August Challenge: Recreate Your Favorite Childhood Treat

by Dana Commandatore

Dana’s Nabisco Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies, Sally’s Nha Benta, Tanya’s Goo Goo Clusters, Alex’s Toaster Strudel, Helen’s Fig Newtons, Marissa’s Oatmeal Cream Cookies, Carlos’ Danish Butter Cookies

This month’s Home Baker’s Challenge was conceived by me. A big part of my baking is to evoke emotion and connect with family and friends. There is at least one thing from your childhood that brings you back to a happy place. For me, it is Marshmallow Sandwich cookies from Nabisco. When I was a kid, my mother and I would go food shopping and we would buy a couple boxes. Inevitably, we would get in the car and end up opening a box and finishing it before we arrived home.

I don’t know when I realized that Nabisco stopped making them, but I know it was a sad day. For years, my family and I have talked about how badly we wanted one. So I started my quest to recreate them. This is the closest I have come. I’m sure I will continue to improve this recipe.

My fellow HBC bakers and I have put together this trip down memory lane. We hope that some of these recipes will bring you back to your childhood or at least to a happy place. 2020 could use a little more love. Click on the links above to get the recipes.



  1. That was a terrific idea! I vividly remember almost all of the delicacies, including Goo Goo clusters (Tonya, yours are a damn good replica … I remember them as milk chocolate, and about twice the size, but we are now living in a different age), fig newtons (Helen, I’ve eaten SO MANY fig newtons in my life that I’m embarrassed by my statistics), toaster strudel (thank you Alex, when the kids were young that was breakfast 4 days a week, punctuated by pop-tarts), Little Debbie’s anything (not only were her cookies good, but her little cakes were lunch-box stuffers … Little Debbie was the real origin of the phrase… ” bet you can’t eat just one.”), and the Danish Butter cookies, a routine at UC Berkeley biochemistry seminars (Carlos, again I’m embarrassed by how many of those cookies I ate). I want to taste everything! This should have been an in-person challenge during a weekend at Lake Tahoe! Unfortunately I never had the pleasure of the marshmallow sandwich cookies that Dana made .. do they still exist? Because the concept is riveting …that hedonist Paul would eat 5 of them. But I did get the chance to sample the sweets of my own *Baker, and the Nha Benta, tasted for the very first time, was superb: light, sweet, crunchy chocolaty, with a melt-in-your-mouth cookie beneath all the fireworks.


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