food + drink · posts · sweets and chocolates

marshmallow top hats and gergaoun

Gergaoun falls on the 14th night of Ramadan and when my children were small they loved to celebrate the occasion! Dressed in their traditional clothes (jalabiya and thobe), they would excitedly head out to their Grandfathers home during the evening… with their empty Gergaoun bags clutched tightly in-hand.

Together with their cousins, the children would visit the many houses around the neighborhood, receiving gifts of nuts and sweets which filled their empty Gergaoun bags. When all the houses had been visited, the children would return to their Grandfathers home proudly displaying overflowing Gergaoun bags and bursting to tell a few stories on some naughty older cousins that would partake in a dare called ding-dong-dash… leaving the younger children red-faced to do all the explaining!  Older children would also parade around the neighborhood, entertaining children and adults with the popular mascot “Frasya” the horse-man, while beating drums and singing traditional songs.

As there was always quite a gathering of children and adults I usually contributed by making lots of little goodies for the occasion, cupcakes, small cakes, rice krispie buns, cookies and Marshmallow Top Hats! These sweet treats were always well received and my customary trays of goodies became a yearly tradition until… the children grew-up!

Marshmallow Top Hats are an old childhood sweet treat that my mother would make for our birthday parties, the squishy marshmallow with its chocolate chunk base and Smartie on top, always went down a treat! Making them for my own children’s parties and celebrations always proved popular. However, I did notice that some things never change... there is always that one kid who would make an attempt to pick all the colourful sweets from the top of the marshmallows…  usually having their attempts thwarted by some of the other party goers!

The recipe is super easy to make and young children will eagerly help with placing the marshmallows into the melted chocolate and sticking the colourful Smarties on top… usually avoiding the brown coloured ones!  When packed individually into pretty little colourful gift boxes for Gergaoun or other celebrations, these Marshmallow Top Hats make a delightful sweet treat for children!

Marshmallow Top Hats


  • milk chocolate (your favourite brand), melted
  • marshmallows
  • colourful sweets of your choice

You will need small colourful paper cases for sweets

How to make: Place a teaspoon of melted chocolate into each paper case ( however many you are using) and place a marshmallow on top, gently pushing the marshmallow down into the chocolate.

Place a small dot of melted chocolate on the top of each marshmallow, then place a colourful sweet on top. Store in the fridge (covered) or in a cool place until the chocolate has set before serving.

Enjoy your kids when they are small… they quickly grow-up!   Have you got any Marshmallow memories?

baking · food + drink · posts

cookies from a jar

When I saw that this months Sweet Adventures Blog Hop which is hosted by The Capers of the Kitchen Crusader and the theme Layer upon Layer… immediately I thought of using filo pastry! No desserts or sweet would be complete with using only one sheet of this very fine paper-like pastry, so making something with layers of filo pastry seemed apt!

But then I remembered a different kind of layer upon layer while teaching cooking at a private school… Cookies from a Jar! The idea and the recipe (which has been adapted) are from a book that I own “Gifts in a Jar for Kids”

Cookies from a Jar is a fun project and a great way of getting your kids involved in the kitchen and I know first hand how excited  kids can get… especially when they hear the words “baking” and “cookies”!

This project is also a fun way of introducing and teaching your kids how to measure correctly using the appropriate kitchen tools. Decorating the jars with colourful fabric, ribbon and gift tags, kids will love giving these Cookies from a Jar as gifts to friends and family! Mum’s if you need to send in something yummy (send some baked samples as well) for school fair’s or fund-raisers… “Cookies from a Jar” will be a big hit!

Rainbow Cookies


  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (85g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (25g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup (54g) mixture of M&M’s and Smarties
  • 1/4 cup (40g) milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (42g) soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (54g) castor sugar
  • 1/4 cup (8g) Rice Krispies

Useful Kitchen Jewellery:

  • measuring cups and spoons
  • mixing bowls
  • wooden spoon
  • cookie sheet
  • wire cooling rack

If you are giving these Cookies from a Jar as gifts:

You will need a clear plastic (kid friendly) or glass 400ml wide-mouth jar, some fabric, ribbon and gift tags of your choice.

Layer each ingredient in the order given from the above recipe starting with the flour and ending with the Rice Krispies into the jar. The jar will be full to the brim and you may need to press the last layer of ingredients down into the jar so they fit, if a bigger jar was used the ingredients would move around and spoil the layers.

The extra ingredients needed and the instructions on how to make and bake the cookies should be written or typed on a small sheet of paper, folded and placed between the lid and the fabric before tying down with ribbon.


  • 1 jar of Rainbow Cookie Mix
  • 1/4 cup (50g) salted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons of beaten egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/160 Fan/Gas 4.

Place the contents of the jar of cookie mix into a mixing bowl and with a wooden spoon thoroughly mix all the ingredients together.

Mix the butter, egg and vanilla together and pour over cookie mix, stir until mixture is well blended and you end up with one big ball (you might need to use your hands) of cookie dough.

Break off walnut sized pieces of cookie dough and shape into balls, then place 2 inches apart on a non-stick cookie sheet.

Bake for about 15 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Store cookies in an airtight container.

Note:  All ingredients measured with cups and spoons in the above recipe should be leveled off. I have also given the weights in grams for more consistency!

Before you go buying lots of jars, check one out first to make sure all the ingredients fit, variations on volume of jars can occur!

After adding the flour you might need to wipe the inside of the jar with a clean paper towel.

Once the jars are assembled they can be stored in a cool place for a couple of months. The brown sugar tends to clump up after some time so I suggest that you make sure you break up all the lumps with the back of a spoon before adding the liquid ingredients!

Check out all the other entries by clicking on the on this link “The Capers of the Kitchen Crusader”.