscuits, no home will be without an Anzac biscuit on its table come April 25, a day known to us as Anzac Day. Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day commemorates the anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli, Turkey, in 1915— the countries’ first major action against what was then the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany, in World War I. The campaign lasted eight months, resulting in more than 25,000 Australian casualties, including 8,700 deaths.

Simple ingredients are used to make Anzac biscuits, and every Aussie family has its own recipe. In a large bowl, a mixture of oats, desiccated coconut, flour, golden syrup, sugar, butter and a leavener like baking soda are roughly mixed together to form a cohesive dough, which is rolled out into golf-sized balls, pressed down slightly and baked until the biscuits are golden-brown in color. The smell in the kitchen is exactly as you imagine—sugary sweet with a roasted oats aroma lingering in the air—enticing the whole household to devour the entire batch of biscuits while warm from the oven.

Although Anzac biscuits can be found year-round in the aisles of supermarkets, the symbolic bakes are most commonly found in bakeries and cafés during the month of April, in the lead-up to Anzac Day.

While some grandmothers add in extra butter, nuts and even eggs for a crispier and richer mouthfeel, commercial bakeries are unable to steer away from the good ol’ Aussie Anzac biscuit recipe unless given permission by the governing body: Australia’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). Many businesses that have tried to push boundaries…

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