This is all funny, because I didn't immediately love green tea, which has definitely eclipsed coffee in my book. It wasn't until I was probably around ten years old that I really appreciated green tea.
|I love the popped rice in genmaicha!|
Of course, I also love to cook with it.
Most recipes you see that say "green tea this-or-that" are made with matcha. Matcha is made by taking the finest tea leaves that are grown in the shade and then drying and grinding them into a powder. It is much sweeter than normal green tea, and is a beautiful vibrant shade of green. Traditionally it is used primarily for tea ceremony, but nowadays I happen to think more people make sweets and baked good with it than actually drinking it with hot water.
This recipe is no exception, I borrow the sweet and bitter taste of matcha along with its gorgeous color. I also use genmaicha as a decorative garnish, and the roasted grains of rice add a pleasant crunch.
Matcha Shortbread Cookies
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tbs matcha
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
2 egg yolks (reserve one egg white)
genmaicha for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour and the matcha. Cream together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined. In three batches, mix in the flour. When combined, roll the dough into two logs. I made two different sizes (approx 1.5" and 1"), and I preferred the 1" because of their daintiness.
Chill the logs for at least an hour, or until you are able to make clean cuts through the log without smashing it. Alternatively, place in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Cut into 1/4" rounds and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. These will not spread very much, so you can place them 1/2" apart.
Beat the reserved egg white and brush over the tops of the cookies. Sprinkle with the genmaicha if using. The egg white will give the cookies a shiny surface, if you prefer a matte surface, omit the egg white and press down on the genmaicha slightly to make it adhere to the cookie dough. Bake for about 15-18 minutes if making the smaller cookies, 20 if making the larger cookies, until just barely browned on the edges. Let cool on a cookie rack.
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