One day I was reading the American gourmet magazine Food & Wine and I came across this reader submission.

When I lived on the island of Hawaii, every Sunday I would buy cookies at the farmers’ market from an elderly woman everyone called Tutu, or “Grandmother.” She would sell only one bag per person until she ran out, which took about 30 minutes. Before I moved away, I asked her for the recipe. She gave it to me on the condition that I couldn’t share it with anyone for 25 years. Time has passed, and now I’d like to share it with your readers.

A cookie recipe kept under lock and key for 25 years! Of course, I had to give it a try.

Reading through the recipe, I noticed one kind of odd thing. It called for Rice Krispies. The baking instructions were also fairly unique. The instructions say to smash the cookies midway through before flipping the tray and putting them back in to bake.

The first thing I noticed when I began making them is that the dough is much more crumbly and hard to form than with regular cookies. The feel of it was a lot more like shortbread.

After the Rice Krispies are added, it becomes even more crumbly. I was able to form the required balls of dough, but considering their fragility, I succumbed to grave doubts about whether these cookies would turn out all right. I put them in the oven for 15 minutes, then using a spatula and a spoon, I squashed the softening cookies to spread them out a bit.

After reversing the tray, I put them back in for another 15 minutes. When the bottoms were golden brown and the tops began to crack, I knew they were done. Considering the fragile dough, I thought the cookies themselves would fall apart easily, but once they were baked, that wasn’t the case.

Now, about the taste… When you think of American cookies, you probably imagine something soft and chewy, but these babies are deliciously crispy and crunchy! If you mix Rice Crispies with a shortbread-like base and cook them for a long time over a low heat, it turns out the result is a wonderful consistency.

At first bite, they seem a little on the hard side, but before long, you are blissfully crunching away.

It seems that many cookie shops in Hawaii are now selling cookies with Rice Krispies in them. In addition, you can find Kakimochi Cookies, using arare (roasted mochi pieces), and Furikake Cookies, using furikake (dried food usually sprinkled over rice). A unique cookie culture has quietly developed on the islands that can’t be found in mainland America.

If anything in that unique cookie culture could find a place in the mainstream, it’s definitely Grandma Tutu’s cookies. Before you rush off to Hawaii to taste the real thing, why don’t you try making a batch at home?

sugar 130g
butter (at room temperature) 113g
flour 142g
pinch of baking soda
pinch of salt
Rice Krispies 3/4 cup
vanilla 1/2 tsp

1. Preheat the oven to 150C.
2. Mix butter, sugar, and salt until it forms a whitish batter.
3. Add baking soda and vanilla, mix.
4. Add half the flour and mix until well combined, add remaining flour and mix.
5. Gently fold in Rice Krispies.
6. Roll about 2 Tbs of dough into a ball and place on baking sheet, leaving about 7cm of space around it. Repeat until all dough is used.
7. Bake on the middle rack for 15 min, then remove. Using a knife or other kitchen tool, press the cookies flat. Rotate the baking sheet and return to the oven. Bake for another 15-20 min. When the bottoms are a golden brown, they are done. (Baking times may vary by oven.)

From Food & Wine Magazine, Tutu’s Super-Crispy Sugar Cookies

Not just for breakfast anymore

Crispy, crunchy cookies completed!

[ Read in Japanese ]