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German Cookies with Black Sesame Seeds 德國酥餅(黑芝麻口味)

Today is Chinese New Year’s Eve, it is the day every Chinese household cook up a storm, starting early in the morning~ in my family back in Malaysia, we will be busy cooking foods to offer to our ancestors in the other world, and  this usually happen around lunch time. By the evening, we will be busy making the most important meal of the year– reunion dinner. Family members will always rush home from around the places to join the table. If you are not familiar with Chinese culture, let me tell you: Reunion dinner is a FEAST not to miss!Fish, shellfish, soup, pork, chicken, duck, veggie are usually on the menu. Oh how I wish we could join the dinner with my family on the other side of the planet… I have my feast too spreading out on my dining table here at home, but the feeling is not the same.

Anyhow, back to the cookies. This is another new cookie recipe I tried this year for my Chinese New Year bake, and I don’t really know why it is called German Cookies. Maybe it is similar to one of the Christmas cookies German make for the holiday?… Anyway, one interesting ingredient to this cookies is potato starch, which I believe is the key to these very light, airy and melt-in-your-mouth cookies. Not only is the recipe super easy and fun to make with little kids, the cookie dough freezes well too.

Some people make their version with a marble look(chocolate and original flavor), doggy look (by using some cereal to make doggy face). Others use poppy seeds. This time, I used black sesame seeds so the cookies don’t look so plain and pale, plus I like the nutty flavor of toasted black seeds. Green tea or earl grey will be good choice for a different look and flavor as well.

German Cookies with Black Sesame Seeds 德國酥餅(黑芝麻口味)– makes about 50-60 pieces

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups potato starch– “Windmill” brand preferred
2 tbsp dry milk powder
2 sticks (4oz each) unsalted butter– soften
3/4 cup powder sugar
2 tbsp black sesame seeds– toasted

Method:

  1. Combine flour, potato starch and milk powder together in a bowl.
  2. Put butter in a separate bowl. The butter must be very soft but not melted; microwave for a few seconds if needed. Add powder sugar and mix well. Add in sesame seeds to mix well again.
  3. Sift flour mixture into butter, mix to form a soft dough that is not sticky to the hands. If the dough is too soft, refregerate for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Take a small piece of dough and roll into a ball of 1-inch size. Repeat until all the dough is used.
  5. Place each ball one a large baking pan, about 1 inch apart. Press each ball down slowly with a fork to make a pattern. Bake at preheated 325F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the edge is slightly brown. Cool completely then store in air tight container.

Regina’s Note:

  • Freezing cookie dough: roll up dough to a log shape and wrap in parchment paper followed by plastic wrap. Place in air tight bag.
  • To toast sesame seeds: toast in dry clean pan on the stove on medium low heat, stirring at all time until the seeds puff up a little and sesame flavor starts to come out. Cool before use.
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German Cookies with Black Sesame Seeds 德國酥餅(黑芝麻口味)– before baking

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Potato starch– Windmill Brand

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I finally found these mochi puff premix from a local Korean grocery store. There is not English baking instructions but luckily there are pictures for guidance too. The instructions are pretty simple, just add water and one egg to the premix, knead and bake. These treats are super yummy once they came out from the oven, while center is soft and slightly chewy and crispy on the crust. As they cool down, they gets chewier and chewier and  the crust eventually gets soft.

Anyhow, this is what I have been trying to replicate after all my mochi puff trials. I’m not giving up yet, wish me luck!

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- all I did was adding water and 1 egg to the premix.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- all I did was adding water and 1 egg to the premix.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- here is the texture of the dough.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- here is the texture of the dough.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- spraying sowm water on the dough before baking.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- spraying sowm water on the dough before baking.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- after baking, they puff up beautifully round. See how nicely they crack on the surface too?

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- after baking, they puff up beautifully round. See how nicely they crack on the surface too?

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- a close up look of a mochi puff. It is very light, airy and hollow in the center while crispy on the surface.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- a close up look of a mochi puff. It is very light, airy and hollow in the center while crispy on the surface.

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The flavor is good– slightly sweet and milky, and nutty from black sesame seeds. But, the texture is more like a bread than a chewy mochi. I think I used too much bread flour this time. After adding the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, the dough was still quite wet so I added in 2 more tbsp of tapioca flour and bread flour each. At this point I was able to knead the dough and rolled into individual balls by hand, but also making the puffs even more bread like. Next time I should cut down water and see how it goes…

Mochi Puff Trial #3

Mochi Puff Trial #3

Mochi Puff Trial #3

Ingredients:
2/3 cup + 2 tbsp tapioca flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp bread flour
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp milk powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp toasted black sesame seeds
1 egg
1/2 tbsp oil
50 ml water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven t 350°F. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl to form a dough. Knead to blend well. Divide and roll into 12-15 balls.
  2. Place balls on baking pan lined with parchment paper. Spray some water on the balls. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on the rack. Serve immediately while they are still soft and chewy in the center while crispy on the surface. As they cool down they turn more chewy and harder.
Mochi Puff Trial #3

Mochi Puff Trial #3

Mochi Puff Trial #3

Mochi Puff Trial #3

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Mochi Puff Trial #2-- NO puffs! =(

Mochi Puff Trial #2-- NO puffs! =(

Mochi Puff Trial #2-- NO puffs! =(

Mochi Puff Trial #2-- NO puffs! =(

Mochi Puff Trial #2

Ingredients:
1 cup tapioca flour
2 tbsp bread flour
2 tbsp dry whole milk powder
3 tbsp sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp butter– melted and cooled
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds– toasted

Method:

Preheat oven t 350°F. Add all ingredients (except sesame seeds) in a mixing bowl and beat for 5 minutes. Stir in black sesame seeds. Pour batter evenly each of 24 non-stick mini muffin molds. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the mochi comes out not wet. Remove from the muffin molds and cool on the rack. Serve while they are warm.

Verdict:

The flavor is mild with milky taste and sesame seeds add nutty flavor to it. It tastes (a little firm) chewy like mochi, but still NOT puffed up and NO hollow interior!! What went wrong?  Can anyone help?

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I was trying to make Korean style mochi bread from scratch, as it has very good review from almost everyone who has tried it. But all the recipes I searched online use Korean mochi bread premix, and I don’t have access to such luxury. So, here I am, pulling the ingredient list from all sources, trying to create something similar. I made some cheese puffs before, and I remembered they puffed up pretty good and chewy (except they were too salty and cheesy– another story!), so I thought why not modify the ingredients and their proportion, hoping to create some sort of mochi puffs. I forgot to take a picture of this trial, but you can read  the verdict at the end of this post.

Mochi Puff Trial #1

Ingredients:
2/3 cup tapioca flour, plus 6 tbsp– see note below
1/3 cup bread flour
2 tbsp dry whole milk powder
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp butter– melted and cooled
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds– toasted

Method:

Preheat oven t 400°F. Add all ingredients (except sesame seeds) in a mixing bowl and beat until the batter is smooth. Stir in black sesame seeds. Pour batter evenly each of 24 non-stick mini muffin molds. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the mochi comes out not wet. Remove from the muffin molds and cool on the rack. Serve while they are warm.

Regina’s Note:

  • tapioca flour: After I added in water the batter looked very runny, so I added in 6 more tbsp of tapioca flour to thicken up the batter a little.

Verdict:

The flavor is good to what I have in mind– mild with milky taste and sesame seeds add nutty flavor to it, just like the pearl buns 珍珠包 selling at the local Sogo Bakery. But, no puff! I think my oven temperature is too high, as the bottom of the “puffs” are pretty brown and crunchy like crackers. Could it because I used too much of bread flour, as I could only taste a very slightly chewiness out of it?…

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