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Welcome to Michael's by by Michael McCarty
This chewy, shortbread-like cookie is the perfect, light finale to any Asian meal. Or just great paired with a dark and smoky black or oolong tea. The peanut butter flavor in these dense little morsels is subtle, while chunks of candied (linger and a coating of crunchy sesame seeds make a big, bold statement.
Time: 35 Minutes
Makes 42 Cookies


• 2 1/4 cups flour, either all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, white whole wheat, or a combination of these
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegan shortening, softened
• 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
• 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
• 1 1/4 cups sugar, plus additional sugar for rolling
• 1/2 cup soy milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
• 5 ounces candied ginger, diced finely
• 1/3 cup each white sesame seeds and black sesame seeds, or 2/3 cup of just one kind

PREHEAT THE oven to 350°F and lightly grease two cookie sheets.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, ground ginger, and cinnamon, and set aside.

In a large bowl, use electric beaters to cream the shortening until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the peanut butter, rice syrup, sugar, soy milk, and extracts, and continue to beat until creamy, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture, then add chopped candied ginger

and stir until a very firm dough forms. You can use your hands toward the end to mix the dough.

Roll scant tablespoons of the dough into walnut-size balls. Roll each ball in either white or black sesame seeds (or a little of both), then roll in a little sugar and place on a prepared cookie sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of space between each cookie.

Flatten the balls just slightly (optional) and bake for 10 to 11 minutes for chewy cookies, up to 14 minutes for firmer, crunchier cookies.

Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to remain on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.


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