Baking inspirations come in waves and recently I have more ideas than I can keep up. An interesting opportunity has come up recently and baking may take on a much bigger role in my life. It’s both scary and exciting at the same time. The scary part I need to face with unbiased analysis and determination. The exciting part is the reason behind this latest of burst of inspiration.
I keep a notebook of ideas. Most of the time it is simply a bunch of words I jot down with little meaning without explanation. More mature ideas I like to include sketches to flesh out how I envision the dessert. Yesterday I went for a run around my neighbourhood and an idea came to me without warning. Obviously I did not have my notebook with me. As soon as I got home, I decided to keep the notebook and jumped directly in the kitchen. Experimenting can be such fun.
My favourite chocolate chip cookie is Heidi Swanson’s Mesquite Chocolate Chip cookies. Over the years, it evolved in my kitchen and eventually became Kinako Chocolate Chips Cookies (recipe). Yesterday I transformed it some more and got rid of chocolate chips entirely and added a buttercream sandwich filling. The kinako (toasted soybean flour) inspired an even stronger Japanese taste profile with addition of sesame seeds, toasted nori seaweed, and miso.
My tasters were skeptical at best when I rattled off this list of ingredients. The undeniably savoury aspect seems out of place for a cookie but the key is moderation. Sesame seeds add great crunch to the already soft and cakey cookies to enhance the nutty taste of kinako. The cookies have a hint of the sea thanks of toasted nori. But it is the richness of miso buttercream that makes it memorable. Miso is very salty and intense so a little goes a long way. It balances out the sweetness of the buttercream with just a bit of funk. I love it.
Give it a try! I would love to hear what you think.
More kinako treats:
Kinako Nori Sesame Cookies with Miso Buttercream
makes 16 sandwich cookies
- 165g unbleached all purpose flour
- 50g kinako
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 117g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 200g dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup old fashion rolled oats
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds (I used mix of white and black sesame seeds)
- 1/2 cup pre-shredded or crumbled unseasoned toasted nori seaweed
- 100g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 100g icing sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon miso
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line two 11x17 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, kinako, baking soda, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt.
- Cream 117g of butter with brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and egg yolk. Mix until completely incorporated.
- Add reserved flour mixture. Mix on low speed just until combined. Fold in oats, sesame seeds, and nori using a large sturdy spatula by hand.
- Use a 1 tablespoon scoop to portion cookie dough evenly spaced on prepared baking sheet. Baking for 10 minutes or until top of cookie is just set (dry to touch).
- As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, gently flatten using bottle of a bowl covered with a square of parchment paper. No need to press down hard. Just let the weight of the bowl sink in. Cool cookies completely.
- To make frosting, whip 100g butter, icing sugar, and miso using paddle attachment of stand mixer until light and fluffy. Dollop 1.5 teaspoon of frost on half of the cookies and cover with a second cookie to make sandwiches. The frosting will not completely set and stay soft. Cookies keep well at room temperature for 2 days.