In the movie Raya and the Last Dragon, Raya wears a traditionally Asian Rice Hat – the beautiful wide-brimmed conical hat. These types of hats are traditional and common in many Asian countries, as they’re ideal for keeping the sun and weather out of the wearer’s eyes. These cookies are inspired by the unique shape, while the caramel drizzle mimics the bamboo weaving of Raya’s hat. These cookies are great served on their own, with caramel for dipping, or alongside a bit of vanilla ice cream! This recipe will yield about 2 dozen hat cookies.
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2-6 teaspoons cold water
-Sift the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt into a large bowl.
-In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg whites, vanilla, and melted butter.
-Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, whisking until all ingredients are combined and you have a thin and smooth batter
-Cover the batter and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
-While the batter is chilling, work on making your hat form. This is what you will drape the cookies over later in order to give them a conical shape. Use aluminum foil to make a volcano-shaped mound. Continue adding foil, shaping as you go, until you have a form that is about 2” tall and about 3” in diameter. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect! The idea is just to give your cookies a pointy tip with a flared out brim.
-When you’re ready to remove the batter from the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 400°F. The batter will thicken in the refrigerator, so check the consistency and add cold water 1 teaspoon at a time, whisking, until the batter is once again thin. The consistency should be similar to a crepe batter or a runny pancake batter.
-Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Drop 2 teaspoons of batter in an evenly spaced manner on the baking sheet. We recommend that you only bake about 4 cookies at a time, as they must be shaped on the form immediately after removal from the oven.
-Use a small rubber spatula or a thin metal cake spreader to smooth the batter out into a 3”- 4” circle. The batter should be fairly even and nearly see-through.
-Bake for about 4 – 5 minutes, until the edges of the cookies just start to turn golden brown.
-Working quickly, use a small metal spatula or thin knife to help peel each cookie off the parchment and place it over your foil hat form. Use your hands to gently shape the cookie into a conical shape. The cookie will harden quickly as it cools, and once it does so, you can gently transfer it to a wire rack to continue cooling. Repeat with the remaining cookies. If the cookies on the baking sheet begin to harden before you can shape them, return them to the oven for 15 seconds to make them pliable once again.
*Note: Run the baking sheet under cold water and dry (or use a second baking sheet if you have it) between batches, as spreading the batter onto a warm sheet will cause the batter to cook incorrectly.
-Once all the cookies are baked and shaped, place the wire rack over a baking sheet, foil, or wax paper to help with cleanup. Drizzle with caramel syrup, first making horizontal strokes, then going back in a perpendicular direction to mimic the woven fibers in Raya’s hat.
-Serve these cookies on their own, with additional caramel sauce for dipping, or with vanilla ice cream for an extra special treat!
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