Call me Fifteen-a

When I first moved to Northern Ireland, part of the culture shock I suffered had to do with the humble 'traybake' - an oxymoronic term denoting a tea-time treat that neither has to be baked nor necessarily made in a tray. Go figure. Traditional traybakes include Malteser Squares, Chocolate Biscuit Tiffin, Cherry Bakewell Slices, Millionaire's Squares, Flapjacks, and my favourite, Fifteens. It took me about a year after moving to Belfast to try one of the latter, primarily because they look so odd - kind of like coconut covered slabs of red, white, and pink speckled cookie dough. Not exactly the most appealing thing around, right? Once I got over the strange appearance, however, I discovered that the fifteen is quite possibly the most delicious 'traybake' to be had. It's also probably the easiest to make, as it's no-bake and involves only a handful of ingredients - digestive biscuits, marshmallows, glace cherries, condensed milk, and coconut.  

Such is my love of the fifteen - both to eat and to make for others - a work colleague once dubbed me 'Fifteen-a'. I didn't complain. If you haven't already tried these, definitely give them a go; I guarantee you won't regret it!! 

As with the rhubarb crumble I posted about earlier, this is all about proportions - a cinch to remember with this recipe, as you just bung in fifteen of everything (except the condensed milk and coconut). 

15 digestive biscuits, crushed into fine crumbs
15 glace cherries, halved
15 marshmallows, cut into quarters
about 3/4 of a small tin of condensed milk
Desiccated coconut

In a large bowl, mix together the crushed biscuits, cherries, marshmallows, and enough condensed milk to bring everything together into something that pretty closely resembles cookie dough. (I find that about 3/4 of a small tin of condensed milk gives the perfect balance between wet and dry, but this is a matter of personal preference as well as experimentation. If the mixture is too dry, the fifteens won't slice easily; too wet, and they'll be a gooey mess.) Once everything's mixed, lay out a large sheet of greaseproof paper and scatter over a couple of handfuls of coconut. Spoon the fifteen mixture on top of the coconut, scatter more coconut over the top, and shape the mixture into a long sausage. Wrap tightly in the greaseproof paper and add a layer of cling film over the top. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before slicing. Enjoy!

I made a batch of these to bring to Bee Blessed today, and they were much appreciated, if only for the sugar rush they brought to proceedings. Fueled by one  two several of these, in fact, I managed to get the top of the stripe-y quilt I'd started a while back finished and ready for quilting. Success! (Pictures to follow). 

xx Tina 


  1. Very Ulster-ish sweetness! !!!!!! Di x

  2. Oh I put the whole tin of condensed milk in mine!!!! Yours were delicious today! Jxo

  3. Fifteens are my fave too and your contribution of 15s to todays Bee were totally scrummy! As were the brownies, not that I'm admitting to having tried both!


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