Nostalgic sweet treats to make this weekend

If you are in Auckland then the last week has felt like an eternity. The lockdown days are long and languid and all sense of purpose has been swallowed up by hour-long supermarket wait lines. I have definitely been struggling to find my glass half full of optimism until a zoom call with colleagues gave me a great idea. Why not evoke a simpler time, when we were young, running around the yard barefoot and had never heard of Covid-19. So, in a move born of nostalgia, with a hefty pinch of denial, I decided to bake up all of the childhood treats I could manage.

Rice crispy treats

These rice crispy treats were such a hit with the kids it got a little scary. Photo / Getty Images

One of the simplest and most addictive sweet treats ever. My kids were like zombies wandering into the kitchen asking for more when I gave them a taste of this. I find the little pinch of salt helps to balance the sweetness.

You will need

80g butter

250 g marshmallows

½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

6 cups rice bubbles

Directions

  1. Measure rice bubbles and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat, add marshmallows, stirring until they have fully melted. Add vanilla.
  3. Stir marshmallow mixture through rice bubbles, mixing really well until all of the rice bubbles are coated in the sticky marshmallow goodness.
  4. Press the mixture into a large rectangular baking dish lined with baking paper, place another piece of baking paper on top and press down well.
  5. Place dish in the fridge to cool, then slice into squares and enjoy. Store in an airtight container, but they won't last long.

Salted rocky road

Rocky road is basically just chocolate with "stuff" thrown in it, but it is so sweet and satisfying. Photo / NZH

I am not the biggest fan of rocky road but I decided to have a bit of fun with it and I am really happy with how it turned out. I used multi-coloured mini marshmallows for great colour and I also used dried strawberries which were a great addition. A light sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top took it to the next level.

You will need

40g small colourful baking marshmallows

10g coconut threads

35g dried strawberries, cherries or cranberries

30g roasted peanuts

300g good chocolate

A healthy pinch of flaky sea salt

Directions

  1. Line a narrow baking dish with baking paper (I used a loaf tin).
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring often.
  3. Roughly cut up strawberries and peanuts.
  4. Spread everything except the chocolate on the bottom of the prepared dish. Pour over chocolate, rotating the dish until it is evenly spread. Sprinkle over sea salt.
  5. Place in the fridge to set. Slice into thin pieces with a warm knife.

Ambrosia

This recipe for raspberry ripple ambrosia comes from the legendary Annabel Langbein. At this time of year fresh raspberries can be hard to come by but some decent-looking strawberries have started to emerge so be creative with the berries you use. It is a bit of a stretch but as this has yoghurt and fruit in it I feel it definitely qualifies as a breakfast food.

Get the full recipe.

Hokey Pokey

There are few things more inherently Kiwi than hokey pokey, whether it be hidden in ice cream or smothered in chocolate it is crunchy caramel goodness worth sharing. This recipe is a great one to do with the kids during lockdown as it only requires three ingredients and the chemical reaction when you add the baking soda is pretty much a science lesson. Easy, educational and sweet, what more could you want in a recipe?

Get the full recipe

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Choc caramel slice

I love a no-bake slice and choc caramel slice is a thing of legend, it appeared throughout my childhood at bake sales, school fates and was always delightful. I also love the way the sweetened condensed milk becomes caramelised, it reminds me of my mum who used to do it on the stove, but still in the can. It was a bit wacky, the microwave is much easier, or you can buy the pre-caramelised version, ready to go from the supermarket. But where's the fun in that? Seriously though, every step of the process in making this treat can be done in the microwave. Win! You could also leave out the walnuts and this would be more traditional.

Get the full recipe

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