Yuzu & kinako shortbread

I’ve started putting kinako (toasted soybean flour) in basically everything and I don’t even care if this behaviour is probably reaching pathological levels. I discovered kinako only recently, courtesy of the Hard Shake I had at Bone Daddies that was made from the softserve of the day – kinako softserve on this occasion – along with, I’m not entirely sure, but I suspect Japanese whiskey. Rather enamoured with the flavour, I rapidly acquired some sachets of kinako (pre-mixed with sugar) and then I found a large pack of toasted soybean flour at the local Middle Eastern store (they really have a lot of everything), so with an ample store of kinako safely stowed in the cupboard, I freely added it to whatever I thought could benefit from it.

Kinako is proving to be a great way of adding nuttiness and toastiness to things. I made sweet potato falafel with it. I added it to porridge. I made a rather viscous cocktail with it. And mixing it into milk and steaming the milk with your espresso machine makes a very excellent kinako latte. And, inevitably, I baked sweet things with it: kinako and yuzu shortbread for now, although probably basically everything from now on, at least until I get through the kilogram or so I’ve got of the stuff. There is surely nothing that cannot be kinakoed.

Yuzu & kinako shortbread

150g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla paste
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
125g caster sugar
35g kinako (toasted soybean flour)
10g yuzu powder (optional)
70g candied yuzu peel, finely chopped

Beat the butter and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer (or by hand) until light and fluffy and pale. Meanwhile, sift all the other ingredients except the yuzu peel together. Add the sifted ingredients and the yuzu peel to the butter mixture and mix on low for about 5 minutes. The ingredients will come together as a crumbly, loose mixture. Weigh out 30g of the mixture and squeeze in your hands to compact it, shape it into a sphere then flatten it slightly to make a disk about 1-1.5cm thick. Repeat this until all the mixture is used up. Wrap and refrigerate the biscuits for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 170°C. Place the biscuits on a paper-lined baking tray, about 2cm apart from each other (you might have to bake them in 2 batches). Bake for about 30 minutes, at which point the biscuits should be a soft golden colour. Remove them from the oven and leave them to cool on the tray until they’ve almost reached room temperature, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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