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One of my classes this semester was Korean, and I was surprised at how often my classmates and professors would talk about Pepero. Korea even has a Pepero Day on November 11. Get it, 11/11? Like the shape of the snack? It’s actually kind of adorable.
But I’d never had Pepero (or the more popular Japanese version, Pocky) until last week, when a classmate brought strawberry Pocky to celebrate the last day of class. My fellow classmates cheered and I was just like, “Uhh did NO ONE else see these Japanese lemonade gummies behind the Pocky? No? Good.”
Let’s take a moment to reflect on how weird it is that we only ate Japanese candy in Korean class.
I took the offered package of Pocky and shoved it in my backpack. I had more pressing things to focus on, like those lemonade gummies.
A few hours later in the library and I was about to die of starvation. I rooted around my backpack for any sort of sustenance. My two options were month-old candy corn and strawberry Pocky.
It was like a religious experience. Do they say “you’ll always remember the first time you tried Pocky?” Because they should say that. I have seen the Pocky light, and I’m so ashamed that it took me this long. I’m calling it Cracky from now on.
It’s been a week since that fateful day in the library, and I’ve already made my own homemade version. I think I prefer this kind! It’s so customizable, and it’s absolutely perfect for the holidays. Imagine sprinkling crushed candy on top, or dipping them in hot chocolate! This makes a wonderful gift, and since this recipe yields about 6-dozen sticks, you can gift make multiple gifts out of one batch.
Of course, since these are homemade, these Pocky sticks aren’t a dead ringer for the original. They’re not as crispy, nor are they as uniformly stick-straight. But I think that adds to the charm of a homemade version of a popular snack.
Homemade Peanut Butter Pocky
makes 6 dozen
adapted from Food52
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp water
3 cups milk chocolate (I use Chocoley)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or Silpat!).
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together softened butter and sugar. Add peanut butter, mixing until completely combined. Stir in egg and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until just combined. Mixture will be dry and doughy, so add two tablespoons of water. If mixture is still dry, add the remaining two tablespoons of water. Mixture should be thin and smooth enough to pipe into lines.
3. Using a small round tip – I used Wilton 12 but you can go smaller for a thinner Pocky stick, but keep in mind you will probably end up with more than 6 dozen – fill a pastry bag with peanut butter dough. Onto the cookie sheet, pipe lines of dough about 5” long. Space them about a half-inch apart.
4. Bake for 12-16 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet halfway, until the sticks are set (touch one lightly with your finger to test the firmness). Let cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat until all the sticks are baked.
5. Once the Pocky sticks are cooled, melt the chocolate in a deep cup (I used a 2-cup measuring cup). Work in batches of 1 cup of chocolate a time to prevent any waste. Gently dip the sticks into the chocolate and let any excess chocolate drip off. Place sticks on a sheet of parchment paper and let the chocolate harden.