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My mom used to make this for me when I was a little girl growing up for Japanese Girl’s Day (March 3). This year, my mom and I made this sweet treat together.
Tsubushi An (red bean filling):
Wash beans in cold water. Bring beans to a boil in a saucepan (it’s faster if you cover it with a lid), then drain the water. Add 3 cups of water and bring beans to a simmer over medium heat and cook until soft, stirring every so often (again, covering pot with a lid). If the water evaporates before the beans are soft, add just a LITTLE bit of water (most of the liquid should be evaporated by the time it’s fully cooked). Once it’s cooked, add sugar, stirring the mixture, breaking up the beans so that most of the beans have been ground/mashed.
Mochi (pink rice cake):
Wash rice very thoroughly until clear. Soak rice in water, dropping a few drops of red food coloring until the rice looks pink. Let sit for 4 hours. You can either steam the rice until cooked or cook it with ample water in a rice cooker.
Add 6 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of salt to the rice and mix thoroughly, crushing the rice as you mix.
Pickling the cherry blossom leaves:
Soak 18 (young) cherry blossom leaves in briny water (3 tablespoons of salt to 1/2 cup of water).
My mom taught me to use plastic cling wrap to lay about 2 tablespoons of rice on, flattening out so that it’s an oval shape so that the rice doesn’t stick to my hands.
Place about 2 teaspoons of tsubushi an in the center.
Fold the rice in half sealing the ends together.
Wrap with a leaf and enjoy!
I chose to use semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate, so that the chocolate flavor would really punch through. This provided the perfect balance of chocolate to make the whole frosting completely “milk chocolate” in flavor.
Banana cupcakes with Nutella and vanilla swirl buttercream.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!