I felt my heart skip a beat, and my stomach drop a few roller coaster feet when my father-in-law asked me this question several months ago.

Had I gotten upset and yelled at the kids too many times?

Did he witness me in a less than stellar moment? Oh no, what did I do?

Okay, maybe I was a little tired. I usually try to do a little too much when the Blue Dinosaur’s parents come to visit.
We love when they come to visit us. The grandchildren get to see grandma and grandpa, and we spend many happy hours around the kitchen table talking and relaxing.

They usually drive twelve hours straight, from two states away. I always like to make sure I have a meal and a cake ready when they arrive. Then I usually make more cakes and treats over the course of their stay. For meals, I have to plan ahead to make sure everything is just right. Oh, and the housework.  It’s no secret that I absolutely hate housework and cleaning, and so I leave it until the very last minute to do. This makes for a very frenzied period of cooking and cleaning right up until the moment they arrive. After all, I want them to think I’m a good wife to their son, and a good mother to their grandchildren.

Face Onigiri

Okay, well….so what was my temperament?  Hmmm….was it as sunshiney and happy as the face onigiri pictured above? Hmm…probably not at that moment.

My father-in-law had spent the last few hours watching me make and wrap these for a fundraiser for my daughters’ Japanese school class, along with a pan of chocolate mochi and a pan of chi chi dango.

And I just couldn’t help myself, but I just had to do a little experiment along the way by baking muffin cups of chocolate mochi batter with an oreo in the middle of each. Wasn’t I busy enough? Sometimes I don’t know why I do these things to myself.

Well, my experiment was disappointing. It didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped for. The cookie was still really hard inside. I had high expectations for this. I had been thinking about this for a while, and was hoping to be wowed.

Smashed choc/oreo mochi

So I dumped them all out on a cookie sheet.

And looked at them.

Kept tasting small bits of them.

I may have even slightly pouted about them, but if I did it was just for a moment.

And then I made a decision.

Diced choc mochi

They were not going to get the better of me.

I was going to peel them and chop them up, and do something with them!  Ha!

Douse them, yes. Douse them with butter mochi, and Kahlua, and bake them again–twiced baked mochi.

Mochiko,baking powder,sugar

So I whisked together some mochiko, sugar and baking powder.


I was hopeful once again. Quickly I gathered more ingredients as now my mother-in-law too joined the audience.

Butter added to mochiko/sugar

In went the butter. This was looking good.

How can you ruin butter mochi? I was hoping I wouldn’t find out.

Adding evap milk

Evaporated milk whisked in.

Adding eggs and kahlua

Then eggs, vanilla, and Kahlua.  Yes………..
Diced choc mochi,pb sand coox,oreo coox

Crumbled up some extra oreos and peanut butter sandwich cookies to go with the diced chocolate oreo mochi.

Hmm…looks like diced up brownies would work well here too.

Adding choc and coox to leopardmochi

Mixed them all into the batter.

Leopard Mochi Batter in pan

Poured into a greased 9″ square pans and baked at 350 degrees for about an hour.

Oh my goodness, talk about wow! Here was the WOW. And the aroma of vanilla and Kahlua baking together is simply tantalizing.

I never really answered my father-in-law’s question. I kind of got around it by asking him, “Oh, what do you mean?”
Answering a question with a question is a really good delay tactic.

He surprised me by saying, “You must be very patient. I don’t know anyone else who would take the time to peel off all the wrappers from a failed experiment, then cut them all up, and make something else with them. That’s amazing.”

Really? It’s a compliment! Yay!


It’s what I do all the time though, I never really thought about it. I get these ideas, and I’m driven to try them out. If they don’t work out, I keep trying and usually something good or at least some knowledge and experience comes out of it.

That’s usually for my cooking and baking and crafts though. I think maybe I should try to do this more in other areas of my life too.
And since I’m so patient, I’d better start with being more patient with my kids–especially with their selective hearing.

Stack of Leopard Mochi

Success! Everyone raves about this mochi. Who knew something so delicious could result from what looked like a mess?
With all the shapes and different colors on the top, I’m calling this “Leopard Mochi.”

I’ve made this many times since then using diced brownies instead of diced chocolate mochi.  It’s easier and actually a little tastier. The easiest way to get the two cups of diced brownies for the recipe below is to simply buy a few from the bakery department in your grocery store, or next time you bake a pan of brownies, wrap several and freeze them until you need them. After all, we probably don’t need to eat a whole pan of brownies at one time anyway.

Leopard Mochi
Seeing my Leopard Mochi makes me feel so “zen” and fulfilled.

Leopard Mochi
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Kahlua-vanilla butter mochi studded with crushed oreos, peanut butter cookies, and brownie chunks.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24
  • 2 c. mochiko
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ c. butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 c. evaporated milk
  • 1 c. Kahlua liqueur
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. coarsedly crushed peanut butter sandwich cookies
  • 2 c. diced (1/2") brownies
  • 1 c. coarsely crushed oreos, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9"x9" pans with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together mochiko, sugar and baking powder. Add butter, eggs, milk, Kahlua and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Mix in the peanut butter cookies, brownies, and ¾ c. of the oreos. Pour batter equally into the pans. Sprinkle 2 T. of the remaining crushed oreos over the top of each pan.
  3. Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Be careful not to undercook the middle. Cool completely before cutting. This tastes best if allowed to set for several hours or overnight before eating.