Friday 2 September 2011

WHB Apricot Delight and Dusty Magazine Clippings

I cleaned out a box of papers and books on the weekend.  I found books I had been meaning to read, Sylvia's baptismal certificate and a stack of magazine recipes.  Most of the magazines were bought in the past year or so.  But among them was my file of magazine clippings that I collected as a child.  It re-emerges every so often, I thumb the well worn pages, laugh at the old pictures and remember sitting at my nan's reading her magazines.  Now that I am a blogger, I also take photos and make a recipe to post.  Prepare to indulge me.

I love pouring over my old recipes but it is often the incidentals that delight me.  For instance, the  fashions of my childhood.  Some are so cool and some are just downright embarrassing. 

Or take this advertisement below.  When was the last time you saw an advertisement for cigarettes in a magazine?

Then there are old advertisements that make me laugh.  Does Paul McCloud really think this packaged meal (or his hair) will impress her!  Oh please, Paul, take some cooking lessons!

It just shows that there is nothing new about magazines both telling you how to cook like a professional at the same time as providing advertisements for processed foods.  Or celebrity chefs telling you how to cook!  Before Matt, Gary and George, there was Peter - g'day - Russell - g'day - Clarke.  Come and get it!

I particularly loved the Women's Weekly Cooking Class recipes.  These were ones like the one below with step by step pictures of how to make the recipe.  I still want to make these Finger Buns as much as I did when I was a child.

Other recipes just fascinate me because I am not sure that I really want to make them any more.  This Baked Alaska once looked exotic but after sampling a modern version at Taste Melbourne last year, it looks frumpy and old fashioned.

Then there are the recipes that seemed far beyond my abilities.  These "Matches" below is an Aussie version of the French "mille-feuille".  They look so complicated but it is just a puff pastry sandwich of jam and cream with some icing on top.  Yet they are so pretty!

As a young child (some of these clippings are from before I turned 10), I dreamed of making these sticky, gooey, sweet, chocolate recipes.  They abound in my clippings.  Yet I managed to find a healthy one to make on the weekend.  It came from the below clipping, opposite the Gustave comic, which I loved to read along with the Helpful Hints.

The recipe may not be typical of my childhood fantasies but it does contain dried apricots and coconut, which I loved as a child.  And honey.  That's all!

It was simple and oh so good.  I love the apricot delight you can buy in a supermarket but the ingredients list makes me think twice.  This easy recipe is so much better.  I have even let Sylvia have a piece at breakfast when she is being picky and I am in a hurry.  Great for lunches, a healthy gift, friendly to those with allergies, and absolutely delicious.  I will be making these again!

I am sending this apricot delight to Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook for Weekend Herb Blogging #299, the event coordinated by Haalo and founded by Kalyn.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Smoky Parsnip Muffins
This time two years ago: Spring garden and WIP pasta
This time three years ago: Choc chip and cherry cookies

Apricot Delight
makes 36
adapted from the Australian Women's Weekly

250g dried apricots, chopped
3/4 cup boiling water
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
extra coconut, for coating

Place half the apricots, the boiling water and honey in a small saucepan.  Soak for about an hour.  Bring to the boil and gently simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.  The apricots should be quite jammy.

Puree apricots in a blender.  I use the little attachment that comes with my hand held blender.  Add the rest of the apricots and the coconut.  You will have a stiff paste.  Spread into a lined 15cm square cake tin and leave overnight in the fridge.  Next time I would place a piece of baking paper on top of the paste to keep it sticky for tossing in coconut.

The next day, take slab out of the cake tin and chop into about 36 squares (or any size you want).  Toss each piece in coconut.  I found that the top of my slab had dried out a bit and was harder to get the coconut to stick to it - so I wiped it with a damp wad of kitchen paper. 

Keep in an airtight container.  I have kept mine in the fridge for almost a week. I don't think the fridge is necessary but it helps the squares keep their firm shape.

On the Stereo:
Adagio 2: Herbert von Karajan


  1. Love love love this post! Thought that first ad, what is it selling?! The rollerskates or the model's bottom?!

    Also, I'm so excited by this recipe! Our new manager bought apricot delight as part of our morning tea and I was so disappointed that it tasted only of sugar. This looks fabulous *and* I think I could make it for my grandma!!

  2. Great post, Johanna! I thoroughly enjoy looking through decades old magazines too- the food styling and everything is so interesting. Those finger buns do look delicious. Are you planning to make them?

  3. This recipe sounds fantastic, apricot delights were a childhood favorite of mine but I have never thought to try and make them before. Must give this a go one day!

    Love those old ads, I remember that cigarette one from magazines and who could forget good old Peter Russell Clarke!

  4. I laughed along with you at those ads - it's always a delight to stumble across old magazines or memorabilia. You had a good collection!

    I also love the look of that recipe, I'll definitely be tucking it away to try.

  5. Aww these are so funny and awesome at the same time! A definite flashback. I think nowadays...only porn magazines have ads for cigarettes in them.

    I love the sound of this recipe. I would never have thought you could do this with so few ingredients!

  6. I love those ads in your old magazines! I keep quite a lot of magazines, and I'm sure that I'll look back on them in years to come with amusement!

    Fab recipe - sweet and simple and full of natural sugars and goodness!

  7. It's always fun to look back & remember those good old 80's, Johanna. This is a good recipe for children who are allergic to nuts, eggs & dairy, like a little girl I know here in Tartu. Apricots are in season here so might try recipe with fresh rather than dried apricots.

  8. Rolling the cubes in sesame seeds would be another option if you run out of coconut.

  9. Oh my goodness. How many blasts from the past are in your post. I actually remember those adverts from when I was younger, they do make you laugh now. And Peter Russell Clark too!!!!! Good thing Apricot Delight never goes out of style ;0)

  10. I love the nostalgia that comes from old magazines. These things really attrack me. And WOW, your apricote-coco bites look so wonderful! I'll have to make these for my parents!

  11. Haha what an array of images! They made me laugh and you're right, you never see ads for cigarettes but they used to be so aspirational!

  12. I love looking through funky retro magazines. I am convinced the recipes are more reliable than the ones today.

    Beautiful WHB recipe, Johanna! At first I thought they were some kind of Lamingtons, but then I realized Turkish Delight. Even better! Thank you!

  13. Thanks Hannah - one thing that is both delightful and frustrating about my clippings is that I only have half the story when you turn over some pages - I can't think what that rollerskating woman is there for - fashion maybe? This recipe is so easy and tastes so good that I think it is a great gift

    Thanks Nupur - I would love to bake them - sylvia is really into these sort of finger buns right now

    thanks Mel - loved watching peter russell clark's come and get it program - might be the first cooking show I ever watched

    Thanks Kari - it is not a bad collection - though far heavier on the sweet stuff than my adult collection :-)

    Thanks Joanne - I am amazed at how few ingredients I needed for this apricot delight - and porn mags? V interesting - I was trying to think where they might still advertise cigarette!

    Thanks C - old magazine adverts are fun - I found some old mags at a trash and treasure recently but haven't had time to look at them properly

    Thanks Pene - the simplicity of this recipe seems to make it great for allergy sufferers - I tend to avoid sesame seeds if possible for allergy-sufferers after finding that a son of a friend is allergic to seeds as well as nuts - but would love to hear how you go with fresh apricots

    Thanks Chele - apricot delight is such a classic and who can forget peter russell clark - loved his show

    Thanks Kath - nostalgia is so much fun - and hope your parents love the bites

    thanks Lorraine - those magazines always make me laugh - both at the content and at what I loved back then :-)

  14. Thanks Susan - seems they don't have apricot delight in your neck of the woods - it is more like fudge without the sweetness or the butteriness - not at all jelly like turkish delight - it is quite easy to buy in supermarkets and healthfood stores here

  15. Now you've got me wanting to go through my enormous stack of old magazines in our basement--I did exactly what you did and saved clipping from the time I was a child. I loved looking through all these pics--your old mags look just like our old mags! And I'm amazed at how simple those bars are, yet they sound so delicious.

  16. Great post! And I like your apricot delights. Your recipe is quite tempting.

  17. brillliant! My kids are always pestering me to buy these for them. They look great.

  18. These are fab.

    Its so funnyhow quickly magazines get dated.

  19. so just to clarify, the apricots in this recipe are dried right'?

  20. Thanks for the excellent question K - I have updated the recipe to say dried apricots - silly of me to overlook that minor detail!

  21. I love seeing the old magazine clippings!! :) I've never heard of apricot delight before, and though I'm not a big dried apricot fan I'm really drawn to these!

  22. Thanks for posting this recipe, I *love* apricot delight and have often wondered how to make it.

    I was just wondering at what point the honey needs to go in? Apologies if I've overlooked it, but I couldn't see it in the method.

  23. Thanks Emma - good question - sorry about missing that - you add the honey with the apricots that you cook up. I have checked my original recipe and updated it in the post. Hope you enjoy them - they are more tart than those in the shops but taste great.

  24. Yay! Thank you for a straightforward Apricot Delight recipe NOT full of butter, crean or condensed milk!
    I will sub agave for the honey (as we are vegan) but this looks/sounds just like the kind I used to make as a teenager.
    Many, many thanks,
    Nina :)

  25. Thanks Nina - Both Mel and K have made vegan versions of this - I think they used agave, so I am sure that would work. Hope you enjoy it.

  26. I used agave and it was delicious! So simple and delicious. Thanks for posting

  27. I've been craving apricot delight recently (you can't get it in the UK - or I've never seen it) and it is surprisingly difficult to find a recipe! I am so happy to have come across this one.

  28. So delicious!

    I used your recipe as a base for my own strawberry and apricot delight creation.

    Check it out, I'd love hear what you think:


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)