Japanese Sticks – Palitos Japoneses

Click here to go to printable recipe: Japanese Sticks – Palitos japoneses

I am lucky enough to be the keeper of my mom’s recipe notebooks; last year, I adapted one of her recipes, for gluten-free carrot cake, as a special way to remember her on Mother’s Day.  In my previous post, I talked about the pick-up sticks game Mikado™, which is also the name in Europe of Pocky™, the Japanese biscuits shaped as sticks.  That made me notice this recipe in one of my mom’s notebooks, called, no less, “Palitos Japoneses” – “Japanese Sticks”:

Unfortunately, this recipe does not have a date or origin, some ingredients have been edited in red, and the directions lack information on oven temperature or cooking time; the short text translates something like this: “Prepare dough as the previous, mixing with a dough scraper, until the dough is terse.  Cut small portions, forming the shape of a thick cigarette, brushing with egg and baking”; however, there is no previous biscuit recipe in her notes.  After looking at the editing in red ink more carefully, it appears to be conversions from 237 ml cups (used in baking for example in Canada, the US and Japan) to the Mexican, metric standard, which is 250 ml; that makes me think that the biscuits are actually a Japanese recipe that my mom might have translated out of context from one of her Japanese magazines (such as Shufunotomo).  

So, I have tried the recipe, assuming the dough is meant to be prepared as other butter cookies, and tried to measure carefully taking into account my mom’s notes in grams, and listing the ingredients according to cups of 237 ml.

Japanese Sticks – Palitos japoneses

Printable recipe: Japanese Sticks – Palitos japoneses  

Ingredients (for approximately 48 pieces)

4 cups (1 lb, 454 g) all purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup (7 wt oz, 200 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (½ lb, 225 g) butter, at room temperature
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter in a wide bowl with a dough scraper, or a wide spatula (photo below, left); add sugar and incorporate (photo below, right):

Continue beating until all sugar has dissolved, and the mix looks fluffy and smooth (photo below, left).  Beat three of the eggs in a small bowl, then add one third at a time, incorporating with the sugar and butter mix (photo below, right):

Mix in vanilla, then sift flour on top (photo below, left).  Fold and mix gently, “until the dough is terse” (photo below, right):

Cover and refrigerate dough for twenty minutes.

When ready to form the cookies, preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC), and prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.

Remove dough from the fridge, and take small portions, about the size of a walnut (approximately 22 g each), and roll into balls, then working with one ball at a time, and using a flat hand parallel to the work surface sprinkled with flour, roll back and forth; the dough ball will neatly get the shape of a rod about 4 inches (10cm) long, and half an inch (1.25 cm) in diameter, with slightly rounded ends:

Transfer to baking sheets using the dough scraper or wide spatula, to preserve their shape (photo below, left).  Continue with the rest of the dough, to fill both baking sheets, each with approximately 24 cylinders.  Beat the last egg, and brush on top and sides of all the cylinders (photo below, right):

Place one sheet (photo below, left) at a time in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom side, and the top looks shiny and slightly browned (photo below, right):

Serve with custard or ice cream, or as a snack on their own, as shown below:

Even if they were not from a Japanese recipe, these cookies certainly have the quality and taste that characterizes Japanese biscuits.  They are buttery and sweet, with a very subtle vanilla flavour; their texture is crispy on the outside, and deliciously crumbly on the inside:

I cannot say I remember eating these particular “Japanese Sticks” as a child, but their flavour certainly took me back, to when my mom would take a look at her recipe notebooks and then produce the tastiest buttery cookies, “preparing the dough as the previous…” LOL.  Remembering my mom this Mother’s day, and to all mothers, grandmothers and motherly figures in our lives: 

Happy Mother’s Day!

¡Feliz Día de las Madres! (May 10, in Mexico)

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I am bringing my recipe to Full Plate Thursday #641 with Miz Helen @ Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

I am sharing my post at Thursday Favourite Things #609, with Bev @ Eclectic Red BarnPam @ An Artful MomKatherine @ Katherine’s CornerAmber @ Follow the Yellow Brick HomeTheresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.

I am joining Fiesta Friday #485  with Angie @ Fiesta Friday, this week co-hosting with Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

I am sharing my recipe at What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link-Up #420 with Helen @ The Lazy Gastronome.

3 thoughts on “Japanese Sticks – Palitos Japoneses

  1. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #486

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