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Recipes to Recreate 5 of Your Favorite Childhood Snacks

Making your favorite childhood snacks at home can be pretty straightforward ... and much healthier.

Lara Ferroni


6 to 8 rolls

1/2 cup (60 grams) whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup (90 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (120 grams) ricotta
1/4 cup (2 ounces) buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablepoons (48 grams) muscavado or brown sugar, divided
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened, divided
1 scant teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square cake pan with baking spray and set aside.

2. Sift the whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a small bowl and set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the ricotta, buttermilk, vanilla, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times to form a smooth dough. If the dough is sticky, knead is a bit more flour. Roll the dough out to a 6-b-8-inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick and brush with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the remaining butter.

5. Mix the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar with the cinnamon and pecans, if you are using them. Sprinkle evenly onto the dough, reserving about 1 tablespoon. Starting at a short end, roll the dough into a log and pinch the seam to seal. Trim the ends and slice into 6 even pieces. Place them, cut side up, into the prepared cake pans with their sides just touching.

6. Sprinkle the tops with the reserved sugar mixture. Bake until the edges are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

7. For gluten-free Cinnamon Rolls, replace the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours with an equal amount of gluten-free all-purpose baking mix.

Lara Ferroni

Tater Tots

About 100 tots

5 to 6 medium russet potatoes (2 pounds), cut into chunks
1 medium sweet potato or yam (1/4 pound), cut into chunks
2 cups cold water
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons corn flour
2 teaspoons ground millet flour
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Safflower or peanut oil, for frying

1. Place the russet potatoes and sweet potato into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal cutting blade. Pulse 5 or 6 times until coarsely ground.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cold water and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Add the potatoes and stir to coat. Drain well through a fine sieve, pushing out as much water as you can. Transfer the potatoes to a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 4 minutes. Stir and heat for another 4 minutes. Stir in the corn flour, ground millet flour, cayenne, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

3. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment and pour in the potato mixture. Spread it evenly and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.

4. Once the potato mixture is frozen, cut into 1-by1/2-inch tots. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

5. Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot to 370 degrees. Fry the tots in batches, being sure not to crowd the pot, until the golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the tots with a slotted spoon and place them on the prepared baking sheet. While they are still hot, season them to taste with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining tots.

Serve immediately or, to freeze for storage, let the tots cool on the baking sheet.

Lara Ferroni

Chili Con Queso

1 1/2 cups dip

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup canned green chiles
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup (2 ounces) heavy cream
1/2 cup (4 ounces) buttermilk
1 teaspoon white spelt flour
2 ounces grated Monterey, Jack, Colby, or cheddar cheese
1/8 cup (1 ounce) crumbled queso fresco or Cotija
Salt and freshly ground Pepper

1. Combine the butter, onion, and chiles in a saute pan over medium heat and cook until the onion softens and becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato and oregano and cook for 1 minute.

2. Stir in the cream, buttermilk, and flour and bring to a simmer to thicken slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the Monterey Jack cheese and gently stir to melt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, topped with the queso fresco. For gluten-free Chile Con Queso, replace the spelt flour with an equal amount of arrowroot powder.

Lara Ferroni

Ice Cream Sandwich

6 sandwiches

1 pint freshly churned or slightly softened ice cream
1 1/4 cups (150 grams) white whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (30 grams) chestnut or whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup (20 grams) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (100 grams) muscavado or brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Line a high-sided baking dish with waxed paper, extending the waxed paper over the sides of the dish to create handles. Pour the ice cream into the pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly; it should be about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with another piece of waxed paper and freeze for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, until the ice cream is very firm.

2. While the ice cream is freezing, prepare the sandwich cookie. Sift the white whole-wheat flour, chestnut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and heat up light, about 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium speed until well blended. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

4. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

5. Place the chilled dough onto a generously floured surface and roll it out to a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle. Prick the dough all over with a toothpick or fork. With a knife or cookie cutter, cut out into your preferred ice cream sandwich shape. Don’t forget to cut out an even number! Place on the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart and bake until the cookies tart to darken at the edges, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. Cool completely on a wire rack.

6. When you are ready to assemble the ice cream sandwiches, remove the ice cream from the baking dish using the waxed paper handles. Remove the top waxed paper. Using a knife or a cookie cutter, cut the ice cream out into the same shape as the cookies. Dip the knife or cookie cutter into warm water between cuts. Place the cut ice cream between 2 cookies and freeze the assembled sandwiches until firm.

Lara Ferroni

Cheesy Fish

80 to 100 crackers

1/4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (30 grams) whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup (30 grams) corn or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (30 grams) oat or all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces grated, loosely packed mild cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons coconut oil or unsalted butter
2 to 3 tablespoons hot water, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

2. Combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, corn flour, oat flour, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade and pulse to combine. Add the cheese to coconut oil, and pulse to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the food processor to free any trapped flour. With the food processor running, drizzle in the hot water, a little at a time, just until the mixture begins to pull together. You may not use all of the water.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather it into a ball. Knead gently once or twice. Roll out the dough until it is slightly less than 1/8 inch thick.

4. Using a very small fish-shaped cutter, or the cutter of your choice, cut out the crackers and carefully place them on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes, and cool before serving.

5. For gluten-free Cheesy Fish, replace the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours with an equal amount of gluten-free all-purpose baking mix. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment for easier rolling.

6. For vegan fish crackers, replace the cheese with 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. Add an additional tablespoon of water. Increase the salt to 1/2 teaspoon.

Lara Ferroni

Real Snacks

To see more recipes, pick up Real Snacks here.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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