In all the years that the Hubcap and I have hosted people from all over the world, food was the one topic that never got exhausted.
I enjoy cooking for people. In fact, I have great difficulty in cooking small quantities. I suppose coming from a large family and marrying into an even larger one is the reason that I love really big cooking pots.
So now I am back to compiling menus and shopping lists, trying out all my old recipes I have not touched since the kids were small and rediscovering the joys of baking.
Top of my list is Chocolate Crunchies. This seems to be a purely South African treat as I have not come across them anywhere else in the world. I intend every guest to have a couple of these in a cookie jar with their tea and coffee tray in their rooms.
I have looked all over the web and compared various friends and family recipes, and this is my deluxe version. Here is a link for another variation.
My Deluxe Chocolate Crunchies
1 cup flour
1 cup oats (NOT the instant kind)
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa (if you really want to show off, add some dark chocolate instead!)
125 g salted butter (NOT margarine)
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
Melt butter and honey and add the bicarb.
Combine the rest of the dry ingredients until crumbly and press down evenly into an oblong greased baking tray and smooth. Best to use the back of a spoon for this.
Bake at 180C for 20 minutes
While the crunchies are baking, prepare the icing.
1 cup sifted icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa (again, equivalent amount of dark chocolate can be substituted)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons water (maybe a drop or two more)
Microwave 30 seconds and stir vigourously. If any lumps remain, microwave another 20 seconds and stir again. Repeat until smooth. Getting the consistency right is important. It took me a couple of tries but stick with it, it is so worth it. Pour over crunchies and cut into squares just before icing is properly cold. It helps to use a wet knife to stop everything sticking together. Dip the knife in between each cut.