Thursday, September 18, 2014

Red bean sesame cookies

I hope to avoid being a stereotypical poor grad student, yet somehow keep up my baking habit. After doing the math, I should be just fine, but still, I can't go wasting ingredients. After recipe though (especially a more unique recipe), I often have leftover ingredients that aren't commonly used in other recipes. I hate to see that food to go waste, so my solution has been experimenting with new recipes that use up what I have.

This is an example of such a recipe. I still a large amount of sweet red bean paste leftover from when I made my signature red bean mochi cupcakes. Besides these cupcakes though, I don't really use the red bean for anything else. It's a common ingredient to use as a filling in many Asian desserts, but I wanted to try something different.

Some creative Googling led me to this recipe for a red bean cookie, where the bean paste is actually incorporated into the cookie dough, rather than included as a filling. I was intrigued and went ahead with making these cookies.

It's a rather easy recipe - you make a simple sugar cookie and mix in the red bean. For a complementary flavor, the cookie is rolled in sesame seeds before baking. These cookies are also flattened out with a fork before baking, which is different than the usual balls of dough I drop directly onto to the cookie sheet. This creates a more crispy outside, but the dough is still thick enough that the inside is still nice and soft.

One thing I did notice is that the red bean skins added a very strange texture to the cookie, almost like I had accidentally baked paper into the dough. The paste I used was less of a paste and more of really mushy red beans, so in the future, I'll definitely look for a more homogeneous paste.

Overall though, this was a very tasty cookie with unique flavors - and my red bean paste didn't go to waste! Here's to saving food (and money)!

Red bean sesame cookies (makes about 3 dozen cookies)
Recipe adapted from The Hungary Buddha

  • 5 Tbsp of unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (100 g) white sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 g) brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup sweetened red bean paste
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour (your choice)
  • ~½ cup granulated sugar + ¼ cup sesame seeds for rolling
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cream butter and white and brown sugars together in a stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in egg and vanilla until completely mixed.
  4. Add in red bean paste until mixed. 
  5. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to wet mixture on low speed until just combined. Dough will be very soft and sticky (almost batter-like). 
  6. Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough into balls and roll in the sugar/sesame seed mixture until completely covered.
  7. Place on lined cookie sheets and press flat with fork. Cookies will expand slightly when baking, so space them at least an inch apart. 
  8. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until the bottoms start to brown slightly. 
  9. Let cool and enjoy! 

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