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By Request

By Betty Shimabukuro

Wednesday, May 2, 2001

Arare cookies take the popular island treat to a new level.

Indulge in arare cookies
or some sour lemon peel

Suzy Watanabe Marsden and Susy Kawamoto, given their almost-matching first names, seem destined for a rendezvous, and why shouldn't it be over cookies?

Marsden is on a quest for the perfect arare cookie -- living in San Jose, Calif., she can't just go out and buy them. Kawamoto is the best cookie baker I know and had the recipe. A convergence seemed in order, so the Sues meet here.

Marsden wants to approximate a cookie she found at a shop on Kauai (the owner turned down her request for the recipe). "What I need is a cookie recipe that is very crunchy, brown, kinda greasy," she writes.

She tried one recipe that called for powdered sugar. It wasn't right. She tried using a cornflake cookie recipe as a base, "but that was all wrong too." She took her search to the Internet: "I've posted on cookie news groups, local grinds bulletin boards, etc., but so far no luck. If you are able to find us a recipe, we would be so happy."

I don't know if this cookie is exactly brown and greasy enough, but it is quite good, especially right out of the oven. I ate five before I remembered my diet. Let go of your preconceived notions, Suzy, and accept this one for its deliciousness. You may finally achieve happiness.

A couple of notes: This seems like a lot of butter, and the dough is quite greasy, but it's right. Also, you can crush the arare very fine or go for more of a coarse crush. I'd go for a fine crush if you expect to keep the cookies around for several days. Larger chunks of arare tend to get too chewy and stick to the teeth (you know how arare gets after just a little time in humid air).

Arare Cookies

1-1/2 cups butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 egg
3 cups flour
1-3/4 cups Rice Crispies
1-1/2 cups mochi crunch, crushed (Tomoe brand recommended)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add baking soda, vanilla, soy sauce and egg and beat well. Add the flour and mix until just well-blended. Add rice crispies and crushed mochi crunch and mix well.

Roll into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet, flatten slightly. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden.

"I AM A Maui girl living in Yakima, Wash.," Bernie Perreira Thomas writes. "I have been trying for years to get a recipe for lemon peel. Would you please find a recipe for me? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!"

No need to beg, especially since my mother has had this recipe for years. Note that it takes six months to properly age these lemons. That is not a misprint. Six months. You can speed the process by boiling the lemons until soft before salting.

In the end you'll have wet preserved lemons. If you want sweet-sour or dry peel, proceed to the variations.

Sour Lemon

10 medium lemons, washed
1 cup Hawaiian salt

Pack whole lemons in a gallon jar, layering with salt, until jar is 3/4 full. Use all the salt. Cover jar and place in sun for 6 months. Contents will shrink to about 1/2 gallon.

For a sweet-sour flavor: After the 6-month period, drain juice from jar and cover lemons with 2 cups honey, 2 cups raw sugar and 1 package of seedless li hing mui. Leave in sun for another month.

To make dry lemon: Remove cured lemons from jar and place on a roasting pan with 1/4 cup salt. Dry in sun for 2 days. Add another 1/4 cup salt and dry again until lemons reach the texture you like.

RECIPE NO. 3 today is for Achara, or papaya pickles, a Filipino specialty sought by Kathy Carr. Carr enjoys eating the pickles with chorizo. The recipe turned up in "Ethnic Foods of Hawaii" by Ann Kondo Corum (Bess Press, 2000).


1 large green papaya (about 4 cups), peeled and seeded
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 red chili pepper, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, grated

Cut papaya into fine strips or grate coarsely. Combine with other ingredients and place in a jar. Refrigerate overnight. Serves 3 to 4.

Nutritional information unavailable.

Can you help?

Nola DeVincent is nostalgic for the stuffed lobster once served at Pearl City Tavern. It's the seafood stuffing she's after.

Food Stuffs: Morsels

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
"By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813.
Or send e-mail to bshimabukuro@starbulletin.com

Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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