christmas baking frenzy

christmas baking frenzy

Let me be totally honest, I am not the best of a bakers however when December finally comes around I invariably find myself caught up in a pre-Christmas baking frenzy. There are baking tins everywhere with me measuring, beating, whisking and tasting. I do not think I am alone in this festive baking bedlam. Whether your preference is for ‘soetkoekies’, ginger biscuits, “ystervarkies” (lamingtons), Hertzoggies or just your regular oats biscuit – for better or for worse we are all participants in the annual, global cookie bake bonanza.

Dine's "Pon's ystervarkies"

Dine’s “Pon’s ystervarkies”

I chatted to Dine van Zyl, SA’s very own “boerekos” queen. Her favourite cookies at this time of year are “ystervarkies”. But these are not your traditional chocolate and coconut ‘ystervarkies” (lamingtons)but a delicious mix of dates and nuts rolled in cornflakes. Once prepped and baked, these enticing nibbles look like small porcupines (ystervarkies) that have just rolled in dried leaves and crept out from under a tree. To cute and such a treat…

It was her father’s favourite, and hence the name, “Pon ‘s ystervarkies”. These are utterly delicious and adorable! Thank you Dine.

“Pon’s Ystervarkies”
250g soft butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
2 cup flour
1 t baking powder
1½ cup walnuts , chopped
½ cup dates, chopped
2 ½ cups cornflakes

Beat the butter and sugar and mix in the egg. Sift the flour and baking powder and fold it into the butter mixture. Add the nuts and dates and mix well. Take teaspoons full of the dough, roll these in corn flakes and place the cookies carefully on a baking tray – be cautious not to crush or break the cornflakes. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 180ºC .

For the soetkoekies recipe click here.


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