The first time I ate Pocky was in the late 80’s when there were only two flavors of Pocky to choose from: chocolate and strawberry. At the time, I would score a box of the yummy sticks about once every month or so at the Sanrio store. My mom would bring me to look for Hello Kitty treasures and a box of the cookies would come with. In the dental office next door, my older sister would be getting her braces tightened, while I shopped away. Her pain was my gain.
Strawberry Pocky always seem to play second fiddle to Chocolate Pocky. If I remember correctly, the box for Strawberry Pocky circa 1989 was always smaller than that of the chocolate variety, and it wasn’t as widely available either. This was frustrating for a gal who loved everything pink (and purple) at the time.
Now that I’m much older and know how to cook, I’ve created what I consider the perfect recipe for Strawberry Pocky, every bit as delicious as the chocolate kind. My secret ingredient? Freeze-dried strawberries!
These light-as-air strawberry pieces are really great for snacking, and came out on the market a few years back. They are very sensitive to air and moisture, so pulverize them in your spice grinder immediately before you plan on making the chocolate, otherwise the strawberry dust has a tendency to clump and cake up. Powdered freeze-dried strawberries are ideal for adding a punch of vibrant fruitiness to melted white chocolate, mousses, and frostings, and they also help to create the most lovely shade of pink .
My new blogger friend, Ngan, of Ngan Made It, added a comment to my Homemade Chocolate Pocky post the other day where she mentioned how she enjoys plain biscuit sticks that are paired with dipping cream. Yan Yan is a brand of these snacks. Like a cousin to Pocky, you eat these cookies by using them to scoop out a globs of thickened strawberry cream, bite-by-bite.
If you want to enjoy these strawberry cookies with minimal fuss, you can actually serve the strawberry flavored chocolate in small bowls as a dip. This is also a great way to use the leftover dipping chocolate. When the temperature of the dip is slightly warm (but not hot), its consistency becomes frosting-like and pleasantly goopy–the perfect time to start scooping away!
Today I’ve used some unsalted, chopped pistachios, French dark chocolate sprinkles, and Omega-3 rich ground flax seed to decorate these cuties. My adornment of choice are actually the same freeze-dried strawberries that are used in making the chocolate, finely chopped into little bits. The tartness of the unsweetened freeze-dried berries balances the sweetness of the white chocolate just perfectly.
I hope you have a good time making these Homemade Strawberry Pocky. This is an ideal cooking project for little kids or for anyone who’s a kid at heart. With a fresh and brilliant boost of natural strawberry goodness, this simple confection becomes surprisingly sophisticated and incredibly delicious–a delightful treat for both children and adults alike!
Homemade Strawberry Pocky
Makes about 20 stick cookies.
1-11 oz package of white chocolate chips
3/4 cup freeze-dried strawberry slices (I used Trader Joe’s brand), pulverized into powder with a spice grinder
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
1 package of grissini, cut into 5″ pieces with serrated knife to make 20 sticks
finely chopped freeze-dried strawberries
finely chopped pistachios
crushed flax seeds
large baking sheet fitted with parchment paper
small baking sheet or plate fitted with parchment paper
tall, narrow drinking glass, at least 6″ tall
Step-by-step photos of the dipping process are in my Homemade Chocolate Pocky post!
1. Fill bottom of double boiler with water, making sure the water doesn’t make contact with the base of the top bowl of the double boiler. Bring water to a gentle simmer (bring water to boil, then reduce to very low heat). Place white chocolate in top bowl of double boiler. Using rubber spatula, gently melt the chocolate. In a small bowl, mix powdered freeze-dried strawberries with 2 Tbsp of the vegetable oil. Add this strawberry paste to the melting white chocolate and mix in until you get a evenly pink colored dipping chocolate. Mix in another 1 tsp of oil, then remove the bowl from heat, and wipe steam off the outside of the bowl with a tea towel.
2. Carefully pour the melted chocolate into the drinking glass to a height of 4″.
3. Dip the cut grissini into the melted chocolate leaving the top 1″ undipped. As you get further along in dipping, you may need to tilt the glass to distribute the chocolate upwards so that you are able to cover all 4″ of each grissini with the chocolate. Gently shake off any excess chocolate, then place the dipped cookie on the small baking sheet or plate fitted with parchment. Let the Pocky stick sit here for about a minute to allow any excess chocolate to pool onto the parchment/paper plate.
4. Transfer the stick to the large parchment lined baking sheet to fully dry. Repeat the dipping process with the remaining grissini. The Pocky take about 1 hour to fully dry/harden. In a pinch, you can place them in the fridge to speed up the drying process. Homemade Pocky are best eaten within a day or two, as the bread sticks tend to soften with time.
Variation: Generously or lightly scatter finely diced freeze-dried strawberries, chopped nuts, crushed flax seeds, or sprinkles on the dipped Pocky before transferring the cookie sticks to the large parchment lined baking sheet to dry.