A collection of all the delicious things that New Zealand has to offer - a mixture of homemade treats and packaged sweets makes the most amazing New Zealand treat box!
Hi hi! We are in full swing of holiday baking over here, and I am so excited to share this treat box with you, in partnership with my friends at Taste of New Zealand of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. We are teaming up for the next year or so to bring you a super fun new recipe each month, showcasing all the amazing things that are coming out of New Zealand.
I made my first cookie box in 2017, inspired by my friend Amy’s amazing amazing cookie boxes, and I’ve been hooked since! This guy is less of a cookie box and more of a Christmas treat box. I wanted to include recipes that are nostalgic to me (we are big fans of making treats for Christmas time), and then pair them with some pre-made treats from home (also nostalgic), to make the ultimate NZ treat box!
We don’t really have any cozy food holidays in New Zealand (Christmas is in the summer), so we aren’t really ones for cookie swaps or cozy holiday recipes such as hot chocolate and spiced, warming things (I love all of those things so I am fully embracing a cold holiday season while I am living overseas). What we do do though is little treaty things - filling up the containers with treats for guests or for some holiday treat eating. I usually spend a few days with my Mum early December making a bunch of little treats that keep well and are good to have on hand, but we also stock up on some store bought staples too to have during the holiday season! I channelled that the best I could in this box, and am so stoked with how it turned out - to me, it’s a whole lot of Christmas treats from home, all packed into one box!
Making some of the treats yourself and outsourcing some of them is a great way to cut down on your work load a little - you can pick and choose just how much you want to make yourself. I made a batch of Russian Fudge and a batch of coconut ice, which are both treat staples back home, then also made a batch of Peanut Butter Cups using Fix and Fogg Peanut Butter which is made in the town where I went to University. They have all kinds of amazing flavours (they have a spicy one which is so good, and a honey one), but I stuck with their smooth. Good peanut butter and good chocolate paired together is the most perfect match, and peanut butter cups are super easy to make and to have in the fridge!
I then made some toffee apples using a super cute varietal of apples from New Zealand - Rockit apples. These are a miniature variety of apples, which are perfect for snacking and for little hands. They made the perfect toffee apple due to the small size - you get an ideal apple to toffee ratio.
I also made a quick batch of a favourite of mine -hokey pokey, or honeycomb candy. Usually I would use golden syrup in the recipe but I really wanted something honey forward, so switched it up and used a manuka honey instead from Manukora, which is a company based in the North Island of New Zealand who produce beautiful, sustainably harvested, traceable manuka honey. A jar of delicious NZ honey would be an incredible Christmas present for someone in your life!
I then rounded out the box with a few treats that I am so excited to finally be able to get here in the States. I used some Snackaballs from Tom and Luke, who make amazing gluten free, vegan snack balls. I discovered these last time I was home and brought back a whole bunch of them with me (the mint chocolate is my favourite), so I was so stoked to see that they are now available here too! I often have a wee bag of them hiding in the cupboard and another bag in my handbag so that we have little snacks wherever we go!
I finished off the box with my fave licorice from home by a brand called RJ’s. They make the most amazing soft black licorice, and their raspberry flavour is super good too. They also make allsorts, which is sort of a layered candy and licorice situation - super delish, v perfect for Christmas treating.
Here’s what we ended up with:
Tom and Luke Snack Balls
Hokey Pokey (Honeycomb Candy) made with Manukora Honey
Salted Peanut Butter Cups made with Fix and Fogg Smooth Peanut Butter
Caramel Apples made with Rockit Apples
A few wee tips:
You can make some of the fixings a few days ahead - both the russian fudge and the coconut ice can be made before hand and stored in airtight containers.
The toffee apples are best on the day that they are made.
I used this box, and made my own dividers from craft wood. I have used the same one over and over and just add in different
Coconut Ice is a New Zealand classic - it is a n0-bake sweet, where coconut, condensed milk, powdered sugar and a little vanilla and milk are made into a fudge which is split into two colours for a two-toned treat
- One can (400g) condensed milk
- 500g sifted powdered sugar
- 390g (5 cups) unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- ½ tsp salt
- a few drops of red or pink gel food colouring
- Grease an 8" x 8" square tin and line with a parchment paper sling. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the food colouring. Mix using a stiff spatula or your hands. Add milk a teaspoon at a time if needed to form a slightly sticky cohesive dough.
- Divide the mixture in half, and press half into the tin, smoothing with your fingers or an offset spatula.
- Add a couple of drops of food colouring to the remaining half, and knead to evenly distribute. Spread over the white mixture, pressing down and smoothing. Leave for a few hours to set in the fridge before cutting into squares with a warm knife. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Slightly Adapted from Nestle
Keywords: Coconut Ice, New Zealand, Sweets, Fudge
Crisp apples coated in a thin layer of toffee candy
- 200g sugar
- 50g water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 40g honey
- Red gel food colour (if desired)
- 8 Rockit Apples
- Wash the apples well, remove the stems, and place a stick into each. Place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved, then add in the water and the honey. Cook until it registers 300°f / 150°c on a candy thermometer, then add in the food colouring and whisk to combine.
- Carefully coat each apple by dipping into the sugar mixture. Allow excess to pour off, then place onto the parchment paper to set.
- Best eaten on the day that they are made.
Keywords: toffee apple, caramel apple, halloween, candy apple
Honeycomb, or 'Hokey Pokey' as it is called in New Zealand, is a classic treat. Honey and sugar are cooked together, then baking soda added to make a foamy, slightly bitter but sweet treat.
- 65g granulated sugar
- 45g Manukora Honey
- 1 tsp baking soda, sifted
- Line a baking tray or loaf pan with parchment paper or silpat. Measure out baking soda into a ramekin. In a small pot, over medium heat, combine sugar and honey.
- Heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, and boil for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add baking soda and quickly stir to incorporate.
- Mixture will become very frothy. Pour out onto prepared tray. Leave to harden. When set, cut into small pieces. Store in an airtight container.
The honeycomb is super humidity sensitive, so make sure you store it in an airtight container as soon as it is set. I usually make it on a sheet pan but this time I poured the hot honeycomb into a loaf pan which gave me huge bubbles and much thicker pieces.
Keywords: Honeycomb, manuka honey, hokey pokey, New Zealand
Peanut Butter Cups made with milk and dark chocolate
- 280g good quality dark or milk chocolate, roughly chopped
- 170g Fix and Fogg Smooth Peanut Butter
- 25g Powdered sugar, sifted
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- Flaky salt, for finishing
- Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 second increments, stirring well each time, until chocolate is smooth and melted. Arrange 12-14 miniature cupcake liners on work surface. (Paper ones work better than foil)
- Place a spoonful of melted chocolate in the bottom of each liner. Using the back of a teaspoon, spread the chocolate evenly up the sides of each cupcake liner, until it is fully coated. Add more if required to ensure that the bottom of the liner is well covered. Place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or until well set.
- While the liners are in the freezer, prepare the filling. Combine peanut butter, icing sugar and salt in a bowl, and mix well until smooth. Place into a disposable piping bag, and snip a small hole in the end.
- Remove coated liners from freezer. Pipe the peanut butter into the liners, leaving some space at the top. Smooth down any peaks.
- Cover the peanut butter with another spoonful of the melted chocolate, smoothing down well, and tapping the liner on the work surface to remove any air bubbles. If necessary, smooth the top with a teaspoon to ensure a seal is created between the top and the side of the peanut butter cup.
- Return to the freezer for 10-15 more minutes, or until well set. Remove and peel away the paper liner from the peanut butter cup, or leave on and remove as you eat them. Finish with a flaky sea salt such as Maldon.
Keywords: Peanut butter cups, Peanut butter, milk chocolate, dark chocolate