January 19, 2010

Matcha tea leaf shortbread cookies

Plate of matcha tea leaf shortbread cookies.

I've wanted to make matcha tea shortbreads for a while and had a little birthday gathering where I thought they would be perfect for a fried of mine. I was looking for a recipe and found this one which I've cut in half and modified as written below. 
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This recipe is all over the internet. All posts state that the recipe comes from the book Unforgettable Desserts by Dede Wilson (2009), so I will give that credit here, too. These are not easy cookies to make... the dough is very crumbly and it is also very fragile. It rolls better once your work it a little and the butter warms up. But, they do take patience.

It wasn't difficult to find the matcha powder. I found it at our local grocery store (though they have a very extensive tea section). I also found a cute leaf cookie cutter pretty easily (it was labeled as an aspen leaf). 
This recipe will make about 30 cookies using a 2-inch cookie cutter. The cookies are also delicate, so take care when transferring them from the track to cooling rack and in storing. 

Top view of baked cookies.

Matcha tea leaf shortbread cookies
1-1/8 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

pinch of sea salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1-1/2 teaspoons matcha powder
1/3 cup fine cane sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

In a small mixing bowl add the flour and salt and stir together then set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium-high until creamy. Add the matcha and continue to beat together until the green color is uniform and the mixture is very creamy. Add the sugar gradually and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Turn mixer to low and add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Beat slowly and continue adding the flour gradually until the dough looks crumbly. Gather all of the dough into a ball with your hands.

Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness on top of parchment paper. Use you cookie cutter to cut out the leaf shapes. Use a butter knife to light draw in the veins on the leaves (optional). Carefully transfer the cookies using a thin spatula to baking sheets. Continue until all dough has been used.

Bake for about 7-9 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to turn golden on the bottoms and edges. Let cool on the trays for about 2-3 minutes. Transfer cookies to cooling racks then keep in an airtight container until serving.

Finished cookies with a tea pot and tea cup.

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