A few weeks ago (April 25th, to be exact), a reader asked me to create a gluten-free ANZAC cookie. It was Australia-New Zealand Army Corps Day, and she was longing to celebrate this holiday with ANZAC Biscuits (cookies are called “biscuits” in Australia and New Zealand).
I did some research and found that these biscuits seemed quite similar to what we know and love as oatmeal cookies. The families of the ANZAC soldiers of World War II baked and shipped these biscuits off to their loved ones during the war and ever since, folks have been baking these treats in honor of those soldiers … and, I’m sure, because they’re really tasty!
Vegemite made with barley.
It wasn’t hard to come up with a gluten-free version of this favorite cookie, and luckily I was able to develop it before our elementary school’s “International Night!” I brought a big batch of these to the Australia table, where a mom who hailed from Australia was unpacking her stuffed roos and koalas, and unfurling her country map. She was thrilled to have these symbolic cookies to share at her table, as were the gluten-free kids, since the only other Australian food there was gluten-filled jar of Vegemite! (I also brought gluten-free naan to the India table that night - hop here for that recipe!)
You don’t have to be from Australia or New Zealand, or be celebrating ANZAC day to love this buttery, macaroon-like oatmeal-coconut cookie. It’s just plain good!
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to mix.
Place butter and agave in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. Meanwhile boil water and dissolve baking soda and salt. Add water mixture to melted butter mixture and stir. Pour saucepan into the dry ingredient bowl and mix to integrate well.
Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to scoop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, approximately 2 inches apart. Flatten the cookies slightly with the palm of your hand before baking.
Bake 13-15 minutes, or until the cookies are browning at the edges but are not hard. Remove to cool on wire racks.