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« Cake Byte: The ClaireSquares Mini Debuts! | Main | All That Glitters: Golden Glow Cake With Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting from Cupcake Project »
Tuesday
Aug182009

South African Munchies: Delicious Crunchies

South African Crunchies
I first discovered Crunchies, a (natch) crunchy South African bar cookie, when CakeSpy Buddy Naomi handed one to me and said "eat this". Of course I was more than happy to oblige. Now, these cookies (made by local catering company On Safari) vaguely resembled granola bars, but one bite made the difference achingly clear. These cookies have a flavor that granola bars could only aspire to: crunchy, salty-sweet, coconutty, and very buttery.

So what's the deal with these cookies?
South African Crunchies
As one South African blogger reminisced,

Growing up in South Africa, the one cookie-tin constant that every child will remember is crunchies. They were usually one of the first things that your mom let you bake and kept forever in an airtight container, so we all grew up on crunchies. To me, they were distressingly unglamorous....but they certainly were a stalwart of every cookie tin that I remember growing up.

Want to make some crunchies? While On Safari's recipe is proprietary, I did find a crunchie recipe on the Hulett's Sugars (a South African manufacturer of sweeteners) which seems pretty legit.

 

South African Crunchies

  • 310ml (1¼ cups) flour
  • 310ml (1¼ cups) breakfast oats
  • 310ml (1¼ cups) coconut
  • 185ml (¾ cups) Huletts White Sugar
  • 20ml (4 teaspoons) Huletts Golden Syrup
  • 125ml (½ cup) butter or brick margarine
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda
  • 45 - 60ml boiling water
  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. Melt the Huletts Golden Syrup and butter together. Combine the bicarbonate of soda with the water and add to the butter mixture.
  3. Mix together with the dry ingredients.
  4. Press the mixture into a Swiss roll tin (or for a thicker crunchie, bake in a square 20cm x 20cm tin) and bake for 20 minutes at 150ºC. Gently press down the sides if they seem to rise too much.
  5. When light brown, remove from the oven and cut into squares. Switch off the oven. Return crunchies to the oven, for about 10 minutes to dry out.
  6. Allow to cool before removing from tin.

 

Reader Comments (30)

They look delicious, kind of like Aussie ANZAC cookies, but in bar form.

August 18 | Unregistered Commenterapparentlyjessy

Dude. They are awesome!

August 18 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

Just stumbled upon you today -what a great site! Love the illus. You should check out Iced in Greenville, SC. It's a local cupcake baker, fairly new to the scene. Sweet people and even sweeter fare.

Can't wait to check out the rest of your stuff.

August 18 | Unregistered CommenterAmy J

Thank you Amy J!! Hope you enjoy the sweet universe that is CakeSpy!

August 18 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

These sound awesome! I seriously need to give these a try.

August 18 | Unregistered CommenterNutmeg Nanny

Yum! What is Golden Syrup?

August 18 | Unregistered Commenterjamieofalltrades

These are my dad's fav cookies in the whole world and it is really easy to make! Just remember to cut the cookies into squares as soon as they come out of the oven, then they are nice and soft and easier to cut.

@jamieofalltrades - Golden Syrup is is sugar syrup, almost like pale treacle? In South Africa we use it in place of corn syrup - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_syrup - the oldest brand we've got in SA is Lyle's Golden Syrup which I grew up with and is still my fav syrup! Great on flapjacks :)

August 18 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

I am a South African and I can attest that i grew up eating these... every holiday we would make batches and batches of these.... oats, coconut, syrup, sugar.... they are delicious! Every one should try them, they are so easy and addictive.

August 18 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

Ooh, they sound good!

i'm also south african! and these are awesome :) love it when you write about our food jessie :)

August 19 | Unregistered Commenterchoc_coffee

Hurrah, more south african treats! Although they were never in our cookie jar at home, I remember visiting friends on their farms, with walk in pantries, and jars and jars of these! They truly are scrummy!

Thank you for the recipe, I'm going to make some soon!

August 19 | Unregistered CommenterDanni

In England, this (sans coconut) is a flapjack (which confusingly, to Americans means a pancake!). They're totally my favourite cake/biscuit thing- especially Grandma's recipe!

August 19 | Unregistered CommenterAbagael

Ooh, it's like a cross between a cookie and a granola bar. Fabulous!

delish! they look super good and crunchy. i've had a hankering for some good home-baked cookie bar type treats for a while now. will have to give this a try! as soon as i figure out what "golden syrup" is and how to measure ml. thanks!!

August 19 | Unregistered Commenterveggievixen

Awesome website!!! Love the photos and great information-thanks,Betty http://www.geothermalquestions.net

August 19 | Unregistered Commenterbetty

Golden Syrup can be found in more specialty grocery stores in the pancake/jam/jelly/honey isle. I use golden syrup in pecan pie instead of Karo syrup.

August 19 | Unregistered Commenterkittykat

omg me want!!!! nowwww lol

August 19 | Unregistered CommenterMellz

ohhh, interesting. Those South African crunchies look yummy!

August 19 | Unregistered CommenterLina

Hey buddies,

As for the questions about golden syrup--some say that you can sub. Karo syrup, but I say go for the real stuff. These days you can find it at a lot of nicer grocery stores...maybe not a Safeway, but probably at a Whole Foods or upscale market. Usually in my experience it's in the aisle with baking mixes OR by the pancake syrups, etc.

August 20 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

I am heading out to get the ingredients Right Now. This is the perfect rainy day activity for my (very) bored kid !

munchies, crunchies, dungies- i cannot explain hungry-ies.

MARIA

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August 20 | Unregistered Commentermaria stone

Eeek! Please don't sub. karo or other kinds of syrups for golden :) It just won't have the correct texture. It's been 8 years since I ate a genuine crunchie... I should definitely address that!

August 20 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

how I do love oaty delights!
I will give these babies a go!

August 22 | Unregistered CommenterAsh

I was looking for a crunchy bar cookie for hubby and came across this recipe. I cannot wait to try it. Thanks so much for sharing and for the inspiration :)

I am another SA who loves these cookies. Add dried cranberries and pistachio nuts to make them extra special!!

April 20 | Unregistered CommenterNics
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