Brandon is the faculty adviser for his school's Anime Club. Every Wednesday after school, students gather in his classroom and watch Japanese cartoons he downloads off the Internet and stores on his iPod. Now that the year is drawing to a close, he decided to throw a party for the anime club, and I thought Kaki Mochi Cookies would be the perfect treat.
Kaki mochi, also known as arare or Japanese rice crackers, is a popular Asian snack. When my family lived in Hawaii, we learned to mix it with popcorn. Oishi desu ne!
A little while ago my aunt visited the Big Island and brought back a bag of chocolate chip arare cookies. At $8 per dozen, they were pretty darn good cookies. It was the holidays, and I'd recently given birth so my drive to bake and eat was in high gear. I set out to replicate the unique cookie.
Turns out it wasn't so hard. I found a recipe online in a matter of seconds. I like to use miniature dark chocolate chips, and I also grind the rice crackers and Rise Krispies in a food processor for a few seconds rather than crushing them. It's less mess, and you get a more consistent crumble. I use a cookie dough scoop and typically end up getting about 4 dozen, not 6. I bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes and they come out crisp and golden brown.
These days you can find some sort of rice cracker at most grocery stores. I grew up eating the kind that comes in a variety of shapes - flowers, diamonds, rectangles - and is packaged in a box. When we lived in Baltimore, where rice crackers were impossible to find, my grandmother would send them from California in care packages. Mom and I spent many a night sharing a box for a midnight snack.