5 nostalgic treats

These easy no-bake recipes will stir up memories from your own childhood

Images and words: Sara Conway

1 Coconut ice: pretty little squares of coconut goodness

 You’ll need: 250g condensed milk, 250g icing sugar, 200g desiccated coconut, pink food colouring (optional)

Quick version:

  1. Give your kids the condensed milk and icing sugar to help you measure out. Then get them to stir them up until they get a stiff mixture.
  2. Now they tip in the coconut, stir, and use their hands to mix it all together.
  3. Roll out the mixture into a rectangle and leave it uncovered to set for at least three hours. Then cut it into squares.

Pink and white squares:

If you want to make your coconut ice pink and white, ignore step 3 and read on…

  1. Split the mixture in two. Give half to your kids to add a small amount of food colouring to. Now they squish it and roll it until it’s mixed in.
  2. Now help them shape the white piece and pink piece into rectangles. Put the pink one on top of the white one and roll, knocking the sides from time to time to make it into a rectangle again.
  3. Leave to set for at least 3 hours and then cut into squares. You can store this for up to 3 months in an airtight container – if there’s any left!

 2 Corn flake cakes: the ultimate crowd-pleaser

 You’ll need: 50g butter, 100g milk chocolate, 3tbsp golden syrup, 100g corn flakes

  1. First, your kids measure out the corn flakes and drop them into a large bowl.
  2. Now they can break up the chocolate into a microwaveable bowl. Let them weigh the butter and drop it into the bowl with the chocolate. Then they count 1, 2, 3 tablespoons of golden syrup into the bowl as well.
  3. Put the chocolate bowl in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time, stirring well between each blast. Stop just before it’s all melted and keep stirring.
  4. Pour the melted chocolate, syrup and butter mixture into the corn flake bowl and hand over to your kids to stir it all up.
  5. Now they plop the mixture into cupcake cases (and into their open mouths!) They can top the cakes at this stage – we added blueberries.
  6. Transfer to the fridge until set. Then eat!

 3 Peppermint creams: the easiest sweet to make

You’ll need: 250g icing sugar, 1 egg white*, peppermint essence

  1. First, your kids sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl.
  2. Now you add a little of the egg white and a couple of drops of peppermint essence. Get them to stir it all up. Add the egg white a little at a time and stop once they have a dough (you might not need it all).
  3. Now scatter icing sugar on a board so your kids can roll out the dough.
  4. A plastic milk bottle lid is the perfect size to cut out rounds. Or they can cut the piece of dough into squares.
  5. Arrange the sweets on baking parchment and leave to set overnight.

 *For a no-egg  version, use a few tablespoons of milk. Add it very slowly (you might only need 1 tablespoon) and stir well. It’s trickier to make a dough than with egg white, so you might have to blob a stickier mix onto the baking parchment. It’ll still taste delicious!

 4 Crispy chewy squares: big kids love these too!

 You’ll need: 25g butter, 150g mini marshmallows, 90g puffed rice cereal

  1. First ask your child to measure the puffed rice into a large bowl.
  2. You’ll need to do this next bit… melt the butter in a large pan. Add the marshmallows and stir until they’re melted.
  3. Take the mixture off the heat. Add to the puffed rice straight away and stir.
  4. Once you’re confident the mixture has cooled, hand over to your child to continue stirring.
  5. Meanwhile, grease a cake tin.
  6. They can transfer the mixture to the cake tin (beware, it’s very sticky!).
  7. Leave to cool completely in the tin and then cut into squares.

 5 Rocky road: create your own version of this treat

 You’ll need: 35g butter, a mug and a half of chocolate buttons plus your own combination of fillings: we used a handful each of raisins, glacé cherries, dried apricots and vanilla flavour toddler biscuits

  1. Ask your children to pour the buttons into a microwaveable bowl. Then they can measure the butter and add that as well.
  2. Put it in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time, stirring well between each blast. Don’t overheat it.
  3. Now your kids can stir in the fillings.
  4. Transfer to a cake tin.
  5. Put it in the fridge until set.

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