After getting love-dovey Valentine’s Day chocolate for the first time in his life, Seiji steps into the SoraKitchen to make cookies that require no butter or liquid.

Valentine’s Day was very special this year for our Japanese-language reporter Seiji. After several years of a completely inactive love life, Seiji got home-made Valentine’s Day sweets for the first time in his life when his girlfriend Mimi (who we helped him find) surprised him with a chocolate cake made just for him.

▼ The written message makes Mimi’s feelings for Seiji pretty clear.

One first-time experience led to another, though, as one month later, on March 14, Japan celebrated White Day, on which guys are supposed to give a thank-you gift to girls who gave them Valentine’s Day presents. And since Mimi had gone to the trouble of making Seiji something home-made, he figured he should return the favor in kind and bake some cookies for her.

There was only one problem: Seiji had never made cookies in his life.

▼ Seiji

But thanks to his work here at SoraNews24, Seiji has heard about this thing called “the Internet,” and so he went online and started checking recipes on spice and seasoning company S&B’s website, and he eventually settled on one called Simple Cinnamon Apple Walnut Tofu Cookies.

Not only did they look easy to make, the recipe uses no butter, which is something Seiji figured Mimi would be happy about, since she tends to eat very healthy (occasional chocolate cake notwithstanding).

But butter isn’t the only orthodox cookie ingredient these treats don’t require, as the recipe also doesn’t use any milk or water. The complete ingredient list, as pictured above, is:
Pancake mix (100 grams [3.5 ounces])
Tofu (50 grams [1.75 ounces])
Walnuts (15 grams [0.5 ounces])
● One-half apple
● A dash of cinnamon

To start, combine the pancake mix and tofu in a bowl. Chop the half apple into small pieces, crush the walnuts, and mix them into the bowl, along with the cinnamon.

Amazingly, even without adding any water or milk, the moisture from the tofu is enough to make the batter nice and creamy.

Once everything is mixed together, form the batter into bite-sized cookies and place them on a baking sheet.

▼ Seiji ended up with nine cookies.

Then all that’s left to do is pop them into the oven to bake at 170 degrees Celsius (340 degrees Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes.

Having never made cookies before, Seiji wasn’t sure if this would work, and those of us watching (he was baking at SoraNews24 headquarters, so that the cookies would be a surprise for Mimi) weren’t sure either, because of how unique the recipe is.

But after 10 minutes, the unmistakably scent of cookies filled the office, distracting everyone who was working on articles about things other than making sweets for their girlfriends.

When the timer went off, Seiji opened the oven

…and sure enough, he’d successfully made a batch of cookies!

They’d cooked to a nice golden brown, and an enticing cinnamon scent wafted up from them. Of course, these were for Seiji’s lady love, but he’d be remiss if he didn’t try one himself too, to make sure they were edible.

And so he took a bite…

…and was relieved when a delicious apple-infused sweetness washed over his taste buds, and the cinnamon sensation soared as he chewed.

There was, however, one unusual aspect. While the outside of the cookies were crisp, the inside was a little soggy, which Seiji had neither expected not intended. “What could I have done wrong?” Seiji wondered out loud. “I baked them at 170 degrees, just like the recipe said…”

…Hold on there, Seiji. You did what now?

Going back to the photos we snapped (because when one of your coworkers is baking cookies in the office, of course everyone is going to be hanging around the oven), we can clearly see the dial on the oven pointing to 150 degrees, not 170. “Oh, I made a mistake at the beginning,” explained Seiji. “But I noticed it 10 minutes later and changed it to 170 after that…Do you think that had something to do with how they turned out?”

Yes, Seiji, if you cook baked goods at a lower temperature that you’re supposed to, they’ll end up gooey on the inside. But hey, like we said, it was his first time to ever bake cookies, and all in all, we think he did a pretty good job.

Nevertheless, as Seiji left the office, he told us he was going to stop by the store and pick up some professionally made sweets to give to Mimi too. Honestly, though, we think he should give her his home-made cookies too. After all, it’s the thought that counts (especially when so many guys aren’t considerate enough to give any sort of White Day gift), and really, a sweet girlfriend like Mimi sounds like she’d be just fine with mushy cookies, as long as there’s some mushy affection to go along with them.

Reference S&B
Photos ©SoraNews24
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he was happy to see multiple other husbands buying flowers for their wives at his local florist this White Day.

[ Read in Japanese ]