One of the candy bars that my friend brought back for me from New Zealand was a Whittaker's Hokey Pokey Milk Chocolate bar. It was among my favorites, and I immediately had the idea of making a chocolate chip hokey pokey cookie. I gave the cookies a whirl this past weekend, and let's just say, I have some more work to do -- shockingly (ha!), the bits of sugar don't bake quite so well. Luckily, the hokey pokey is enjoyable just as it is. But I'm still going to make that cookie idea work!
You might be wondering what exactly hokey pokey is. It is a toffee-like candy with a spongy texture. Depending on where you live, you may be familiar with it as honeycomb, puff candy, sponge candy, sea foam, or fairy food. Traditionally, hokey pokey is made with golden syrup (which is made from cane sugar). I bought golden syrup at World Market during a recent trip to Madison; you may be able to also find it at well-stocked grocery stores or you can order it online. Otherwise, you could substitute in dark corn syrup.
Hokey Pokey (adapted from this Nigella Lawson recipe)
makes about 2 cups
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons golden syrup (alternately, you can use dark corn syrup)
1 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking soda (the fresher, the better)
1. Place a large rectangle of parchment paper (just over 16" in length) on your countertop.
2. Stir together the granulated sugar and golden syrup in a small sauce pot.
3. Heat the contents over medium-high heat. Carefully swirl the pot over the burner to ensure even heating. Do not stir the sugar mixture.
4. The contents of the pot will first melt, then turn into a bubbling mass. When the contents turn the color of maple syrup (amber brown) after about three minutes, remove the pot from the heat and immediately whisk in the baking powder.
5. Carefully pour the contents of the pot onto the prepared sheet of parchment paper. Let the hokey pokey cool (about 30-45 minutes).
6. Bash at the candy with a rolling pin or other hard object to break it into shards. Store in an airtight container.