Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chinese red bean pastry roll (豆沙餅)

For some odd reason, I have been craving red bean (azuki) paste. In my lifetime, I've had countless Asian desserts with this sweet bean mixture and just wanted something quick and easy to fulfill my tastebuds. My mom makes a great red bean pastry roll (豆沙餅) and I went to look for the recipe online. My Google searches came up empty, so I decided to just do what I should have done originally - ask Mom.

This Chinese pastry uses cream cheese in its base, which may sound odd to most of you reading this. Believe me, it's weird but it works. The texture of the pastry interior is slightly chewy yet provides a nice balance to the red bean paste.  The outside will bake up nice and crispy, and it's not uncommon for a few flakes or chunks of pastry fall off (see picture for evidence!). Eat a slice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Or maybe all three!

This dessert may inspire me to document and try all of Mom's recipes so they don't get lost, and so I can pass it (and many other of her treasured recipes) along to my daughter one day.

Enjoy--and thanks, Mom!

Ingredients
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 can sweetened red bean paste (you can find this at your Asian grocery store; some higher end grocery stores may also sell it in their International aisle. I buy this brand.)
  • 8 oz butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix cream cheese, butter and flour (can do this by hand but I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment). Roll it out to a rectangle on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick - don't make this too thin or the crust will tear. Spread the red bean paste on top and leave at least a 1-inch border all around.  

Starting on the short ends, roll the rectangle, jelly-roll style, and then pinch and roll up the ends to avoid any red bean paste spillage. Place seam side down on a large baking sheet.

Brush the top of the pastry with the egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.  Bake for 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Cut into slices and serve.

Source: my mom (original source unknown) Pin It Now!

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