Sunday, March 16, 2008

Feeling Green

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A nearby tea shop was having a sale on matcha (green tea powder) so I bought a 100 gram container to try for baking. I figured that if I didn't like baking with it then I would just chalk the whole thing up to experience (it only cost $8). Matcha may not be everybody's cup of tea (yes, pun intended). It could be too bitter for some or too earthy for others. But if you love green tea ice cream, then chances are you'll love matcha in baked goods too.

I've seen the matcha shortbread (aka green tea sweets) that's been making its way around the blogosphere and I had originally planned to use my newly purchased matcha for that purpose. But at the last minute I decided to go a different route for my first foray into matcha territory. I modified a pinwheel cookie recipe from Fine Cooking magazine #68. Instead of dark chocolate I used matcha and white chocolate. I kept the vanilla dough pretty much the same.

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The resulting cookie is very much like a typical sugar cookie. It's sweet, buttery and slightly crisp. I would've called it child friendly if not for the green tea (unless your child, like my nephews, actually likes matcha).The white chocolate tempered the bitter edge of the matcha without masking the flavor of the matcha. The vanilla and matcha doughs work very well together both flavorwise as well as aesthetically. The grassy green and creamy yellow reminds me that spring is just around the corner.

As you can see from the pictures my vanilla layer is a bit thicker than my matcha layer. I decided not to stress about it and roll it up anyway. Since the recipe makes 9 dozen cookies, I decided not to do all pinwheels. I also made some randomly blended, quasi-marbled ones and some solid matcha cookies with a bit of coarse sugar on the edges. That way everyone could choose their ideal ratio of vanilla to matcha.

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Matcha Sugar Cookies
(makes about 9 dozen cookies)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks / 1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, softened at room temp
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp matcha (green tea powder)
2 tbsp powdered sugar
3 ounces high quality white chocolate, melted and still barely warm

Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add egg and egg yolk and vanilla extract; mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add flour mixture and, on low speed, mix until just combined. Remove 2 cups of the dough and set aside. This is the vanilla dough.

On low speed, add the matcha and powdered sugar to the remaining dough in the stand mixer bowl and mix until just combined. Then mix in the melted white chocolate until well combined.

Divide each flavor of dough into three fairly equal pieces. (You should have 6 pieces: 3 matcha and 3 vanilla.) Wrap each piece in plastic and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes.

Roll one piece of matcha dough into a 7x7 inch square. Roll one piece of vanilla dough into a 7x7 inch square. Trying to line up the edges as best as you can, place the vanilla dough on top of the matcha dough. Gently roll over the dough to seal the two layers together.

Roll your layered dough into a tight log. After the log is formed, gently roll it back and forth on the counter to slightly elongate and compact it. The log should be about 9 inches long and about 1.5 inches in diameter. Wrap the log in plastic wrap. Repeat with the other pieces of dough. Refrigerate dough logs for 2 hours or freeze up to 2 months.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Working with one log at a time, slice the dough into 1/4 inch thick rounds and place rounds on your prepared baking sheets (space them about 1 inch apart). Bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes or until the tops of the cookies look set. Cool on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes then gently transfer cookies to a wire rack.

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41 comments:

Bettina said...

these are gorgeous!!

Kitt said...

Wow, that's some experimentation! (And they turned out way better than my attempt to fill dough with Nutella using a poultry injector yesterday.)

They look really lovely. I don't think I've ever had matcha, so I'd sure like to sample one.

Shandy said...

These are brilliant! I love the idea and the colors. I think the marbled ones are adorable. . .not that they ALL aren't just wonderful. . .but 9 dozen? WoW! Now that is a large batch of cookies. =D

evolvingtastes said...

Mary, these look so pretty! At first glance I thought the green was from pistachios.

btw, lovely blog - I browse sometimes, but never stopped by to say Hello.

Peabody said...

Those all look great!

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench said...

I absolutely love the look of the marbled cookies! I actually made these over the weekend, though yours look far prettier!

Rachel@fairycakeheaven said...

It's Paddys day at the moment here in Ireland, have a good one people for the sun is shining and my roast of beef is in the oven for it's 5 hour roasting YUM.

p.s the cookies looks gorgeous but still haven't been able to find matcha posder in Dublin

Aran said...

Simply gorgeous! What a great idea!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What marvelous looking cookies!

Cheers,

Rosa

Veron said...

I love matcha, and I love it in baked goods!

kimberleyblue said...

Wow, gorgeous cookies! Perfect for St-Patrick's Day too.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Mary, I love the designs you got on your cookies, they're beautiful!

I have never tried matcha...

linda said...

Pretty swirls! Nice to see different matcha cookies than the shortbread ones.

bbaking said...

these look so great! I don't think we get matcha powder here!

I enjoyed seeing yours though!

Bill and Orlena said...

Yay! They look great and beautiful and thanks for making them. Happy St. Patrick's day!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Gracious these look just adorable!!! I wish i could get that powder here, I don't think i have ever seen it though. Beautiful cookies!!

Katy said...

those are so cute!! WAY better than food coloring, for sure!

nek0 said...

ohhhh! pretty pretty pretty!

I have always wanted to make something with matcha (other than latte or tea), maybe this is the recipe!! :)))

Thanks!!

Annemarie said...

Oh, these are very pretty. You've made a great addition to the matcha cookie phenomenon. :)

Veggie said...

Wow, these are perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

Mrs. L said...

I have no idea what matcha tastes like, but these cookies look wonderful! Very festive!

Cheryl said...

Just beautifully designed cookies. I really do love green tea, so I have to try macha one day.

Anali said...

These are beautiful! What a great idea! ; )

Brilynn said...

Oooh pretty!!!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Those look really grand! Totally smart to make the variety and give everybody a choice!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Those look really grand! Totally smart to make the variety and give everybody a choice!

Terry B said...

I like the idea of an underlying tea-flavored bitterness tempering the sweetness of these cookies. And I'm impressed [frightened?] that a mere 2 tablespoons of matcha could have this effect on NINE DOZEN cookies. Wow.

hrabana said...

Wow, these are so good.
I just had to try them the instant I saw your photos.

CIA-Cooking In An Apron said...

wow! These cookies look great! I went straight to Whole Foods to pick up some matcha but had to leave the store empty-handed because it was $29.99 for 2.8oz!! So I just went online and paid $8 (which included shipping)!! When I get it I'm sooo making these!! Thanks for the inspiration!

Sara said...

Beautifully done! They look great and I bet they taste just as good.

michelle @ the smackdown said...

i *love* white chocolate with matcha. why can't a tea shop near me ever have a sale on matcha powder? i almost never use it, because it always ends up costing me $30 to make a cake.

Tartelette said...

They tured out beautiful! Both the swirls and the pinwheels are gorgeous!

pelin said...

I love all of your recipes. ı can make them in my country easily.

Fearless Kitchen said...

These look great, and I really admire the creativity of using green tea in cookies.

kellypea said...

Well they certainly are beautiful, that's for sure! I've tried the little ice cream bon bons and was completely surprised by the flavor -- unlike anything I'd tasted before. I need to do some more testing to calibrate my "taster" because at this point, I don't think my palate knows what it's supposed to be tasting!

Tasse de thé said...

Matcha is my favorite ingredients... i try to put matcha everywhere and find interesting new recipes to do whith this tea...the matcha ice cream, it's so good!!!!

mimi said...

i actually like the thicker vanilla to the swirl of matcha, it's so pretty and light looking!

Ashley said...

these look beautiful and sound amazing!!

Ngoc said...

I fell head over heels in love with these cookies. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Gulnar said...

Hi! Thank you so much for this recipe. I made it today and the cookies turned out just perfect. The white chocolate flavor really goes great with matcha. :) Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

made them today - absolutely delicious & super cute ! :)