As a 4-year old, the most coveted candy on earth was Tomoe Ame, a small turquoise and orange box filled with chewy pale pink candies that came wrapped in magically edible rice paper. The candy itself was ambiguously fruity and stick-to-your-teeth sweet, but none of that mattered because each box promised an “Amusing Toy Inside!” — usually a cat sticker. It was like Crackerjacks for Asian kids.
The adult (and super awesome) version of Tomoe Ame would have to be Chi Chi Dango, a simple coconut flavored mochi made of mochiko (rice flour), sugar and coconut milk. Once baked, the ingredients form a sweet sticky rice cake that you can cut into bite-sized pieces, dust in flour, and wrap like over-sized candies.
coconut mochi (chi chi dango)
revel in your infinite patience as you wait for this to cool down
* 1 pound mochiko (16 oz box)
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 can coconut milk (12-14 oz)
* 1 ¾ cups water
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* red food coloring (or color of choice)
* katakuriko (potato starch), for dusting
Combine mochiko, sugar, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, blend coconut milk, water, vanilla, and 4-6 drops of food coloring. Gradually incorporate wet ingredients into the dry, mixing well.
Pour mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees or until set.
Let cool completely (preferably overnight, but ~4 hours also works), before cutting into bite-size strips with a plastic knife. Lightly dust the pieces with katakuriko. You may substitute mochiko, cornstarch, or kinako (soy bean flour) for katakuriko. Wrap in wax paper like candies or store in tupperware. Lasts 2-3 days.