Snackers roar over furikake animal crackers
This recipe is based on all the copies I received, plus a study of other furikake party mix recipes (sans animal crackers). I’ve added a bag of Diamond Bakery Hawaiian Chocolate Sea Animal crackers because buying local is good, and they add a pop of color and cocoa flavor.
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Somehow I managed to miss the rise of the animal cracker in the world of furikake-flavored snack mixes. Seems it has been all the rage for a couple of years and nobody gave me any.
I only found out thanks to Kathryn Kanemori, who tried some this holiday season and wanted to make a batch for the animal clinic she frequents.
“I like to take homemade snacks for the doctors and staff who do such a wonderful job of taking care of my birds and cat and are so nice to me. I would love to be able to share this with them.”
Kanemori’s request was published here last week, and at last count I had received 14 recipes and almost as many tributes.
“It is soooooo ono that one has a hard time stopping from eating the whole bag,” wrote Lisa Ann Amaral. “We first had this at our church potluck, and we all wanted the recipe. It was so crispy, delicious and addictive,” wrote Lynda Takara.
No one could pinpoint the origin of the recipe. All had gotten it from a friend, or a friend of a friend, or, in one case, Uncle Rodney.
The ingredients were identical — butter, sugar, corn syrup and vegetable oil — with little variation in the proportions used. Several were specific about the animal crackers: a 2-pound bag of Stouffers brand from Walmart or a 5-pound bag from Sam’s Club.
This recipe is based on all the copies I received, plus a study of other furikake party mix recipes (sans animal crackers). I’ve added a bag of Diamond Bakery Hawaiian Chocolate Sea Animal crackers because buying local is good, and they add a pop of color and cocoa flavor. Plus, it’s nice to have some dolphins swimming along with all those lions, tigers and bears.
Thanks to everyone who sent in the recipe. Mahalo cookbooks are going to Nora Hahn and Paula Yonezawa, who were the first two to reach me who had tried the recipe themselves.
This recipe is easily cut in half or doubled.
ANIMAL CRACKER FURIKAKE SNACK MIX
By Betty Shimabukuro
- 2-pound package animal crackers
- 2/3 cup aji nori furikake
- 2 (4.5-ounce) packages chocolate sea animal crackers (optional; see note)
- >> Syrup
- 1 block (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Spread plain animal crackers in 2 large rimmed sheet pans or large aluminum roasting pans.
To make syrup: Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and salt; stir until dissolved. Remove from heat; add corn syrup and oil. Stir to mix well.
Pour syrup over animal crackers. Stir to spread out syrup, then sprinkle with furikake and stir more so crackers are evenly coated. Stir in chocolate animal crackers last, if using, so they are only lightly coated.
Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. After 30 minutes swap the pans between oven racks.
Let cool, stirring frequently to keep crackers from sticking together. Crackers will seem wet and soft but will harden as they cool. Serves 20.
>> Note: Diamond Bakery makes crackers in sea animal shapes in regular and chocolate flavors. The chocolate variety is widely stocked in supermarkets and Longs Drugs stores. I got mine at Longs in Kapolei.
Nutritional information unavailable.
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