East Meets West

5 Jul

Back in April, I went to Hawaii with my mother, my brother, and the boyfriend.  There, we had the most fantastic shortbread cookies your taste buds can ever imagine.  They were from a local Hawaiian company called Betty’s Best and they have pieces of Japanese rice crackers (arare) in them.

First off, Betty’s shortbread is to die for.  It’s so buttery and soft but not too flakey.  Then, Betty adds arare in it?!?!  It’s like a little piece of shortbread heaven.  The arare adds a nutty salty complex to the buttery shortbread.  My mom gave me a bag of rice crackers and encouraged me to remake Betty’s arare shortbread.

So, I scoured the internet in search for others who have tried to imitate Betty’s recipe but came up short.  It seems like Betty’s really is the best.  The only luck I had was from a forum on ChowHound where someone used a recipe for mexican wedding cookies and added arare to it.  They said that it was good but not quite the same. Some people suggested to use regular sugar rather than powdered sugar, cut in cold butter rather than food process it, or to add one egg and baking soda in it to make it less crumbly.  At the end of the forum, someone posted a link to these Arare Cookie Crunch.

I don’t think this recipe is an exact copy of Betty’s because it calls for margarine and butter and the ingredients list on Betty’s cookies doesn’t include margarine.  I gave up and decided to try the recipe using only butter like Betty does.  With that I made Kitchen Mischiefs’ Almost Best Arare Shortbread.  Read on to see how it’s made.

1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups crushed arare (Japanese rice crackers)
Preheat oven to 325.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar.
Slowly add flour one cup at a time.  Then add vanilla.
Stir in arare.
Form teaspoonful balls of cookie batter and place on ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

It tastes exactly the same as Betty’s, and straight out of the oven, the texture was there.  After a day or two, though, it was a bit more dense and hard.  I think I either need to use really cold butter or maybe I over mixed it…hrm…in either case, it was delicious.  I should just eat them all up on the first day when they’re fresh. (^v^)

One Response to “East Meets West”

  1. theyams October 1, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

    Thanks for your recipe! We just returned to SoCal from a trip to Hawaii and I really wanted to try and find a recipe close to Betty’s Best and yours was the best I’ve tried. The only thing different that I did was to refrigerate the dough balls on the cookie sheet before baking so they wouldn’t flatten out. Very yummy! – Brian

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