Remove the skin and pith of the kabocha, cook in a microwave until tender, mash to a paste-like consistency, then chill in the refrigerator.
Blend the sugar into the butter (brought to room temperature in advance).
Add the kabocha paste from Step 1, sift in the cake flour, and fold in without kneading.
If still dry after mixing in Step 3, add milk; if too soft, add more flour.
Form the dough into a ball, wrap in saran wrap, then let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Shape each cookie into 13 to 15 g balls, make an indentation in the center, draw lines on the sides with a toothpick, and decorate with a seed.
Bake for 16 to 20 minutes at 360°F/180°C until a nice golden brown.
Story Behind this Recipe
Crunchy cookies are nice, but soft, chewy cookies have a somewhat nostalgic taste.
If the kabocha is not chilled well enough, the butter will melt, so be careful to chill it thoroughly before mixing. The amount of moisture varies depending on the type of kabocha, so adjust the recipe accordingly.