Friday, August 29, 2008


...A firm South African favourite

Crunchies were a staple for me growing up. Everybody I knew who sold sweets out of their homes or at schools sold crunchies. Everytime I make these I am overwhelmed by feelings of nostalgia. I remember begging my mother every day after school for 20c for popcorn and 50c for my daily crunchie fix. Wow... it seems like centuries ago and yet I still love these.

I remember the first day I made these for my niece and nephew(aged 6 and 7). I told them that I was going to make them crunchies. They looked at me with strange expressions on their faces and the exclaimed that they didn't know what crunchies are. They waited eagerly as I made and baked the crunchies and after one bite the first comment out their mouths were, "Aunty Diane we've had these before but we didn't know what they were called". I'm guessing that with all the food restrictions being placed on schools these days they aren't so popular with the kids anymore. Since making these for them they always request them when I call or visit them.

Crunchies, whether they are in the form of biscuits (cookies) or bars are made with the same basic ingredients which include oats, coconut and golden syrup. To spice them up you could also add your favourite chopped dried fruits and/or nuts or even chocolate chips. My favourite additions are dried apricots, pecan nuts or chocolate chips. I always love to drizzle them with melted chocolate after they have been cut and cooled in the pan.

2 cups (500ml) flour
2 cup (500ml) oats
2 cup (500ml) coconut
1 cup (250ml) sugar
250 g butter or margarine
4 tablespoons golden syrup (add about 2 tablespoons more if you like your crunchies a little chewy)
2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients for the crunchies, except for the baking soda in a large bowl.
  2. Heat the butter and syrup in a saucepan until all the butter has melted.
  3. Add the bicarb (baking soda) and stir until frothy.
  4. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly into a medium sized greased baking pan, about 10 by 8 inches.
  6. Press firmly with your hands or the the back of a spoon to press until the top of the
    mixture is smooth and even.
  7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350dgrees F until golden brown
  8. Cut into squares while still warm and leave in pan to cool completely.
  9. Store in an airtight containter.

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