Japanese Sesame Cookies

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Toasted sesame seeds are fragrant and adds a pleasant nutty flavor and crunch into cookies.

Besides, sesame seeds are incredibly rich in many essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc and are very good sources of B-complex vitamins such as folic acid and thiamin. The seeds also provide high levels of dietary protein (100g provides 18g of protein) and are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid, that helps lowers bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. These tiny seeds also contain chemical compounds such as sesamol and saseminol which are phenolic anti-oxidants (a class of anti-oxidants derived from plants) that help fend off harmful free radicals from our body. No wonder the Japanese has the world’s highest life expectancy!

Another recipe adapted from Keiko Ishida’s “Okashi – sweet treats made with love” recipe book.

Personal Note:
I decided to add 1tbsp matcha powder into half the dough just for an alternative flavour.
Plain dough with white sesame, green dough with black sesame. 

I felt that the green/black colour combination didn’t look too good. Kind of reminds me of army camo face paint that eeps..no. I also played with the bunny cutter (it was meant to be a sushi rice mould) for the first time but those cookies turned out too thick having squeezed too much cookie dough in it…and it also went MISSING after baking which means that I can’t try it again…

The cookies turned out crispy but a bit too bland (tasted too flour-y) for my liking and I would think it’s the salt content, or that the salt wasn’t evenly mixed through the mixture. I’d try with salted butter (and omit the 1/4tsp salt) and see how it goes.

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Ingredients (makes about 40 cookies):
220g Pastry flour or Top flour
50g white sesame seeds
50g black sesame seeds
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g icing sugar
1/4tsp salt
2 egg yolks

Directions:
  1. Sieve flour, then place in the freezer to chill. Without preheating oven, bake white and black sesame seeds at 150C for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Beat sugar, icing sugar and salt till soft and creamy. Add egg yolks and mix well. Add flour and sesame seeds and fold with a spatula.
  3. Divide dough in half. Transfer each half to a piece of parchment paper and shape into a 12(L) x 7(B) x 2.5(H)cm rectangular block. Wrap dough in cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (I freeze it for 2 hours and let it rest at ambient temperature for 20 minutes before slicing).
  4. Preheat oven to 160C.
  5. Slice chilled cookie dough into 5-7mm thick bars. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.
  6. Store cookies in an airtight container to keep them crisp.
Creamed butter-sugar mixture
Add in sieved flour and mix well
chilled dough - before slicing
chilled dough – before slicing

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