Coconut Mochi

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Mochi is a traditional Japanese dessert made by pounding cooked sticky rice into a smooth paste and then filling it with red bean paste. The rice gives a unique stretchy and chewy texture to the sweetened dough ball that is absolutely irresistible.

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Fortunately, there are other ways to make mochi other than pounding it with a hammer. You can get the same results by using glutinous rice flour and water to form a batter and simply cook it in the microwave.

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This recipe is a twist on the traditional mochi. We substituted some of the water for coconut milk and rolled the completed mini desserts in shredded coconut. The result is a refreshing bite of tropical flavors with an Asian twist. This recipe is not overly sweet and has a perfect balance between the coconut and red bean paste – even coconut haters might be surprised at how delicious this combination is. Make sure to try this recipe out!

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Makes: 16 (1.5 inch diameter) mochi

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour (this is sticky rice flour; don’t use regular rice flour or else the mochi won’t have the chewy and sticky texture)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cornstarch (doesn’t have to be exact measurement)
1 cup red bean paste (about 200g)
Desiccated coconut (not sweetened)

Directions:
In a microwave-safe container with a secure lid, mix together rice flour, water, coconut milk and sugar. Cover with lid and microwave for 2 minutes. Then, stir as much as possible.

Microwave for an additional minute or until mochi inflates in the microwave and then deflates when removed. Also, mochi should be slightly shiny and translucent.

On a surface, place cornstarch. Dump mochi onto it. Using floured hands, coat mochi with cornstarch. The mochi is extremely sticky, so the cornstarch helps prevent it from sticking to the surface or your hands.

With a sharp knife, cut the mochi into 16 pieces. Take one piece and flatten out using your hands. Place a teaspoon sized amount of red bean paste in the center. Then, gather the edges of the mochi around the filling and twist to seal. Repeat with all mochi pieces.

Then, wet mochi with a little bit of water and roll in desiccated coconut.
Keep Mochi in an airtight container for 2-3 days without becoming hard and up to a week or two with it getting hard. After a while, the Mochi loses it’s stickiness and chewiness. But, a few seconds in the microwave will remedy that. Enjoy!

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

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Granola bars are a staple at our house with our busy schedule and need for quick snacks and breakfast. This recipe is super easy and really customizable. Just think of all the possibilities… Hazelnut chocolate chip, peanut butter chocolate chip, white chocolate cranberry, lemon poppyseed, trail mix… The combinations are endless! Comment your granola bar flavor idea below.

We like to make a double batch and then divide it into different flavors. Then, we bake it in a 15×10 pan, also known as a jelly roll pan.

We originally found this recipe idea at myhumblekitchen, but this recipe is all over the internet!

Oven Temperature: 325°F
Baking Time: 10-15 min.
Makes: 8-10 granola bars

Ingredients:
1 2/3 cups quick cooking oats (I like to use 1 cup oats & 2/3 cup puffed rice cereal)

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup honey (if you grease or spray your measuring cup, you can measure and pour your honey out easily)

1/4 cup brown sugar (optional, if you don’t like your granola bars to be upper sweet, you can reduce this amount or leave it out; we prefer to leave it out)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups nuts/dried fruit/chips of choice

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 325°F.
Prepare a 9×13 baking pan (the mixture doesn’t quite fill the pan; it fills about 3/4 of it; other pan sizes will work as well-we use half of a 15×10 pan) by lining with foil or parchment and spraying with cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
Then, press your granola bar mix into the pan. The mixture will only fill about 3/4 of the pan. Use your hands to press the mixture together.
Now bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Keep an eye on your bars as they tend to burn easily! Then, the bars will be quite soft, so let them cool completely before cutting. Enjoy!