Japanese Chocolate & Sesame Shortbread Recipe

Michelle Mackintosh & Steve Wide

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  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, rub the softened butter into the sugar with your fingertips until combined, then beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture turns pale.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, vanilla essence and sesame oil or green tea.
  4. Beat the egg mixture into the butter mixture a little at a time; it’s important to do this bit by bit so the batter doesn’t curdle.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder into the same bowl and, using a rubber spatula, fold into the wet mixture until combined.
  6. Once the dough has come together, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface and divide into two balls. Set one ball aside and flatten the other with the palm of your hand.
  7. Lightly dust a rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough until it is 5 mm thick. Cut the dough into shapes with cookie cutters, setting aside the dough scraps.
  8. Transfer the biscuits to the lined baking tray and repeat the process with the second dough ball. Gather up all of the dough scraps and form them into a ball. Flatten with the palm of your hand, roll out with a floured rolling pin and cut into squares.
  9. Transfer to the baking tray – these biscuits are perfect for keeping hungry mouths and biscuit thieves at bay if you are baking for a specific occasion.
  10. Bake the biscuits for 6–8 minutes, until the palest shade of gold. You do not want your biscuits to brown; for best results, stay close to the oven and check the biscuits’ progress after 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
  11. When the biscuits are cold, break half of the chocolate into squares in a small bowl and microwave for 30 second intervals (stirring between intervals) until the chocolate has melted.
  12. Dip half of each biscuit into the chocolate, shake off any excess and then dip straight into the sesame seeds to coat. Keep adding chocolate to your bowl and microwaving as needed and keep on dipping! Place the coated biscuits back on the wire rack to set before enjoying.

Notes: Tip: Rolled-out dough can be layered between sheets of baking paper, double-wrapped in cling film and frozen for 4–6 weeks before thawing and baking.

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