Recipes That Will Remind You Of Your Childhood

Nostalgia is a powerful force, to say the least. Happy memories from our more carefree days can be a welcome break from the stress of our everyday life, like a vacation to the past or a gentle daydream. And when you're in the kitchen, that nostalgia can grow all the more powerful. To that end, we've gathered up a handful of the best recipes you may not have tasted in decades. They may remind you of your school days, holidays with your parents and siblings, or a trip to your grandparents' house, among many other happy memories.

This isn't all just poetic license, either. According to the BBC, the smell of baked goods from our childhood has been shown to be one of the most common triggers of nostalgia. Some of these recipes will manage to bring back memories before you even take the snacks out of the oven! Even the easy recipes here that don't require any baking will take you back to the good old days with just one bite. 

So throw on some of your favorite tunes — music is also a good way to recall strong memories of the past, according to Psychology Today – and prepare to relive the good old days! After all, these are some of the recipes that will almost certainly remind you of your childhood.

An irresistible Chex mix

Contrary to popular belief, not all nostalgic foods are desserts. This recipe for Chex Mix is a salty and savory trip back to your youth, perhaps one spent chowing down on this snack at a sleepover or a friend's elementary school-era birthday party. But just because you're a bit older now doesn't mean that you can't enjoy this treat, nor do you have to skip out on a few improvements here and there. The melted butter and Worcestershire sauce give this simple snack a full and layered flavor that you're sure to enjoy.

The delight of making your own Chex Mix is really the near-endless possibilities it contains for customization. Add hot sauce, chipotle powder, or chili powder for a spicy edge. If you like a sweet and salty mix, throw in some chocolate chips (after cooking, of course) or dried fruit like sweet, tart, and chewy dried cranberries. Take out the nuts completely or add in different kinds as the mood strikes you. As it's plain to see, you've got options to make this mix all your own.

Get ready to shout for these whoopie pies

Is it a cake or is it a cookie? Who cares, it's delicious, right? And you can keep on celebrating, as we have a great whoopie pie recipe for you! Just don't let yourself get too confused over the exact nature of this treat. This isn't a MoonPie, after all. MoonPies are made with stiffer, graham cracker cookies that are dipped in chocolate, lending a crunchy element to the ultra-sweet experience of biting into it. Whoopie pies, meanwhile, are made with two cake-like cookies that are typically chocolate flavored and are almost always soft and even downright pillowy.

This recipe isn't harder than baking a cake. If the adult version of you can't eat gluten like the kid you used to, have no fear. By making your own whoopie pies, you can easily replace the flour with gluten-free flour. You can also make try different flavors for the cookies, perhaps adding a dash of espresso powder to amp up the chocolate flavor or even going with a different non-chocolate flavor altogether. But if you're looking for nostalgia, stick with chocolate.

No foil wrapper required for these copycat Pop Tarts

You might think that a delicious recipe for copycat Pop-tarts would be complicated. After all, look at the version you get in a foil package. With all that crimped pastry, shiny icing, and blended fillings, surely it's too hard to put together in your own kitchen, right? Not so fast. In reality, you only need ten ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand, like milk, butter, eggs, sugar, and flour. This recipe does need quite a bit of prep time, but most of that is chilling the dough, during which you can just chill, too.

All you have to do is remember how you always wished Pop-Tarts would taste as a kid. Was there never enough filling for you? Well, you can certainly fix it now. Wished there was frosting on both sides of the Pop-Tarts? Why not test it out on your version? Go nuts! The world is your oyster ... or toaster pastry, as it were.

These copycat Hostess cupcakes are a lunchbox staple

If there's one dessert you would expect to find in a lunchbox, it's probably that little chocolate cupcake with a little white swirl running through the middle. That is, you were probably delighted to find a Hostess Cupcake sitting there. So if you'd like to go back to the days when the biggest concern you had was how long it was until recess, then this is the cupcake recipe you need to achieve some pretty powerful nostalgia.

The best thing about this recipe is that it's a lot easier to parse than the packaged stuff. The original cupcake has a long list of ingredients, including chemicals and artificial flavors that you may not necessarily want to eat all the time. However, your own version won't have any of that. Of course, that's not to say these cupcakes are healthy. They are still cupcakes, after all, filled with cream and topped with chocolate ganache. At least they can be a slightly less guilty pleasure, especially if you make this an occasional indulgence.

Waldorf salad is a weekend classic

For many of us, a Waldorf salad was a staple of dinner at Grandma's house, or perhaps at special childhood occasions that called for the whole family gathering into one place — with plenty of food, of course. This recipe for Waldorf salad is a food tradition you can continue in your own family. Maybe you'll even find yourself passing it on to another family member, perhaps via a handwritten recipe card for that extra dose of sentimentality.

Waldorf salads traditionally have walnuts, apples, grapes, and celery, all slathered in a mayonnaise-based dressing and served on lettuce. You can certainly stick to the original recipe if you wish. Otherwise, you can update the dish with a few new ingredients that will update the flavors and elevate the health factor, too. For instance, use Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. This will help your salad last a couple of extra days and can cut back on fat and calories, too. You can also add chicken to the mix to make it a whole meal with a healthy helping of protein to fill things out.