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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.


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Reader Comments (30)


Also being from SA, I must say even though my mom never made them, I remember my gran making them from when I was tiny, she still brings my brother tons of them, cause as a kid he never stopped eating them.. they are amazing
November 11 | Unregistered CommenterMichaela
Another South-African here and so excited to find this recipe. These crunchies are definately apart of my childhood and I look forward to introducing my non South-african children to them too.

They are delicious!
February 15 | Unregistered CommenterChill
i am doing a project for school on south africa so i did the south african crunchies they were great i got a B
March 23 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
This looks great! Thanks so much for the idea...and the <a href="http://cakestacks.blogspot.com/2012/01/sweet-sixteen-bar-cookies.html">Sugar Rush</a>!
January 9 | Unregistered CommenterMolly
Yummmmy! I love that SA crunch! Find myself wishing I had a gran who had made these all my life...but now my little grandbabies will! I've been by before, but found you again through a cute weekly collection from http://cakestacks.blogspot.com/2012/01/sweet-sixteen-bar-cookies.html Sugar Rush: Sweet Sixteen. Thanks for sharing!
January 10 | Unregistered CommenterLouise
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