Monday, June 6, 2011

Oishii: Kabocha Cookies

Kabocha is a type of pumpkin very popular in Japan, but now widely available in the States. It has a slightly sweet taste, so it's often used to make desserts--like these kabocha cookies.

These soft cookies make a nice light treat and I can feel good (or at least not feel that bad) about giving my toddler a nibble.

But I have to admit--the cookies didn't look like the picture when I first made them.

No, not at all.

I have this habit of not following recipes exactly...not because I want to get creative, but because I have dyslexia when it comes to reading recipe instructions. Like how I was supposed to use a quarter pound of kabocha in the cookies , but I decided not to measure the kabocha, guessing instead that half a pumpkin was probably about a quarter pound. Wrong. (Note: the recipe below calls for a half-pound of kabocha because the initial yield was only about eight cookies, and that's certainly not enough for my sweet tooth!) I realized my mistake when the recipe called for flattening the cookie dough out and cutting shapes. My dough was so batter-y that there was no way to even attempt to roll it out.

So I doubled the recipe, going back and dumping everything in the already-made batter. Still terrible, but I figured I'd try it out anyway. I dumped rough spoons full onto a cookie tray, thinking the batter would melt into perfect little rounds. Wrong again.

BUT despite all my mistakes and the turd-like appearance of the cookies, the botched batch actually turned out pretty good! Cakey, but really sweet--just the way I like 'em. So I can say that this is probably a fool-proof recipe--the cookies will still taste good even if you completely screw it up like I did!

Kabocha Cookies

1/2 lb. kabocha
4 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp sugar
2 egg yolks
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder


1. Cut kabocha into large chunks. Steam kabocha in the microwave until softened. Peel kabocha and mash in a bowl.

2. Mix butter and sugar in another bowl. Add mashed kabocha in the bowl. Mix well. Add an egg yolk and stir well.

3. Sift flour and baking powder together. Add the flour in the bowl. Mix the dough. Rest the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 340 degrees F. Flatten the cookie dough on floured board and cut into your favorite shapes. Place a cooking sheet in a baking pan and place shaped cookie dough on the sheet. Bake cookies in 340F oven for 15-20 minutes.

*Makes 16 cookies


Tracey said...

Thank you for the intro to kabocha. I try to look for something new each time I visit the market so I'll look for this next time I am there. The recipe sounds like something this crew of mine would adore.

Kim said...

Oh yum! I love kabocha but never thought of baking cookies with it. I will have to try these when I get home!

MamaQ said...

oooh, just wanted to clarify that MamaM wrote this post, but it is published under my name because i originally "started" it... i want to give full credit to M because she is a cook extraordinaire and i can't wait to try these cookies (M - maybe you can mail some to me from utah?)!!

This Girl loves to Talk said...

Oh I'll have to try this. Do you know that those pumpkins are called Jap pumpkins in Australia? I've wondered if they have anything to do with Japan.. They are also called Kent pumpkins here (dont know if its a different type cause they look pretty much the same...)

Pumpkins are very popular in australia (as compared to the US) for savoury dishes. we use that pumpkin to make pumpkin soup, baked pumpkin, pumpkin on pizza, in pasta (with cream and bacon) oh the list in endless... I've converted several american friends I have here to do more with their pumpkin that just to make pie with it :)