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Bento Recipes: Coconut mochi


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Bricks o' rice candyThis is a chewy, sweet-but-not-too-sweet rice-based dessert.

What you'll need:

    3 cups of mochiko (rice flour)
    1/2 tsp. of baking powder
    1/4 tsp. of salt
    1 cup of brown sugar
    1 can* of coconut milk
    1/2 cup of water
    1/2 tsp. of vanilla
    vegetable oil or something else to grease the pan
    katakuriko (potato starch) or cornstarch for dusting the squares
    sesame seeds, if desired, to sprinkle on top

* The recipe I found says "One can of coconut milk." Uh... yeah. I've seen different sizes of coconut milk cans. The one I used was 14 ounces, and the batter was stiffer than the recipe indicated. I'd say to err on the side of more rather than less.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9"x13" pan. (Don't use a larger one or you could end up with mochi brittle!) In a bowl mix the mochiko, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Stir in the water, coconut milk, and vanilla. Keep stirring and mixing until the batter has an even consistency and all the flour is absorbed. Pour it into the pan, or if it's too stiff to pour then dump it in and smooth it down with the back of a large spoon so it's an even thickness. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, if you're using those, then bake it for 45 minutes.

After it cools completely, cut it into strips. (I found it easiest to dump the whole thing onto a large cookie sheet and use a pizza cutter.) The top and bottom will probably have a thin crust, but the middle will be soft, gooey, and very sticky, so dust the cut edges with the corn or potato starch to keep the pieces from clumping up.

If you refrigerate these, I recommend microwaving them for 20 seconds on half power to restore the chewy texture.

Suggestion: chocolate chips! Put chocolate chips on top. Everything goes better with chocolate.