3 Japanese-Style Treats for Your Sweet, #SundaySupper

An arsenal of made-for-two recipes and how-to treat your sweet on Valentine’s Day will be unleashed tonight on Twitter by the #SundaySupper group. (For more details on how to participate, please scroll down.) Susan of Girl in the Little Red Kitchen  - who always has clever culinary tricks up her sleeve – will host.

For the Valentine’s #SundaySupper, I’ve prepared 3 Japanese-style treats: Mandarin Orange Crescents, Yuzu (Japanese citrus) Scones and Mini Dorayakis (pancakes with red bean paste.) Happy to say the husband has already been noshing on his Valentine’s Day treats. (So it's a good thing my recipes yield 3 sweets for each person.) 

A crunchy sugar crust gives way to a soft scone middle.
With or without Japanese yuzu citrus glaze the easy to make scones are
 an easy way to please the husband.

I am grateful  to be married. After many single years of fretting my lovability via a box of chocolates, it’s taken time to muster Valentine’s Day enthusiasm. The lackluster zeal for the holiday also stems from awareness that Valentine’s in Japan (where I grew up) was completely crafted by manufacturers.

A Japanese chocolate manufacturer adopted Valentine’s Day gift-giving in Japan in 1958. But, they changed the rules. Males were to be the recipients of the treats. Not just those near and dear. Girls/ladies were expected to give giri-choco (obligation chocolates) to bosses and male co-workers.

Japanese Apollo Chocolates: A duet of strawberry and chocolate. 

A few years later, a Japanese marshmallow company declared March was to be White Day – a day when the gents had an opportunity to reciprocate. (Today, White Day gifts are not limited to marshmallows.)

Despite any wobbly feelings about Valentine’s Day, I assure you my 3 Japanese-style treats: Mandarin Orange Crescents, Yuzu (Japanese citrus) Scones and Mini Dorayakis (pancakes with red bean paste) were made with love for the man I’ve been privileged to live with for over 16 years.

Mandarin Orange Crescent Rolls

Mikan - Japanese oranges - commonly known as cutie pies in the U.S. are a popular autumn and winter fruit. From children's bento lunch boxes to home altars, mikan are everywhere. Understandably. The mini oranges are a quick pick-me-up -  just like my crescent rolls filled with homemade mandarin orange jam.


For the mandarin orange jam:

  • 1 (11 ounce) can or jar of mandarin orange slices in light syrup
  • 1 (1.75 ounce) box of Sure-Jell 
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin

For the crescent rolls:

  • 1 package of refrigerated crescent rolls
    (Or prepare this easy recipe for croissants. Omit or add the chocolate when filling with mandarin orange jam.)
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • Mandarin Orange Jam

For the mandarin orange jam:

  1. Pile the mandarin orange slices into a blender. Hit the purée button for 3 seconds or less. Ideally, you want to see flecks of mandarin orange in the purée.
  2. Pour one box of Sure-Jell into a saucepan with 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Off the stove, stir in the mandarin oranges and gelatin.
  4. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight. 

For the crescent rolls:

  1. Place a 1/2 teaspoon to 3/4 teaspoon onto the wider ends of your unwrapped crescent rolls. 
  2. Wrap into a crescent shape.
  3. Gently paint the egg onto the rolls. Follow with a light dab of mandarin orange jam.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 16 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Serve hot or cold with additional mandarin orange jam.

Yuzu (Japanese Citrus) Scones

The Japanese yuzu citrus glaze kissed sugar crust gives away to a soft scone middle. They say the way into a man’s heart is his stomach…This recipe may just be the one!

As yuzu tastes like the combination of lemon and lime. Feel free to substitute lemon or lime or a little of both for the yuzu.

This recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour.



  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼  cup organic cane sugar
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup cold butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon yuzu (Japanese citrus) juice
  • ¼ to ½ cup of French vanilla half and half


  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons yuzu juice
  • ½ tablespoon French vanilla half and half

Whisk the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together.

Add the cold butter into the whisked ingredients with a pastry cutter (or two knives.) Look for a crumbly mixture.

In another bowl, lightly beat the egg. Whisk in the yuzu juice and half and half.

Slowly add the liquid to the dry ingredients. Pour and stir in the liquid until all the crumbly bits have been moistened. The goal is to have one cohesive ball of dough.

Place parchment paper atop a cookie sheet. Dust the dough and paper with flour. Slide the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Divide the dough (with floured hands) into six mounds.

Paint each mound with a little half and half and/or yuzu. Sprinkle with cane sugar.

Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. Bake the scones at 425 degrees for 22 to 23 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before drizzling with yuzu glaze.

To make the glaze: Whisk the yuzu and half and half together with the powdered sugar.

Mini Dorayakis (Pancakes with Red Bean Paste)

Dorayaki: An ever popular Japanese red azuki bean paste (anko) is sandwiched between  pancakes. The minis provide a touch of sweetness any time of day or night.

  • Ready-to-eat / Heat 'n Go microwavable mini pancakes
    (Or premade with your favorite recipe)
  • Azuki red bean paste (available at most Asian markets)

Heat the mini pancakes according to package directions. Cool. Sandwich Japanese red azuki bean paste between the pancakes. 

Note: Japanese pancakes used for dorayaki are a tad sweeter. But I found the American minis combined with the red azuki bean paste comes pretty close to an authentic dorayaki.


Cupid has also inspired recipes for #SundaySupper from the following sweeties:

Alluring Appetizers:

Exquisite Entrees:

Decadent Desserts and Drinks:

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Kissing Japanese Origami Cranes 
Image Courtesy of 123rf.com

Wishing you true love.

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.



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