Happy Hina Matsuri! Today, I hope you take a few moments to recognize the incredible contributions of the females in your life.
This year, being hapai has given me a different appreciation for [a] being a girl and [b] the girls in my life (because I just may be carrying a girl…). I’ve been feeling the urge to connect to my ancestors a lot lately, so it just seemed appropriate this year to make something a bit more traditional to celebrate Hina Matsuri.
The irony is that I won’t eat this recipe myself, as it’s chalk-full of white rice flour, white sugar, and even food coloring. Nonetheless, traditions aren’t always healthy (and moderation is key!). Plus, I’ve learned over the years that giving is much more rewarding than receiving, and the recipients of this chi chi dango recipe definitely appreciated it!
Chi chi dango is a local sweet rice treat that is popular especially around Girls’ Day. When I was a kid in school, someone would always bring homemade chi chi dango wrapped individually in wax paper for the class. I decided to make a batch for Mr. Ben’s classroom as well as for a non-profit today.
Chi Chi Dango
- 3 1/2 c mochiko flour
- 2 1/2 c sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- potato/corn starch
- 1 [13.5oz] can coconut milk
- 2 c water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- food coloring [optional – pink + green are most often used]
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9×13’’ baking pan with parchment paper or grease.
In a mixing bowl, whisk or sift all the dry ingredients together.
In another large mixing bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients except food coloring.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet slowly while continuing to whisk, being sure to keep the mixture smooth [you don’t want any lumps].
Now stir in your food coloring [if using].
Pour the mixture into the baking pan.
[I made one batch with two colors for the kiddos.]
Cover tightly with foil [this is very important!] and bake for 1 hour.
Sprinkle starch over top of the mochi as soon as it comes out of the oven [to keep from hardening], and allow the chi chi dango to cool completely before placing it on a starched cutting board and using a plastic knife to cut it into pieces.
Dust off as much starch as possible and wrap individual pieces in wax paper, twisting the ends to keep everything closed.
Enjoy! [Don’t let the little girls eat too many of these at once or their little heads may explode from sugar.]
Yesterday, Ben and I spent our evening together covered in starch, cutting and wrapping three batches of these goodies[green, white, and pink] for Women Helping Women’s Big Hina Matsuri Sale today. If you’re around Kahului, go check out the awesome sales at ReVive Boutique happening all day! And as a bonus, pick up some chi chi dango.
Cheers to all the girls out there! May we never forget just how powerful and beautiful we truly are.
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