The crunchie is a legendary South African baked treat and my Grandmother Bettys recipe is the best I’ve ever come across. I published this on my blog so many years ago and it remains one of my most treasured posts. The comment section which gets added to from time to time always makes my heart swell and reminds why I love blogging the most. Being able to connect with people from all over the world through a shared love of food is an incredible thing and the biggest reward out of it.
I’ve added dates to her recipe which take it into new territory. On one hand you lose the crunchy texture of the golden crisp oaks, but on the other hand you gain the delicious chewiness and flavour of the dates. So it really s a trade-off. I far prefer this new version because I adore dates in baked treats. So although these are still essentially crunchies they really have become chewy date crunchie bars without the crunch.
This recipe, as with the classic crunchy recipe is really easy and involved hand mixing on on bowl and melting the butter, sugar and syrup in a small pot. Add the chopped dates to the dry mix and use your fingers to evenly disperse this through the mix. It doesn’t matter too much if they clump a bit. I used dates which I brought back from Israel and which were the best I had ever tasted. Literally better than any human made toffee. Use the best quality your can find.
Once your butter mix is bubbling, add the bicarb and work very quickly. Mix vigorously as it bubbles up and at least doubles in volume. Quickly pour this frothy molten mass into the dry mix and stir to combine. If you want them thick and even chewier, use a smaller pan, but for thinner and slightly crisper bars, spread the mix in a larger baking tray.
Bake until golden. Allow to cool in the pan before removing and slicing. I can’t think of a better baked treat to eat with a cup of tea.
Makes approximately 16
- 1 cup flour
- 2 cups oats
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 180gm dates, finley chopped
- 230g butter
- 1T golden syrup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1t bicarbonate of soda
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix the flour, oats, dates and coconut in a bowl.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the syrup and sugar and heat.
- When the butter is bubbling, add the bicarbonate of soda, stir through
- and remove from the heat.
- Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix. Using the back of a metal spoon, press the mixture into a greased or lined baking tray (approximately 30cm x 20cm, depending on how thick
- you like your crunchies). Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to
- 160°C and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until golden brown, making
- sure they don’t burn. Allow to cool in the pan before slicing.
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