I thought I’d make some green tea/matcha cookies to give to the two Japanese high school exchange students who are graciously serving as my conversation teachers. I used the recipe in the Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies magazine from 2001. These were pretty simple to make, though all that chilling time is not good for impatient types like me.
The girls gobbled them up, which was very satisfying! Read on for the recipe …
Green Tea Shortbread Cookies from Martha’s Holiday Cookies issue, 2001
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons powdered green tea (matcha)*
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1. Sift the flour, the tea, and the salt into a bowl. In another bowl, beat the butter until fluffy (I did this in my Kitchen Aid mixer), about 3-5 minutes. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, another 2 minutes or so. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until the dough just comes together (in other words, don’t overbeat).
2. Place the dough onto a Silpat or piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle with flour and roll until it’s 1/4″ thick. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes (I rolled my dough out on a Silpat then slid the Silpat onto a cookie sheet before placing in the fridge).
3. Preheat the oven to 325F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpats. Cut the dough into various shapes–Martha used leaf cutters, and I used stars–and transfer to the baking sheets. Gather the leftover dough and reroll (and rechill if necessary) and cut. Bake each sheet about 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are firm and just starting to color. Rotate each sheet halfway through for more even baking. Remove cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks.
*You can get powdered green tea online at Upton Tea or various other sources. Just search for “matcha” and make sure you are getting the Japanese powdered green tea. It will probably say something about how the tea is used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. You can also probably find the tea at your local Asian market.