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The Best Wartime Cookie You've Never Heard Of (Maybe)

The Best Wartime Cookie You've Never Heard Of (Maybe)

Yesterday, D.C. Metro riders were glued to the Washington Post's food section. 'Twas the annual Cookie edition! With 26 recipes, it got fudgy, nutty, fruity (and fatty, but whatever). One twenty-sixth of it especially struck me. The ANZAC biscuit, an all-caps acronym for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, which doesn't usually appear until April on its eponymous holiday.

According to urban legend (un-scary ones), World War I care packages were filled with these oaty rockstars to feed fighters. As a Serious Eats reader back in August put it wisely, they're "like oatmeal cookies on steroids, and they keep forever."

Last night I attempted the bellicose biscuits, and added a few personal touches.

About the author: Erin Zimmer, Serious Eats's Washington, D.C., correspondent, is a just-graduated Georgetown gal following her nose about town as Washingtonian magazine's Dining intern and Best Bites blogger. She got her start as the Hoya campus paper's food columnist, and since entering "real person-hood" has ached for her dining hall's omelet station.

The Best Wartime Cookie You've Never Heard Of (Maybe)

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About This Recipe

Yield:48 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats (do not use quick-cooking or instant)
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup trail mix (mine was Bear Naked brand, with dried crans, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds and cashews)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

Procedures

  1. 1

    Preheat to 350 degrees. Combine the oats, flour, sugar, coconut and trail mix in a large bowl.

  2. 2

    Combine the butter and syrup (or honey) in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook for a few minutes, until the butter has melted and the syrup is bubbling.

  3. 3

    Combine the baking soda and water in a small bowl and add it, stirring, to the butter mixture, which will foam up immediately. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.

  4. 4

    Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of the dough onto baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes (though Washington Post will tell you to bake for 7 to 10 minutes, then rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back, baking another 8 to 10 minutes). Cool until the cookies are crisp.

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