There's no doubt that being a parent involves a lot of hard work. But perhaps one of the most unintentionally stressful elements of parenthood involves a last-minute bake sale. Or perhaps your kid just forgot to mention that it was their day to bring in snacks for the whole class.
Either way, baking up a big batch of cupcakes, brownies or cookies takes time.
Enter Adam Liaw. Based in Australia, this lawyer-turned-TV personality is a chef and father of two, and he knows how real the struggle can be.
On Wednesday, inspired by a satirical article that appeared on The Onion, Liaw set out to create a snack that could come together in just minutes — and somehow feed 25 kids.
Even though he emphatically declared, "I GOT YOU ON THIS PARENTS," many of Liaw's followers weren't sure that such a feat could be accomplished. Luckily, he tweeted the whole process and was able to come up with something pretty adorable.
Not only did the snack have to be fast, but with so many kids facing different food allergies, he set out to make a treat that was free of dairy, nuts and eggs — and cost less than 10 AUD (about $7.10).
After perfecting the recipe, the prolific chef showcased exactly what was needed to create his final dessert:
In the end, Liaw basically created homemade Pocky — a Japanese cookie stick that's dipped in different flavors of chocolate — using plain breadsticks, dark chocolate and a variety of sprinkles and edible decorations.
The beauty of this recipe is that the sticks can be decorated in a variety of ways:
And, true to Liaw's word, they fit nicely into a portable plastic container:
As for the presentation? That was a cinch, too. “Put the chocolate into a glass and then just dunk the bloody things in there,” Liaw said.
In the end, with prep time, Liaw admitted that the whole recipe will likely take about 10 minutes. But that's a lot faster than waiting 20 to 40 minutes for a more elaborate confection to bake.
Liaw has already received hundreds of approving reactions on social media. Even people without kids are excited to try the easy yet adorable snack hack.
Other professional chefs agree that it can be nearly impossible to create a mass of kid-friendly snacks quickly. "It goes without saying that balancing being a father and my career as a driven chef is difficult," chef Vinson Petrillo of Zero Restaurant + Bar in Charleston, South Carolina, told TODAY. "Working 12-hour days, six days a week, Sunday is when I finally get to spend the day together with my children. Sunday is also the day I get to cook with them. Just like my father did with me."
Even if you have professional kitchen skills, sometimes it just comes down to being creative, yet simple, with children.
"I feel like all on-the-go parents have a go-to recipe that takes no time to prep or make and that's why the Fat Pocky recipe became so popular," pastry chef Katie Graham, head baker at Ocean Prime Boston, said. "Busy parents can relate to the struggle of trying to find a recipe that kids will like, and the time that goes behind that."
For her daughter, Graham makes a s'mores snowman that doesn't involve a campfire. "We melt chocolate melts in the microwave, dip the marshmallow in the melted chocolate and place them on the graham cracker, and use pretzel sticks for the arms and mini M&M's for eyes," the chef said.
Sounds like melted chocolate is an easy (and chef approved!) way to amp up the fun of any snack.
Want to make Liaw's easy recipe? Here's what you need:
- 25 plain, thin crispy breadsticks (aka Grissini — make sure to get the unflavored kind)
- 13 ounces of melting chocolate, roughly chopped
- Sprinkles or any other edible decorations
"Just microwave the chocolate for 1 minute, then blasts of 30 seconds until it's melted. Probably 3-4 minutes all up," the chef said. Dip each breadstick into the chocolate and lay them on a nonstick surface. Decorate while the chocolate cools — get the kids involved here! — and they'll be ready to go in about 10 minutes.