Seven and a Half Months Ago…

….I wrote my first ever blog post over at the delightful Wong’s Kitchen.  Since then, I’ve discovered that recording the things I’ve done is quite satisfying.  So, I’ve decided to start this blog as a neat and tidy way of keeping track of my not so neat and tidy bumblings in the kitchen.  A blog to keep track of the things I learn, and to serve as a reference for myself and anyone else who happens to come along and find it helpful too.

To kick off, I’m reposting an abridged version of that fateful first entry at Wong’s Kitchen – a recipe for black sesame cookies. This is possibly one of my favorite cookie recipes I’ve made to date for several reasons:

  • BLACK SESAME.  I love black sesame.  Its fragrance.  Its warm nuttiness.  Ever since  I had my first black sesame dessert soup in Hong Kong in 1996, I knew there was no turning back.
  • It isn’t too sweet or buttery.  I’m getting old.  I can’t take all that sugar and butter any more.
  • The recipe is easy to work with and forgiving.  I won’t get into all the hairy details here, but let’s just say I miscalculated measurement conversions and added back the missing ingredients (both wet and dry!) after the fact.  Oops.  A definite oh crumb moment.

Despite all the abuse, the cookies actually came out great…Imagine what they could have been if I had done it the right way from the start!  I have visions of matcha + black sesame.  Pink grapefruit might be worth a shot too, since the flavor of the cookie itself is light and not overpowering.

 BLACK SESAME COOKIES  (Adapted from Green Cilantro)

 Yields ~50  1.75″ cookies

 Ingredients

  • 9 Tbsp unsalted butter, RT  (for very unbuttery cookies; add more if you want)
  • ⅓ c. sugar
  • ½ egg, RT
  • 2 tsp milk, RT
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  •  2 ½ c. cake flour*, sifted (I think this helps avoid tough cookies since cake flour contains less protein than regular all-purpose flour) 
  • pinch of salt
  • 40 g black sesame, toasted (I think this might be ~1/4 cup.  I forgot to measure it after weighing it out.)

*Make your own cake flour:  For each cup of all-purpose flour, take out 2 Tbsp of flour and replace with 2 Tbsp cornstarch.  Sift mixture ~ 5 times to combine and aerate.

Directions

  1. Toast the black sesame seeds:  325 degrees F, ~15 minutes or until fragrant
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth.  Gradually add in the sugar.
  3. Mix the egg, milk and baking powder together in a bowl.
  4. Add the mixture slowly to the cream/sugar in step 1, continually mixing.
  5. Add the sifted flour and salt.  Mix until just combined.
  6. Add the sesame seeds, and mix the dough for another few seconds.
  7. Roll out the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper, until the dough is around 3mm thick.
  8. Transfer dough to a flat cookie sheet, and refrigerate ~ 2 hours.
  9. Preheat the oven to 335 degrees F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Cut out cookies with cookie cutters and transfer to the cookie sheet.
  11. Bake ~14 minutes, or until very slightly browned (DO NOT overbake.  I overbaked the second time I made them, and though they looked fine, they were extremely dry;  moreso than other cookies I’ve overbaked).
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