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This article was published 23/10/2012 (2645 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Recipes for using up stale bread or leftover scraps of pastry used to be part of a thrifty cook's repertoire. These recipes aren't seen so much anymore, but Recipe Swappers managed to find some when Donna Gylywoychuk wrote in about a treat her mother used to make by rolling strips of bread in coconut and then baking them.
Thanks to Albert Kolthof, who offered a recipe for a baked version called Cinderella Crisps, and to Rose Bowler, Margaret Sucharov and Lynn Jette for some no-bake chocolate-flavoured recipes. Margaret found her recipe in the Carillon Centennial Cookbook of 1974, a book she received as a young newlywed from her mother, then lost after lending out, then found again in a used bookstore. Lynn wrote in with a tried-and-true Chocolate Finger recipe she got from her mother-in-law.
If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to email@example.com, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
Stale bread, cut into strips 2.5 x 2.5 x 7.5 cm (1 x 1 x 3 inch)
Sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 220 C (425 F). Dip bread sticks in condensed milk and then roll in coconut. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake until golden.
Tester's notes: The amounts aren't specific here, since they depend on whatever amount of old bread you happen to have on hand.
I used sweet, eggy challah bread for this recipe, and the result, which is best served hot, was like a cross between candy and French toast. I found my coconut started to burn at the 4-minute mark, so I might lower the oven temperature slightly. I also found that the gooey coating stuck to my cookie sheet, even though it was well greased, so I'd advise lining baking sheets with parchment paper. I also might make my bread fingers a little smaller, to enhance the crispiness.
1 loaf white bread
90 ml (6 tbsp) cocoa
30 ml (2 tbsp) butter, melted
500 ml (2 cups) white sugar
180 ml (¾ cup) boiling water
10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla
Cut bread slices into fingers.
Place coconut in a shallow dish.
Combine cocoa, butter, sugar, boiling water and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent burning, for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a fork, dip bread fingers into chocolate mixture and then roll in coconut. Place fingers on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper to cool.
Tester’s notes: These no-bake fingers taste a little like chocolatecoconut macaroons, but are quick and very easy.
If you find the chocolate mixture thickening while you dip the bread, just rest it over hot water.
Studying at the University of Winnipeg and later Toronto’s York University, Alison Gillmor planned to become an art historian. She ended up catching the journalism bug when she started as visual arts reviewer at the Winnipeg Free Press in 1992.