Manju Red Bean Cookies

Sweets | January 19, 2016 | By

While eating my way through the sample tables at one of my favorite Asian bakeries in Atlanta (guilty as charged!), I popped one of these little delicacies in my mouth and knew I was destined to make a batch! Sweet red bean paste happens to be so good that you could eat it plain by the spoonful. But, please save some for the cookie filling! These cookies taste a lot like sugar cookies, with bean paste filling. For this recipe, I thumb-printed the tops of the cookies and inserted a few golden raisins. They are mmm-mmm good!

Manju Red Bean Cookies
Serves: 40 cookies
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 17 oz. bag or can sweetened red bean paste
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 beaten egg for egg wash
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use two baking sheets with parchment paper on top. In a mixer, beat sugar and butter together until creamy and smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time until smooth. Add vanilla extract and beat well.
  2. Sift together flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Gradually add flour mixture into butter mixture, mixing well after each addition, until dough is smooth.
  3. To make cookies: Generously flour your hands and working surface. Roll 2-inch-size balls from the dough and form into 4-inch flat circles on your floured working surface. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of red bean paste into the center of each dough circle. Gather and pinch the edges around the filling until sealed to form a round dough ball. Place dough balls on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Using your thumb, make a thumb imprint in the center of each dough ball making a dent. Insert 3 to 4 golden raisins into the dent. Brush dough balls all over with egg wash.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until tops are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
Sweetened red bean paste can be found at most specialty Asian markets. I've found that buying it online is very costly.

Adapted from: KJ Lowe/All Recipes

Lemongrass Coconut Bars

Sweets | January 14, 2016 | By

Lemon squares have been a beloved dessert in our family for many, many years. My mother-in-law makes an amazing lemon squares dessert that she frequently serves at family gatherings. In this recipe, by adding lemongrass, coconut flour and coconut flakes, we now have an Asian spin on her traditional lemon squares recipe. It’s just as good and as easy to prepare!

Lemongrass Coconut Bars
Serves: 12 bars
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemongrass from a tube
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, blend together sugar, flour, butter, and salt. Press crust into an 8x8 square pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 15-20 minutes until crust is light brown. Remove from oven.
  2. Make the filling: In a mixing bowl, blend together eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, lemongrass, lemon juice, and ½ cup shredded coconut. Pour filling over the crust and bake another 20 minutes until set. Let cool. Sprinkle with remaining toasted coconut and dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate and cut into squares when ready to serve.
Lemongrass from a tube can be found in the produce section at your local grocery store.
To toast shredded coconut: Place in a skillet on the stove over medium heat and dry toast it until light brown. Don't overcook.

Adapted from: Joan Schwartz

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