"Western style" Gien Doi  
Recipe Number: 1108345791
Contributor: miulang
1 C Butter or margarine
1 C Sugar
1 Egg, beaten
2 C Flour
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 C Toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp Vanilla
1 small bag Prepared red bean paste (koshi an -- you will not use the whole bag) -- optional
Cooking Instructions
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla on low speed. Sift flour with baking soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Chill about 1 hour. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking sheets. Pinch off dough into small balls (a little smaller than the size of a walnut). Roll into a ball and then flatten it out into a circle in the palm of one hand (use the other hand to flatten the dough) until about the size of your palm. If using the bean paste, place about 1 tsp in the center of the circle, the bring up the sides and roll back into a ball. Roll in toasted sesame seeds. Place on prepared baking sheets and flatten slightly with bottom of glass dipped in flour. Note: these will spread because of the butter, so don't flatten too much. Bake 10-12 minutes. Makes about 24 cookies.
Additional Comments
Gien doi is a favorite dim sum item, but to make it at home is time consuming and requires deep frying. This recipe sort of looks like gien doi but because it doesn't use rice flour and is not deep fried, the texture is more cakelike and very tender. This was modified from a recipe originally in a Hawaiian Electric Company cookbook.