Makes 2 dozen
Our veg club had a potluck two weeks ago with an ethnic food theme. One of our members (who is a wonderful cook) brought Yaki Manju, a sweet bean paste cake, and everyone thought it was great.
2 ½ cups sifted flour
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup salad oil or soy margarine
6 tablespoons cold water
1 cup koshi or tsubushi an (sweet red bean paste)*
Combine flour, salt and sugar and blend thoroughly. Add oil (or soy margarine) and water and mix well. If you are using margarine, cut the margarine into the flour mixture with a fork until the dough has a mealy texture, then add the water and mix thoroughly.
Form the dough into balls using one tablespoon of dough for each ball. Flatten the balls to form circles. Place a heaping teaspoon of the bean paste in the center of each circle, fold the circle in half, and pinch the edges together to seal.
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown at 444 degrees F. (How do I make that little degree symbol on my word processor?)
You can also use apple pie filling mix instead of the bean paste. I think you could use any pie filling. I wonder if pumpkin would be good?
*Sweet Red bean Paste
I went to an Asian grocery store today to look for sweet red bean paste, and they had it in a can for $4.50. I thought that $4.50 was too expensive, so I went looking for a recipe to make my own. I found the following information and the recipe for sweet red bean paste at the following web site: /www.foodsubs.com
Sweet red bean is made from azuki beans, and Asian cooks use it to fill buns and dumplings and to make puddings. Like peanut butter, it comes in both creamy and crunchy versions. The creamy version also comes in powdered form. Don't confuse this with sweet bean paste, which is made from sweetened fermented soybeans.
To make your own sweet red bean paste, cook a cup of azuki beans until they're soft (about 1 ½ hours), then puree the softened beans in a food processor. Pour the puree into a cotton kitchen towel and squeeze out the water. Put what's left into a saucepan, add 1 ½ cups of sugar, ½ cup shortening, and a pinch of salt, and heat while stirring until it's thickened to the consistency of miso.