When I orginally started my blog it was for the sole purpose of keeping a record of all my recipes for my children who live around the world. My mother’s recipes have always remained very close to my heart, as I lost her in my teenage years. Although there are only a few, I feel they are a way of keeping her memory alive.
As my blog progressed and I kept trying out new recipes and developing them, I forgot the reason for starting out in the first place. I am planning on making as many of these old recipes as possible for posterity’s sake, even though I am shocked at the amount of sugar and butter in some of them. Many of our family dinners that I thought my children would remember from their childhood have turned into an absolute “NO NO” . The food revolution has created such awareness in the way we cook and the ingredients we use, but I think there is still a little space for nostalgia and loads of comfort in South Africa’s favourite oat and coconut crunchie.
I know every South African has grown up on crunchies, whether made by their mothers or grandmothers. For those of you who are not familiar with crunchies, they are similar to the Australian Anzac Biscuit, and are crisp and “crunchy”. I have found most American cookies are soft, and Americans find crispy sweet cookies unusual as it is normally just the savoury crackers that are crisp. If you have not tasted a South African crunchie please try this recipe and see what you think. Let me know if you like them. For my South African friends, leave a message and share your “crunchie memories”.
How to make Crunchies : These are quick to mix up and are easy enough for the children to help. Mix together the flour, oats, ground coconut, sugar and salt. Melt the butter and syrup in a pot and when it starts to bubble add the bicarbonate of soda. Once it foams up pour the buttery mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir together and press into a well greased baking tray by using the back of a metal spoon. The mixture need to be compacted well. Use a baking tray to suit how thick you want the crunchies to be. Sometimes I only use half the tray if I want them slightly thicker. They are not going to rise much so you will know what thickness they will be once pressed into the tray.
Remember to cut the crunchies whilst still warm, but allow them to cool in the tray. If you wait until they have dried out they will be too crisp to cut.
- 175g butter
- 1 Tablespoon syrup
- 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 cups oats
- 1 cup dessicated (ground) coconut
- 1 cup flour, sieved
- ¾ cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- Melt butter, syrup together and when bubbling addthe bicarb.
- Add this to the oats, coconut , flour, sugar, and salt and crumb.
- Butter a baking tray 9x13in or 8x8in depending on how thick you want them. They will not rise much.
- Pack the mixture tightly into the buttered tray by pushing down hard with the back of a metal spoon.
- Bake at 350ºF/180ºC for 15minutes then turn down to 320ºF/160ºC for a further 10 mins.
- Cut when hot but only remove from the tin when cold