Miso hojicha cookies with milk tea jam

I feel like one thing that I came come to love making during quarantine and social distancing is miso-hojicha sugar. It is honestly like a miracle ingredient, just because it is sweet, salty, creamy, toasty and smoky. Honestly, it’s a perfect ingredient to use in many desserts, and I used them in these cookies just to highlight the ingredient more than anything else! Here we have two fluffy cookies sandwiching a thin layer of milk tea jam, all of which is made with the aforementioned sugar. Hojicha, for those of you who do not know, is a roasted Japanese green tea. I like to make my own, just because then I can control the toastiness of it. That and for the sugar, I roast miso paste as well, so it just works out to roast the miso and green tea leaves together to save time anyways. I feel like these cookies are a new fall favorite of mine, over the typical pumpkin cookies I would usually make, just because they embrace two ingredient I really love cooking with, being tea and miso!

For the miso-hojicha sugar:
1/4 cup miso paste
1/4 cup Japanese green tea leaves(gencha is preferred)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Spread the miso paste in a thin layer on half of a silpat sheet. Spread the tea leaves on the other half. Bake the two ingredients together at 325 degrees F for 10 minutes. Scrape the roasted paste plus the tea leaves into a blender with the sugar and puree together into a fine powder. Store in an airtight container until it is time to use.

For the cookies:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup miso-hojicha sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a bowl, cream together your butter, sugar, baking powder and soda, and vanilla for about 10 minutes on medium-high speed. Mix in your eggs, one at a time, then the flour. Scoop out the balls of dough onto a parchment or silpat-lined sheet trays. I like to measure mine out to 50g each ball of dough, just to keep mine consistent, but you want them to each be about 3 tablespoons in size. Keep the cookies at least 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through to guarantee even baking. Cool down the cookies completely before removing them from the trays.

For the milk jam:
1/2 cup miso-hojicha sugar
3 tablespoons malted milk powder
3 tablespoons milk

Combine your ingredients in a pot, whisking to remove your lumps. Stir the ingredients while cooking them down on medium heat until they begin to thicken and turn into a caramel-like substance. Take off heat and store your milk jam in bowl, allowing it to cool down to room temperature before attempting to spread a thin layer between two cookies and sandwiching them together to finish.

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