After living in Japan for 13 months, I FINALLY found brown sugar!!!!
(And yes, being the avid baker that I am, this totally warranted a blog post.)
One of the first times I went to the supermarket here, I used my online dictionary and found what I thought was brown sugar. I guess it technically is – or, at least, it’s literally “black sugar” (黒糖, kuro sato) – but the taste is different and it threw off some of my Western recipes. That being said, I assumed it was the only brown sugar that my part of Japan carried, so I made do.
Fast forward to yesterday when I went to the big supermarket in my city and saw something suspiciously like the light brown sugar of Canada. It was called 三温糖 (sanontou), so I Google’d it and, sure enough, people said it was real brown sugar! Finally!!
Some of you have seen me gush and fawn over a cooking and baking blog that I’ve been reading over the past several months. I fell in love with Mel’s Kitchen Cafe on Pinterest and have since made a bunch of different recipes from her site. From dinner to dessert, I have loved every single one of them, and I highly suggest that you check her out!
One of her most recent recipes was for Brookies – literally, Brownies + Chocolate Chip Cookies. So, when I was trying to think of what to make with my new found discovery, Mel’s Brookies recipe immediately jumped into my mind, and thus my brown sugar test baking adventure began!
First of all, I want to say that this recipe required no adaptations* – despite living in Japan and using Japanese ingredients, I followed it exactly and they turned out perfect! I did use Japanese “cake margarine” instead of real butter, which softens very, very quickly. Combined with my hot, mid-summer apartment room temperature, my dough didn’t hold its shape enough to be able to roll and mould it with my hands, so I used the teaspoon drop cookie method to combine the two doughs together on the cookie sheet.
*No adaptations, but I did use Japanese-equivalent measurements – for example, I used my 200 mL measuring cup as 1 cup for the dry ingredients.
I cooked them in my oven-microwave at 170C for 10 minutes and they were perfectly slightly underbaked, like the recipe calls for. Being the slightest bit underbaked meant that they were scrumptiously chewy!
My cookies also spread out – a lot! And they rose while in the oven, but flattened when I took them out to cool.
This recipe made about 50 cookies (it was my first time making this recipe, so I had to taste test them, of course… and I may have forgotten to keep track of how many I taste tested, oops!), so it was spot-on with Mel’s recipe.
These look complicated, but they’re really not – I promise! And besides, they’re so delicious that they’re totally worth the little bit of extra work! I’m actually supposed to bring these to a city ALT picnic on Sunday, but I can’t stop eating them! I might have to make something else to bring – oops. ;)
Seriously, Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. Go check her out!