Tuesday, March 16, 2010

White Day Cookies

Thanks to a recent relocation for the sleepytako family, which was also the cause of my extended absence from this blog, we have acquired a new magical cooking box. Yes, you say, that's merely a microwave oven. But wait, there's more! That box is also a toaster and a full blown oven. Oh hell yes. My complaints about Japan are few, but one of them is the lack of ovens. Ovens are for sale here, but they are rather expensive and too big for a typical Japanese kitchen. These all in on microwave oven toaster hybrids are great for space savings and cost. We got one like this Sharp for around $150.

So now that I have an oven, and my own kitchen where I know where everything is, I can cook! And cook I have done. I've made tacos and this two times. I've also taken on the task of making cookies. Japanese cookies are always hard, crunchy and lack oatmeal. I felt something must be done to combat this evil. Just like the Jehovah's Witnesses that come to my door every Saturday I had to preach the gospel of soft cookies. White Day gave me a chance.

So, with a mild hangover from Saturday night--don't have a Sidecar and a Manhattan after drinking your fill of beers--I broke out the ingredients and baked away. The little oven pumped out 180C heat for the two or so hours it took me to bake 35 cookies at 4 cookies for each batch. One downside of the oven is it's size, but it's also a good thing about it.
Presentation is important for Japanese gift giving, so I bought some small white paper bags at the ¥100 shop. Using a feminine font I found on this site I fed the bags through the printer. Sadly because of the unevenness of the paper some leftover ink on the printer heads smudged them a bit.  Still it wasn't too bad and with a sheet of stickers I had around the house I sealed them up.

Judging by the requests for the recipe my witnessing of the gospel of soft cookies has worked. I'm glad all my friends and colleagues enjoyed their cookies. I'll be saving my next batch for hanami perhaps?

~~Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate Cookies - Japanese Kitchen Version~~
  • Flour 小麦粉 2cups
  • Sugar 砂糖 1cup
  • Brown sugar 黒砂糖 1cup
  • Salt 塩 1tsp
  • Baking Soda 重曹 1tsp
  • Baking Powder ベーキングパウダー 1tsp
  • Milk 牛乳 2tbsp
  • Butter バター 1cup
  • Eggs 卵 2
  • Vanilla extract バニラエキス2tsp
  • Oatmeal オートミール  2 1/2 cups (I used Quaker that I found in a normal market)
  • Walnuts クルミ  2 cups (cheapest place for bulk walnuts is GyomuSuper 業務スーパー)
  • Chocolate bars チョコレート 3 bars (I like Ghana)
Take the chocolate bars and break them up by hand, put into a plastic bag with the walnuts. Cover the bag with a towel and beat the hell out of it with a hammer. Put aside. Mix the sugars and butter in a bowl. Once creamy stir in the eggs one at a time. Then add the milk and vanilla extract. Put aside. In another bowl combine the flower, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Add in the oatmeal, chocolate and walnuts last. Make ping-pong ball sized balls of the dough and put them on parchment paper. I could do 4 at a time in my oven. Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes, or until they begin to brown at 180C. Makes 30-40 cookies.

1 comment:

angryparsnip said...

wahahahahahahahah .....

you should write a cookbook with recipes for Japanese ovens, with your great instructions.
"cover with towel and beat the hell out of it"
is a truly great cooking term... and one I employ quite often.

welcome back to the blogging world!