Treat me: Tropical bumble bees

I always think November is the unofficial start of school gala season. The great Kiwi gala is as close as we get to the sort of church fete celebrated in so many English books. There are stalls full of baking, ‘jumble’, plants and books. There are be auctions run by round men in loud shirts with even louder voices, barbecues loaded with dubious sausages and persistent types selling raffle tickets.

I love galas, which is why I suggested the Small Girl’s nursery have one for a fundraising venture. Then they started talking about the organising committee, at which point I suddenly became very busy and wearing a disguise to town. Then I realised that if I wanted to go to the gala, I’d better contribute. So on Sunday, whatever the weather, I’ll be manning the baking stall. Not only does this mean I’ve escaped supervising the rock painting activity, it means I’ll be able to buy back these tasty little morsels.

Tropical Bumble Bees
These are just the thing to whip up when you need to supply a stall with sweet treats in a hurry. They’re chewy, soft and crunchy all at once – and if you include chocolate in the mixture there’s a high chance of biting into a melted nugget.

1 397g tin of condensed milk
2 cups (200g) dessicated coconut
2 cups (320g) dried fruit – a mixture of dried pineapple, papaya, crystallised ginger, raisins, cranberries
100g dark chocolate, chopped – optional
1 1/2 cups (150g) long-thread coconut

Heat the oven to 170C and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Put the long-thread coconut in a shallow bowl and set aside.
Pour the condensed milk into a bowl and add the dessicated coconut, dried fruit and chocolate. Mix well. Take tablespoons of the mixture and roll into balls, then roll these in the long-thread coconut.
Place on the tray and bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Leave on a rack to cool, then store in an airtight container.

Have a great weekend, everyone. If you’ve got a great Kiwi baking classic suitable for a gala, the shearers or a ‘ladies a plate’ event, then join in this month’s Sweet New Zealand. This is a bit of blogging fun dreamed up by the lovely Alessandra Zecchini.
The rules are simple:

1. This event is open to all bloggers living in New Zealand (even if you are not a Kiwi), as well as all Kiwi bloggers living and blogging overseas.
2. You can enter anything sweet: cakes, biscuits, slices, desserts, even drinks, and you may submit as many entries as you like, including old posts if you like.
3. Your entry must contain the phrase Sweet New Zealand, the Sweet New Zealand badge (choose your own size), a link to the host, and to this post – so if you are submitting an older post remember to update it accordingly.
4. Then, come back and add your post to the linky thing below. Tweet me when you’re
done (using the tag #SweetNewZealand), if Twitter is your thing, and I’ll spread
the word. If linky things and Twitter are too hard, leave a comment on this post and I’ll come and find you. You have until November 28.

And if you fancy some gala fun in Wellington on Sunday, head to Owen St, Newtown, where it will be all on for young and old (including rock painting).



  1. November 1, 2012 / 6:15 pm

    These sound and look great. I've never come across these before, love the name too ;0)

  2. November 1, 2012 / 6:26 pm

    These look fabulous and I love the name too! Good luck with your kiwi challenge! Karen xx

  3. November 1, 2012 / 7:49 pm

    Ooh you had me at condensed milk! They look really adorable. Have fun on Sunday. Wear you best smile xx

  4. November 1, 2012 / 10:00 pm

    they remind me of things my mum used to make for christmas. good luck at your gala, i hope the weather brings out lots of people!

  5. November 2, 2012 / 10:44 pm

    I love anything with coconut! I've never heard of long thread coconut before, what is it? x

  6. November 3, 2012 / 8:43 am

    Thank you for hosting November Sweet New Zealand Lucy, I'll update the Logos on my blogs and spread the news!


  7. November 3, 2012 / 10:10 pm

    These look great – I would unquestionably buy some. And I can assure you that, despite being quietly spoken, I'm definitely a round man in a loud shirt, so I know whereof I speak.

  8. Anonymous
    November 7, 2012 / 6:29 am

    thanks for sharing.

  9. November 14, 2012 / 3:17 am

    Gosh, I haven't been to a school galaz for years, but if I was going to one the baking stall would definitely be the first place I would be headed. Love your bumble bees – I seem to remember my mum making something vaguely similar when we were kids, with raisins and cornflakes.

    Can't seem to find your linky tool, but here is my entry for Sweet New Zealand

    Thanks for hosting this month.

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