Matcha is loaded with umami, which gives these exotic morsels a deliciously savory element that sets them apart from other Christmas cookies.
In my search for wonderful flavor combinations, I developed a green tea and jasmine gelato this past summer and was knocked out by the gorgeous color and subtle, evocative flavor. I stumbled upon a reference to Matcha Green Tea Powder in one of the cooking mags and that sent me in hot pursuit of this interesting ingredient.
I found it in a local Asian food emporium, in the tea aisle, naturally enough. A small packet of the magic green stuff set me back quite a bit (four ounces will cost you about $10.00) but as I discovered, a little goes a long way.
That first batch of green tea gelato had WAY TOO MUCH matcha in it for anyone’s liking. I learned my lesson and used only a small amount of this intensely flavored powder in these elegant, crisp, melt-in-your mouth cookies. I love the hint of rose petal here, but you can omit it or use jasmine instead if you like.
This elegant, distinctive pale green cookie has a fabulous texture and evocative flavor.
Baking Note For best results, cookies should be COLD when they go into the oven. Otherwise, they may spread too much. Always give cookies plenty of space to spread regardless, at least an inch between cookies. Baking times are APPROXIMATE. Correct baking times are critical to the success of your cookies. Test your oven and pan setup with a few cookies to start with and watch the timing closely. Dark pans bake faster than light pans or air-sandwiched pans. Silicon mat-lined pans bake faster than parchment-lined pans. Cookies that are rolled to 1/8-inch thick bake faster than cookies rolled to ¼-inch thick. And your oven may be running hot or cold. There are so many variables. Do test a couple of cookies first. It may save an entire batch later.
4 cups King Arthur unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups unsalted butter, cool room temperature (15 minutes out of the refrigerator)
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons powdered Japanese green tea (also calld matcha)
¾ teaspoon rose extract
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten (1/4 cup)
colored sanding sugar or sprinkles
silver luster or edible glitter
1 egg white, lightly beaten
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Reserve.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and powdered sugar together thoroughly, about 3 minutes. Blend in the matcha and rose extract.
- Add the egg yolks and continue beating until creamy.
- Add the flour mixture and mix very briefly, only until incorporated.
- Put the dough into a cookie press and force the cookies out onto a parchment paper-covered baking sheet.
- If desired, either sprinkle with sanding sugar, or brush first with a little beaten egg white and then sprinkle with sanding sugar. The latter method adds a shine to the top of the cookies and dissolves the sugar just a bit, which is a nice effect.
- Bake on the middle rack of a 375° oven until set but not brown on top, about 10 minutes. The cookies should just be starting to color on the bottom. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks.
- After cooling completely, store in air-tight cookie tins, with rounds of wax paper between layers, in a cool location. These cookies keep for weeks and actually improve with age.
Makes about 9 dozen small cookies.
Here’s the entire LunaCafe Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Deck the Halls collection. If you bake along, one cookie a day from December 1st to December 12th, you’ll have a wonderful selection of holiday cookies to share with family and friends, with time to spare..
- On the 1st day of Christmas: Lily’s Swedish Vanilla Spritz
- On the 2nd day of Christmas: Orange Vanilla Sugar Cookies
- On the 3rd day of Christmas: Decidedly Lemon Teacakes
- On the 4th day of Christmas: Once in a Chocolate-Spice Moon Cookies
- On the 5th day of Christmas: Peppermint Stick Shortbread
- On the 6th day of Christmas: Lemon-Lime Clove Sugar Cookies
- On the 7th day of Christmas: Toasted Almond Black Cherry Shortbread
- On the 8th day of Christmas: Green Tea & Rose Spritz
- On the 9th day of Christmas: Almond Butter Poinsettia Cookies
- On the 10th day of Christmas: Lemon Orange Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
- On the 11th day of Christmas: Candy Cane Butter Cookies
- On the 12th day of Christmas: Ellen’s Swedish Pepparkakor ..
Copyright 2008=2015 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.