Wednesday, January 7, 2009

matcha tea cookies…

Even thought I baked like a mad woman before Christmas, I never get tired of cooking and baking to feed peoples stomachs and their souls.

A friend was in the hospital for a few days and loves to have a few cookies with afternoon tea. She also loves to drink Japanese green tea.
I made some of these simple and less-sweet cookies to compliment the tea as a small welcome home and get-well gift.

I have been making these Match Shortbread Cookies for well over ten years. The original recipe came from one of Martha Stewart’s very first TV shows that I watched religiously back in the day.

Matcha (Green Tea) Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients

2 cups bleached all purpose flour

1-2 tablespoons Match green tea powder (Matcha— See Note 1)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter (unsalted at room temperature — See Note 2)

1/2 cup powdered sugar (a bit more if your tea is very intense.)

Directions

Sift the flour, powdered tea and salt into a bowl.

In a mixer bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar until fluffy.

Add flour mixture to mixer bowl and mix slowly until dough just comes together.

Pull dough together carefully in a log, approximately 2 inches in diameter.

Wrap dough log and place in freezer for 30 minutes or until dough has firmed to the touch.

You can slice the dough into 1/4 inch rounds.

But for my cookies, I rolled out the well-chilled cookie dough and cut into shapes before baking.

(I had started using this scalloped 1 ½ “ cookie cutter to make these cookies as it came with a set of beautiful little silver airtight tin cylinders that perfectly containedand kept fresh exactly 12 little cookies. I had purchased it from Martha-by-Mail (the name of her first mail-order store on the internet). Each year purchased a ton of these little cylinders to package and give these unusual cookies as special gifts.
I was sorry to see that these sweet little cylinders were discontinued in 2005.
But I continue to use my Martha-by-Mail cookie cutter just for these cookies…a nostalgic gesture, I imagine, but I package them differently these days.)

Place on a parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet, approximately 1 inch apart.

Bake in a preheated 325 degree F oven for 16 to 18 minutes (or until the cookies are just starting to turn golden around the edges), turning the pan halfway through the baking time.

Remove cookies immediately from the cookie sheet and place on a wire rack
and dust with a mixture of vanilla powdered sugar and Matcha tea.
(See Note 3)

As the cookies cool, a light crust of sweetness of the sugar and the tea forms on the cookies.

Store in an airtight container.

NOTE 1 Powdered green tea is not merely green tea that has been pulverized in a food processor or food mill; it's a special kind of tea that has been prepared to dissolve nicely.

NOTE 2 Do not use the microwave to soften the butter, room temperature butter is the correct consistency for this recipe.

NOTE 3 Matcha Sprinkling Sugar

In a sugar shaker combine 1 part fine Matcha tea to 3 parts powdered sugar.
I always put in a vanilla bean pod that I had previously scraped-out the seeds for another recipe. I dry the vanilla bean well so that it is brittle and break it into 1-inch pieces.
I add these vanilla bean pieces to the sugar mixture to perfume it with vanilla.
This mixture keeps well for several months in an airtight container.
I usually just unscrew the lid of the sugar shaker and cover with two layers of plastic wrap and screw the lid back on tight.
This sugar mixture is also yummy sprinkled on a warm pound cake, ice cream and refreshingly light and sweet on berries and yogurt for breakfast.

6 comments:

Dedene said...

Oh yummmm!

Mise En Place said...

Those look so yummy :D

jeanette mistress of longears said...

I can't believe it- I've had this recipe in my "to try" book for years! Since I saw it on the old Martha show. Recently I bought the matcha tea to make them, but I still haven't gotten round to it...and I'm not sure why I'm so intrigued to try them since I don't like green tea!
But I can help you with the tins for the cookies. I love a certain kind of white tea that comes in tins just the right size. It's the Republic of Tea:
http://www.republicoftea.com/index.asp?gclid=CIPXtt63gJgCFRsRagodRAO_DQ
You probably can find it in most specialty food stores and Whole Foods. After the tea is gone, all you have to do is spray the cans a nice color or wrap them in pretty paper. I have quite a collection since I've been saving them since the recipe first appeared on Martha... :-) You have inspired me. I WILL bake these cookies this very weekend!

Peter said...

Looks good! ... and especially how nice of you to prepare this for your friend!

What I really like when - others - bake is to eat the left-over dough (is that the word for it?) - if any!

A Brush with Color said...

Oh, I thought I'd left a comment on your blog but I'm not seeing it! I love this whole idea, and the sugar and tea topping sounds scrumptious, Terrie. I also loved Jeanette's idea about the Republic of Tea tins to hold cookies--what a great idea. Why didn't I ever think of that! I've used those tins even as is to hold brushes because I just like them! Lovely post, Terrie...

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

Merci mille fois for all these great comments and ideas.
You all are very kind.