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Kabocha Squash Cookies

Kabocha Squash Cookies

Not so sweet, simple cookies. Double-bake them for a crispy finish, or just once, so they're still soft and moist. I added notes about giving them a Halloween twist.

Ingredients: about 12 cookies / 1 30 x 30cm baking sheet worth

Kabocha squash
30 g (after pureeing)
Unsalted butter
30 g
Sugar
25 g
Salt
a small amount
◎Cake flour
60 g
◎Cornstarch
2 g
Pumpkin seeds
to taste

Steps

1. Prepare the ingredients: Put the butter in a bowl and allow to come to room temperature. Sift the ◎ flours together.
2. Cut the kabocha squash, with seeds and skin removed, into fairly small pieces and put into a heatproof bowl. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and microwave. When a toothpick goes through a piece easily, mash up roughly with a wooden spatula or similar. Pass the mash through a sieve to turn into a puree. (See step 11.)
3. Whip the room-temperature butter, and add the sugar in 2 batches, mixing well after each addition. When the mixture has turned white and fluffy, add the salt and mix in.
4. Mix the pureed kabocha squash into the batter.
5. Add the ◎ flours in 2 batches. Use a rubber spatula to cut it in. When the dough has about come together, fold it over itself in the bottom of the bowl, and it won't crack.
6. Bring the dough together, wrap up with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. You can also freeze it like this. The dough is easy to handle, so if you are in a big hurry you can get by without chilling it, but do chill it if you can.
7. Divide the dough (it should be around 13g each depending on how moist they are) and roll into balls. Press lightly from above so that they are shaped like little buns.
8. Preheat the oven to 320F/170C. Make indentations in the cookie balls with a toothpick to form pumpkin shapes.
9. Decorate each cookie ball with a pumpkin seed. Bake the cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet for 17-20 minutes. It's best to insert the pumpkin seeds fairly deeply.
10. When you put the cookies in the oven it's like sending them out to work in the morning. 〜♪( ´∀`)ノ If the cookies are just lightly colored they're OK. Take them out of the oven, lower the oven temperature to 285F/140C, and put the cookies back in for another 10 minutes. If you prefer soft cookies, omit this second baking.
11. Line a cookie rack with some paper towels before putting the cookies on the rack to cool. This is to prevent the oil in the cookies from getting on the rack.
12. Combining the cookies with Kanayan-san's "Whole chestnut cookies" (Recipe ID: 218954) as a fall season gift is very nice.
13. Note: I use kabocha squash puree a lot for making sweets or for cooking, so I make a big batch and freeze it. I didn't indicate a time for microwaving the kabocha squash for this reason, but you just need to cook it until a toothpick goes through easily.
14. I tried sticking the dough together to make a banana cookie. The baking time varies depending on how big you make it. I gave it a pretty realistic finish...
15. The two cookies on the left are persimmons, and the one on the right is a pineapple. They're all kabocha squash flavored.
16. Decorate the cookies like this for Halloween. If you have the energy and will to do go this far, that is.

Story Behind this Recipe

I love kabocha squash so I've always wanted to make kabocha squash cookies. I referred to a recipe for snowball cookies that was printed on a packet of powdered sugar. I increased the flour so that the cookies wouldn't fall apart, reduced the sugar to bring out the kabocha squash flavor, and reduced the butter and so forth.