Emma Alter Photo
Emma Alter

Difficulty Level Easy

YIELD Makes 65

I don't really get it, but my kids both love the Japanese snack Pocky. There is a grocery/dry goods store in Toronto that sells only Japanese stuff. A giant Hello, Kitty is painted on the outside brick wall. When you go into the store you behold a truly astonishing array of flavours of Pocky. Some of the translations are pretty amusing. The dark chocolate flavour is called "Pocky for Men." My son is particularly devoted to the strawberry yogurt flavour.

When I saw a website with homemade Pocky, I knew I had to try it. My daughter then came up with the brilliant idea of giving pocky to the six children on our list for the family Hanukkah party. It worked out extremely well. We only see these kids once a year, so it's hard to know their ages, let alone their interests. Emma had already made some body scrub for two of the girls, so we baked some pocky, wrapped it beautifully and we were done. No shopping malls, no little plastic toys, no garbage waste.

We used chocolate chips for these because they were for kids, but if you were making them as snacks for an adult, I would get some really good fair trade chocolate to dip them in. I ended up doubling the dough because I couldn't believe that the small amount of dough I was holding in my hand would made 65 pocky. It turns out that it really did make that much. We discovered that the trick to these was cutting the dough very thinly. If it is too thick the pocky are doughy, rather than crispy.

If you do make these, give yourself a bit of time. They aren't hard at all, but the dough rests for an hour, and then the decorating always takes longer than you think it will.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup strong baker's flour
1/3 cup plain all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp icing sugar sifted
1 tsp dried yeast
1/4 milk, lukewarm
1 tbsp tahini
1 1/2 honey
zest of 1/2 mandarin or 1/4 orange
1 1/2 butter at room temperature

PREPARATION:

  1. Combine the yeast and lukewarm milk in a small bowl and stir to combine. Fit a dough hook in an electric mixer and mix the dry ingredients on a low speed.
  2. In another bowl, mix the honey and tahini together. Add this mix and the milk and yeast mix to the dry ingredients. Mix together on medium speed to form a dough. Add zest and butter and 60ml water and continue mixing until the dough is firm and elastic. I needed to add a bit more flour to make the dough come together after the addition of the butter as it was a little too wet.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180c. Divide hte dough into two and knead the dough until smooth then roll it out into a rectangle. Roll it out to 4mm thick (1/4 inch). With a ruler and a sharp knife, cut 5mmx15cms strips and carefully transfer these onto a lightly greased baking tray or greaseproof paper lined baking tray.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes (watch it, it may take a bit longer or shorter). You want it golden brown, not light yellow as it will not "snap" properly.

    From the website Not Quite Nigella.

This recipe appears in: Snacks

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