Grandma baked the best crunchies. We didn't ever bother to make them, because they were so available for every occasion.
"Going on holiday? Here's a tin of crunchies... Feeling down? These will help." Or even - "We felt like baking, I'm sending a few home with your daughter."
We loved them so much, and every time we baked them (we did eventually get that recipe), we though of how generous she was with them. Until I lost the recipe. Seriously. Lost and gone.
I tried so many different recipes. And although I couldn't remember enough to make the crunchies from scratch, I could remember enough that I knew they were all wrong. Like - definitely bicarb. Also, I remember boiling water - but how much? And I really thought there was an egg. But why would there be an egg - no one puts an egg in these.
And then, last month, I FOUND the recipe. The original. And we've baked them, twice. They are just as good as they ever were, with the same power to evoke memories of Grandma and her baking.
So for posterity (and in case history repeats itself), here's the famous blend. They're great with a cuppa tea, or just on their own. They're the best, in fact.
2 cups sugar
30ml golden syrup
3 Tablespoons boiling water
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 cups white flour
2 cups desiccated coconut
2 cups oats
1 cup cranberries / cake mix (optional)
Melt butter and sugar in a saucepan on the stove. Heat until it starts bubbling, add water and syrup then turn heat off and leave to cool. Mix flour, oats, coconut and oats in a separate bowl in the meantime.
Add bicarb, vanilla to butter and sugar, then combine with the other dry ingredients, adding the dried fruit, and the egg.
Mix well, so that liquid is evenly spread through bowl/pan, then press into a large greased baking tray.
Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees or until crunchies are golden brown. Slice while still warm, but wait until cool before you remove them from the tray.
Notes: 1. Original recipe used currants instead of cranberries, but over the years, we preferred the taste of the fruit in cake mix packets.
2. You can bake longer for crunchier crunchies, but then they definitely need tea for dunking.