Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Lunchbox #9 - Holiday Special - Lunch Box Treats

Whether in a lunchbox or not, who doesn't love themselves some treats?!  And especially, who doesn't love themselves some vintage treats?  No, no, I'm not talking about treats from 1987 that I happened to find hidden in the back of the pantry ('cause, ewww) but treats based on vintage recipes that whoosh you straight back to your childhood.

When I was small, I used to go up north to stay with my grandparents every year during at least one set of school holidays.  They lived on a sugarcane farm and the things I remember the most about those holidays were things like the sound of green tree frogs croaking during summer showers, the smell of oil in the gravel near the huge shadowy shed that housed the tractors and harvester, the humid breeze in my face as it blew down from the nearby mountains and rustled through the cane, the roar and blaze of the cane fires and the pitch black of the night with a trillion stars overhead because there was not a town with it's blinding night-lights in sight.

There were freezing cold dips in the local mountain creek and piggy-back walks down the cane tracks with cousins and hide and seek games in the fruit tree groves and the farm dogs who'd follow you anywhere.  There were afternoon teas with homemade sponge and  caramel slice topped sky-high with marshmallow.  After every night time meal there was what my Nanna called "pudding" consisting of canned fruit salad, jelly and ice cream.  Every night!  You've no idea how awesome I thought that was, considering I came from a household where dessert was always fruit, fruit and more fruit and would you like some fruit with that?  The only icecream I ever had was the one we'd get as a treat at the end of the day on our annual beach trip (Bubble O' Bill incidently) so to have it every night with jelly and canned fruit was completely amazing.

And as an absolute constant there were my Nanna's biscuit barrels which were always, without fail, chock full of two sorts of biscuits, just right for hungry city kids, when the need struck, to bolt in from outdoors, grab two or three generous biccies and bolt straight back out again.  The barrels were huge, repurposed Nescafe bottles (so thrifty of you, Nanna!) - giant, clear glass, cylindrical numbers with wide mouths and plastic screw top lids - one yellow and one brown (or maybe it was orange, I'm a little hazy there).

Anyway, I hadn't really thought much about those barrels 'til I was browsing through my Mum's recipe book shelf and came across this...

And you guessed it, inside are Nanna's biscuit recipes.  Specifically, Coconut Biscuits.  YUM!  Not only are these a perfect lunchbox (or anytime!) treat, they go pretty nicely with a hot cup of tea for grown ups too.

See?  I feel all satisfied and cosy just looking at that.  So without further ado, here's the recipe - do try it!

Coconut Biscuits

115 grams unsalted butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
Pinch of salt

Beat butter and sugar to a cream.
Add egg and beat in.
Add sifted flour, salt and coconut.
Measure and roll tablespoons of mixture. Flatten with fork on baking tray lined with baking paper.
Bake at about 150-160 degrees until light brown.

In the tradition of my Nanna, I made a double batch.  They fill up my biscuit barrel perfectly too.

Thanks, Nanna.


  1. Lovely of you to pop by my blog - thanks for you sweet comments. I have my Mum's Country Women's Association Coronation Cookbook - it's well worn and comfortable looking like yours. Love your granny squares peeking out of the picture. The ripple tutorial that I used is at - 'happy rippling' these holidays!

  2. What a fantastic find. Memories of childhood with grandparents are so precious. The biscuits look yummy.

  3. Thank you for stopping by my blog. So I returned the "favour" and I am so glad I did. Your writing is lovely and who doesn't love food that reminds them of their grandmother? Thank you for the recipe. My grandmother also made coconut biscuits but I didn't have the recipe. Now I do.

  4. Hi, what a lovely post. Nanna's are brilliant, aren't they? Jelly, ice cream and tinned fruit was a childhood treat of mine as well.
    Thanks for the biscuit recipe. I've got leftover coconut and have been wondering what to make with it. Biscuits it is. The kettle is on ready.
    Donna x

  5. oh yum, and what a beautiful childhood, I so love reading your blog. Those biscuits look delish, and I am going to make some, thanks for sharing your Nana's recipe with us. I need to do some cooking for our holidays, and the kids can help me. Enjoy!

  6. Thanks for popping over to my little blog, I've just been having a peek at yours and there is so much to love - great writing (I could almost smell the oil in the gravel at your grandparents farm), and I love that you blog your lunchbox!

    Oh, and I'm going to make those coconut biscuits on Friday - they look lovely.

  7. Oh gosh, my mum used to put these in my lunch box every day for school! Thanks for bringing back some lovely memories.

  8. Thank you so much for your sweet sweet sweet comment! As soon as you redo your craft space send me a pic ;)

  9. Thanks for this recipe... i'm going to give them a go as they look delicious :)

  10. Thanks so much for the memories and the recipe. Mum remembers her Nan making those biscuits too! I made them on Saturday and they were super scrummy, the mixture seemed a little dry and crumbly though is that how yours was? :)

  11. Thanks for your super lovely comments, everyone!

    Allana - my mixture wasn't particularly crumbly...we use jumbo eggs for everything over here though so maybe that's why?

  12. Oh my Nanna used to make these as well, and so did my Mum. Mum would bake once a week - coconut biscuits, peanut biscuits, chocolate slice and jam drops ... I'd forgotten about these and can't wait to make some for my kids.

  13. Thanks for the egg tip - silly me! I did a double batch and added one extra egg and they were perfect, Yay!!