They See Me Rollin’ (But They Aren’t Hatin’): DIY Pocky Candy

I didn’t grow up in Japan, but during my few years of living there as an adult, I made it a point to make up for lost time in the candy aisle. Those of you who have discovered Japanese candy will understand my enchantment… the new colors, flavors and shapes are overwhelming to someone who was raised on the primary colored ubiquity of M&M’s. After coming back from Japan, I became obsessed with hunting down the closest places to access a sugar high of the Japanese variety. While many larger cities have shops that carry an assortment of international snacks, sometimes a quick trip to Chinatown just isn’t an option.

When this is the case, here is a DIY guide that you can use at home to assuage your Pocky craving.  Just keep a few basic ingredients on hand!

Some of the most conventional Pocky flavors are chocolate, matcha green tea, and strawberry. I ended up incorporating some of the ingredients I already had in my kitchen. As you will see, scrounging up Pocky fixings is much easier and more creative than you would imagine!  This batch of Pocky are matcha green tea flavored with black sesame, as well as strawberry flavored with sprinkles.

You can literally use anything to top off your Pocky; Graham Cracker crumbs, shredded almonds, cereals, or the petals of dried edible flowers are a few fun options.

The word “Pocky” comes from the Japanese mimetic word, pokin, which is supposed to mimic a snapping noise. After making your Pocky, you can be the judge of their crunchy quality!

I originally found the cookie dough recipe for these treats on the lovely blog Chocolate + Connie.

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

For the toppings, have at least 4 ounces of thoroughly melted white chocolate on hand for each flavor.  I used a couple drops of strawberry extract and a drop of pink gel food coloring for the strawberry pocky.  I mixed a teaspoon of matcha powder into melted white chocolate to achieve the matcha green tea coating.  I sprinkled Fancy Sprinkles and black sesame seeds onto the chocolate.

Cookie Instructions:

  1. Mix the sweetened condensed milk with water and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt on low speed until well mixed.
  3. Add the butter and mix for about 5 minutes.
  4. Mix in the condensed milk mixture all at once and continue mixing until it is fully incorporated and the dough forms a ball around the paddle.
  5. Transfer to a large sheet of plastic wrap, pat into a 1-inch-thick disk, and wrap tightly in the plastic.
  6. Preheat the oven to 300 F.
  7. You can either roll the dough out with your hands, or pipe with a small round piping tip.  If you choose to go the piping tip route, put the dough in a piping bag and pipe immediately after mixing.  If you plan to roll them out by hand, chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling.  When the dough warms up, it becomes harder to achieve a uniform width with the Pocky.
  8. Transfer the sticks to a parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet, setting the sticks 1/2 inch apart.
  9. Refrigerate the baking sheets, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  10. Bake until golden brown, for about 14 minutes. Rotate the pans at 7 minutes for evenly baked Pocky.
  11. Cool completely before coating.
  12. Dip your Pocky in your thoroughly melted chocolate mixtures.  Add garnish before the chocolate has completely dried.




Matcha Strawberry Pocky Cake

I made a slightly different version of this cake for a friend’s birthday last summer, and it’s one of my favorite cake designs!  I love how the Pocky sticks form a charming little fence around the cake.  For this rendition, I made three layers of matcha green tea cake and paired it with a light strawberry cream cheese icing.  I chose to use cream cheese icing because it isn’t as intensely sweet as buttercream icing… it really allowed the green tea flavor to shine through.  Visually, the muted green color really stands out next to the pink.

The cake is skirted with green tea and chocolate Pocky candy and topped with a heap of freshly-coated chocolate strawberries.  I wasn’t intending it, but it has a festive, Christmasy look, especially after finishing it off with a candy-stripe bow!  I’m definitely tempted to leave one of these out for Santa instead of cookies.

I used a cake stand from Anthropologie and a vintage plate from eBay.  The pink bamboo print on the plate suited my cake perfectly.  I really geek out over Anthropologie’s kitchen gear, and this cake stand was the ideal look for this cake.  I am so happy with how the colors and lines pulled together for this photo shoot!