Japanese Confectionery in the Microwave: Yatsuhashi
You can eat yatsuhashi without going to Kyoto. It is soft and chewy. This is a fun snack to make with kids. According to my father and mother in law, these taste just like the ones sold in Kyoto souvenir shops, but the chewiness is even better... It is a deliciousness you can't imagine with such a simple recipe.
Ingredients: The amount will change depending on how it is cut
Combine the kinako and cinnamon and spread it out on a work surface. You might think it is a lot, but it is needed to keep the yatsuhashi from sticking.
Make the dough. Place the shiratamako into a bowl with water, and mix so that there are no lumps of flour.
Add the mochiko, and stir with a spoon. If you add in the sugar and stir some more, it's strange; the hard dough becomes soft (I mixed it in this order to show my kid, but it is okay to mix the mochiko and sugar in together).
Cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 2 minutes at 600 W. Take it out once and mix evenly with a wet spoon, cover with plastic wrap again, and microwave for one more minute. It is good to go once it becomes as thick as mochi.
Spread out the dough onto the work surface. While coating the dough with kinako and cinnamon, spread it out thinly with a rolling pin. If you stretch it out into a square as much as possible, then there will be no waste when you cut it.
Cut into squares with a knife, place the anko on top, fold into a triangle, and it is done.
Story Behind this Recipe
My kid was making a fuss about eating anko, so I made this. I just so happened to have shiratamako I had used to make bread with, leftover mochiko from making mochi for New Years, leftover cinnamon from baking apple pie, and some poor Kinako leftover from making Kinako dango, so I tried making yatsuhashi this time. My in-laws said that I wouldn't get caught even if I tried to pass it off as a souvenir. She was really surprised when I told her that I made these in the microwave.
I didn't have joshinko, so I used mochiko, but it is better to use joshinko if you have it. I think this is a Japanese snack you can enjoy making with kids since there aren't really any hard steps. But be careful about burns when making this with kids.