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What Exactly Is Fairy Bread And What Does It Taste Like?

Plate of fairy bread with Australian flags
Plate of fairy bread with Australian flags - Milleflore Images/Shutterstock

Kids' birthday parties in the United States typically feature foods like pizza, potato chips, and a tasty birthday cake to finish the day off. On the other side of the world, in Australia and New Zealand, however, a dessert you might find featured at these events (or as an everyday snack) is something called fairy bread.

Parents have been making fairy bread for their kids for decades. The origins of it are fairly murky, and while it's just another food that Aussies and Kiwis debate over who lays the claim to fame, it seems that Oz may come out the winner this time. One early mention of the food dates back to the 1920s in the Australian newspaper "The Mercury."

Although it suggests whimsical and complex treats, fairy bread is actually an incredibly simple treat made of just three ingredients: white bread, butter, and colorful nonpareils, which in Australia are known as hundreds and thousands.

It has a fun, colorful appearance and a delicious sweet flavor with notes of saltiness from the butter. Plus, it has a unique texture. The white bread provides softness, but the sprinkles adorning it add a bit of crunch to the mix, making it a treat that's as fun to look at as it is to eat, which may just be why kids seem to love this snack.

Read more: 11 Discontinued Chocolates We Miss The Most

Creating Your Own Fairy Bread

Person buttering bread
Person buttering bread - Tirachard/Getty Images

Making this colorful snack for your children -- or yourself -- isn't hard, but how you go about it can seriously affect the taste, which is a delightful combination of sweet and salty with a creamy texture. The bread can transform it from a quick kids' snack into something a little more adult by using a crusty artisan baguette as opposed to store-bought sandwich bread. Or, you can incorporate new flavors by using Hawaiian rolls to amp up the sweetness. Don't forget to think about the crusts, too. If you're serving this treat for kids, picky eaters may appreciate you removing the crust, and taking them off can also give your sandwich a cleaner look.

Beyond the bread, the butter also plays a role. Salted butter is an excellent choice to balance out the sweetness of the sprinkles, while unsalted will lead to a sweeter treat. Or, swap the butter for dairy-free alternatives, such as a vegetable oil-based margarine, for easy spreading.

Lastly, you can experiment with the sprinkles. Traditionally, this snack is made with rainbow nonpareils, but what fun is creating dishes if you can't play around with other styles? Chocolate jimmies are the standard in the Netherlands, but homemade sprinkles allow you to incorporate your own flavors. You could also use sugar crystals or edible glitter, creating a crossover between fairy bread and sugar sandwiches.

Tips To Keep In Mind As You Make This Creation

Slice of fairy bread
Slice of fairy bread - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Although making fairy bread is straightforward, there are still a few things to keep in mind. It's important to pat the sprinkles down on the bread; otherwise, they won't stick as well to the butter and can roll off, creating a lackluster snack and a big mess. It's not a bad idea to place the bread slices onto a rimmed baking tray or in a pan when you add the sprinkles. That way, if any do fall off, you can scoop them up and recycle them on the next slice.

Another thing to consider is the shape of the fairy bread. A simple diagonal cut can leave you with classic triangles, but consider using cookie cutters to create cute, themed shapes. If you go this route, you will wind up with some scraps, but that's what taste-testing is for.

Lastly, the way you spread your butter matters! Make sure that you get the spread all the way to the edges of each slice. If you don't, you'll run the risk of fairy bread that has sprinkles concentrated in the middle, making your snack inconsistent when you eat it. With these tips, you're ready to create a treat that your kids (and you) will love.

Read the original article on Daily Meal