“Lia,” a tiny voice screams out from next-door through the hedges. “Get the ball!”
It’s an ordinary day, with kids playing volleyball on a beachfront lawn that spills out toward the ocean with a view to the Mokuluas, here in Hawaii—except the kids next-door are guarded by sniper nests, Coast Guard units, and the Secret Service. My new young friends Mackenzie and Brooke have been enjoying the holiday excitement that a visit by the Obamas brings to their quiet neighborhood.
Looking for something to do, Mackenzie says, “Let’s make the best cookie in the world, OK? Honey Joys. Only I call them Honey Crackles.”
Her friend Brooke thinks this is a good idea, so they ask Mackenzie’s mom to help them. I have never heard of Honey Joys. I find out from her mom, Michaela, that they might be an Australian phenomenon but are now enjoyed by her family here in Hawaii.
Michaela says she remembers making them as a little girl growing up in Adelaide. A favorite treat because there are not many ingredients and older children can do most of the work except heat the ingredients, Mackenzie adds,” These are the best things I ever tasted.” So, I am eager to try them.
I watch as Mackenzie and Brooke lay out the “patty pans” or heavy cupcake liner tins on a cookie sheet to fill. Mom measures out the ingredients and begins to boil the mixture on the stove before the girls mix it with corn flakes and mound it into each patty pan for a quick bake.
While we wait, we look at the girls’ homemade cookbook. It’s obvious that Mackenzie and her best friend Brooke like to cook and bake.
The Honey Joys smell like heaven as they cool. It’s almost a butter brittle candy aroma. As I bite into the crunchy, buttery, sweet confection, I catch a glimpse of Mackenzie’s younger brother taking a plate of cookies outside and wandering over to the sniper tent to share his family’s aloha with them—a very Hawaiian thing to do.
Makes 24, can be doubled or tripled
7 tablespoons butter 1/3 cup sugar 1 tablespoon honey 4 cups corn flakes
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Arrange patty pans tins on cookie sheet. Put cornflakes in large glass bowl. In a saucepan place butter, sugar, and honey. Stir and heat to boil “until frothy.”
Take off heat and pour over cornflakes. Mix well; work fast while filling the patty pan tins.
editor’s note: aluminum cupcake tins can serve as a subsitute for patty pan tins.
Place in oven for 10 minutes. Take out and cool.