September 15th, 2009

Children’s story book with cookie recipe

Coco&Me - Childrens story book with recipe attatched - Nontan - www.cocoandme.com

(Children’s story book: “ノンタンのたんじょうび”

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I love this book. 

In this 1980 Japanese children’s book titled ‘Nontan’s Birthday’, a white cat called Nontan receives a surprise birthday party organized by his friends.

Coco&Me - Childrens story book with recipe attatched - Nontan - www.cocoandme.com

“I wonder what they are doing?”

Sensing something is up, Nontan tries to get a sneak peek at what his friends are up to but fails to see anything as they shut the curtain!

Coco&Me - Childrens story book with recipe attatched - Nontan - www.cocoandme.com

At the end, he is invited in to the house to find the table full of cookies shaped like him!

“Woow! Amazing! Me as cookies! Thank you!” 

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((Lucky cat. I wish somebody did a surprise for me like that too!))

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The inside front & back pages has a really good cookie recipe that I want to share with you. It is ultra simple to make & its taste takes you back to sweet memory of childhood.

Coco&Me - Childrens story book with recipe attatched - Nontan - www.cocoandme.com

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Nontan Cookie Recipe (with my extra notes): 

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Ingredients:

> 80g of room temperature unsalted butter   
> 80g of castor sugar   
> 1 egg   
> 200g of flour   
> 5g of baking powder
> extra flour for dusting the surface

> raisins/ nuts/ etc for decoration optional

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Method:

  • 1. Cream the room temperature butter in the mixing bowl (cream it to the extent of it being as soft like mayonnaise).
  • 2. Add the sugar & thoroughly mix until very airy & very creamy.
  • 3. Mix in an egg.
  • 4. Sift in the flour & baking powder to the mixture & fold it in. (Here, don’t be tempted to over-mix. Stop soon as you can’t see the flour. The flour will form gluten & the cookies will not rise as much & turn out tough!)  
  • 5. Wrap the cookie dough in cling-film & refrigerate for more than 30 minutes. (It loosens the gluten & the butter within will get solid again. If you don’t rest it the texture & the flavour will be sacrificed. Also, top tip for wrapping it in cling-film is to flatten it so that it cools quicker.)
  • 6. Flour your work surface. Take ⅓ of the dough at a time & roll to 5mm thickness. (You wouldn’t want to roll it out all in one go because it’ll take up space & the dough won’t keep cold.)
  • 7. Now have fun & make Nontan shapes. The book has the following suggestions;
    … Cut 5cm squares & use a toothpick to dot a face pattern on it.
    … Shape the dough like a face & use nuts/ raisins as the eyes & the mouth.
    … Cut a cardboard contour of the face & using a knife, cut around it on the dough.
    … Take some of the dough & add cocoa powder. Shape a big Nontan face & then use the cocoa dough for facial features.
  • 8. Place on a baking sheet & bake in a pre-heated oven of 180 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. (Half way through, you might want to change the direction of your tray in the oven so that it is evenly baked.)
  • 9. Once baked, take the baking sheet off the tray & cool on a rack.

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Coco&Me - Childrens story book with recipe attatched - child baking biscuits/ cookies - www.cocoandme.com

My son loves to make Nontan cookies. And I love that he enjoys baking, even if he’s handling the dough ’til it’s melting, or patting it so hard that it is too thin… not forgetting to mention the flour-y mess EVERYWHERE…

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Normally my cookie baking rules are: 

  • to measure the ingredients precisely to the gram.
  • to handle it less as possible. For example, never roll the same dough out more than twice because the extra flour from the work surface would muck up the delicate ratio of flour. it will also deteriorate the dough.
  • to work quickly as possible, so that the butter in the dough doesn’t melt & deteriorate texture & flavour.

But for home-baking with my son, I’ll throw all those rules out of the window any day…!

Coco&Me - Childrens story book with recipe attatched - child baking biscuits/ cookies - www.cocoandme.com

(Glass of milk, a must.) 

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It was an eye-opener of an idea that he stuck the sprinkles in the holes to create rainbow-coloured facial features. He also gently pressed half of the fluted cutter to emboss a smile!(bottom left)

17 Comments »

  1. Awwww… I remember when I was small (and also not-so-small) always wanting to taste what characters in books were eating. And some of my earliest memories are of helping my mum bake! Thanks for a lovely post that made me smile. xx

    Comment by Rachel - September 15, 2009 5:24 am

  2. 楽しそうね。早くも英才教育かなー(お菓子つくりの)。元気そうで何よりです。また、メールしますね。toyomi

    Comment by toyomi taira - September 15, 2009 11:27 am

  3. oh these cookies are the cutest. and the book, oh the book! it stole my heart.

    xx fanny

    Comment by fanny - September 15, 2009 4:07 pm

  4. Me too Rachel! I’ve also always wondered about how foods from certain books & films taste like – for example the eat me/ drink me in Alice In Wonderland – it must’ve been pretty rad…!
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    とよみさん、お久しぶりでっす!コメントありがとう。うれしい!最近コメントがなかったのでアレレ?って思ってたんです!お元気ですか?島の生活を満喫してますか?島の青い海と青い空、今も私達は憧れてます(だってロンドンは茶色いテームズ川とグレースカイですから!)。ダークさんはgoogle-earth でチェックしたり、島のお天気予報を’favourites’に入れてるそうです。xxx
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    Hey Fanny! Isn’t it amazing that kids can come up with such cute things so naturally? I’m glad you also liked the book!

    Comment by tamami - September 15, 2009 10:04 pm

  5. Time well spent I say! Do you know the comic, Kitchen Princess? It has a recipe after each chapter, a lot of them are baking-related.

    Comment by tommy - September 16, 2009 8:16 pm

  6. Hi Tommy! No! I didn’t know of this comic – I MUST get my hands on it – I’ve put the first volume in my amazon.jp shopping cart! By the way, have you heard of comic ‘Antique Bakery’? It’s about a cake shop. I love this one! xx

    Comment by tamami - September 17, 2009 11:24 am

  7. Wow fantastic! I love the book – the pic of all the friends busy in the kitchen is too cute and i love I’s rainbow coloured smiles! How cool! And it really is about planting the seed of thinking of baking and cooking as a joy and the fine tuning can come later! Well done you. xxxx

    Comment by Angela G B - September 18, 2009 10:07 am

  8. cute book! hope your little one is feeling better!!!

    Comment by jonquil - September 19, 2009 1:40 pm

  9. Hi Angela & Jonquil!! The book really is great – I wonder if there’s a translated version out there?? xx

    Comment by tamami - September 20, 2009 12:13 am

  10. Hi Tamami,
    Laura tried to meet you this Saturday but you weren’t at the market and now your phone number doesn’t seem to work :( Please can you contact me to arrange Saturday’s cake arrangement? xx

    Comment by Dilraj - September 21, 2009 12:03 pm

  11. Hi Dil! I just sent you an email! xx

    Comment by tamami - September 21, 2009 3:06 pm

  12. Wonderful, such a sweet story. Well done to all the bakers :-)

    Comment by Gillian - September 23, 2009 10:25 pm

  13. Thanks Gillian!!!!

    Comment by Tamami - September 24, 2009 2:39 pm

  14. Hi There, do you have a price list for your products, how much are the brownies please and how do I order a cake ?

    Comment by Lorna - January 26, 2011 12:27 am

  15. Hello Lorna,
    thank you very much for your query.
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    I’m afraid I don’t have a written price-list.
    The brownies for example is £2.60 for a big piece.
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    And about placing an order, that would be wonderful! Thank you!!
    But, as I can not do deliveries (I’m so sorry, I can’t drive!!!), you would have to pick-up the cake(s) from me at the market on Saturdays…
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    I hope that it is still alright!
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    I look forward to hearing from you again!
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    All the best,
    Tamami

    (ps: I have also sent you an email just in case!)

    Comment by tamami - January 26, 2011 1:22 am

  16. Is there a converted version of the recipe in cups , tsp, etc ?

    Comment by Ji - November 11, 2011 1:47 am

  17. Ji, hello! Sorry for the late reply! – I’m afraid I don’t have converted version… Sorry…!!

    Comment by tamami - November 13, 2011 4:28 am

 

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