Photo by Beverly Wang
- 1 C all purpose flour
- the contents of 4 bags of Japanese green tea, more or less to taste
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 C butter, chilled and cut into 1″ cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
When spring rolls around, I find myself craving less and less of the heavier, sweeter desserts of winter and the holidays. These matcha shortbreads are light and crispy yet full of buttery flavor; they definitely satisfy my sweet tooth without being cloyingly sweet or heavy.
A shot of ground green tea leaves provides a nice herbal bitterness to these cookies and gives them a lovely fresh color. They’re great as a snack and go equally well with tea or coffee.
1. In a food processor, combine the flour, tea leaves, both sugars and salt and pulse until all ingredients are combined and the tea leaves are finely ground.
2. Distribute the chilled butter in the bowl of the food processor evenly and pulse until the dough looks sandy. While the food processor is running, add the vanilla extract and continue processing until the dough just comes together in a ball. If needed, add water 1 teaspoon at a time if the dough is dry and not coming together.
3. Remove the dough from the food processor and pat it into a 8″ round, about 3/4″ thick. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or keep in the freezer if you plan to bake the cookies at a future date.
4. After the dough has had sufficient time to chill (this allows for the cut dough to retain its shape during baking), remove the dough from
the fridge and roll it out until it is about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick. If you find the dough is sticking to the rolling pin, sprinkle powdered sugar (as opposed to flour) on the dough to prevent the finished product from becoming tough and floury tasting.
5. Preheat the oven to 375F.
6. Using the cookie cutter of your choice (I just used 2″ rounds), cut out the dough and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. If your kitchen is warm and you find the dough starting to soften, chill the cut cookies in the fridge for 15 minutes before baking.
7. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. When the cookies start to get lightly browned on the bottom, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly on the cookie sheet before removing them to a rack to finish cooling.