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Matcha Tea Cake Cookies

January 16, 2016

As you can probably guess from the lack of activity here, I’ve been a bit preoccupied for the past 7 months! Our daughter Vivienne was born on June 24th after a (very very thankfully) short labor and uncomplicated delivery. So with the arrival of our newest family member, food photography and blogging have unfortunately fallen so far down the to-do list that it’s something that hasn’t even crossed my mind to pick back up until recently.

Poor Vivienne isn’t feeling well this weekend, so while she was getting some much-needed snuggle time with her dad this morning, I decided to try out these easy cookies. I recently cleaned out my cooking magazine stash – I’m hanging on to all my old Bon Appetit issues, but I looked through my copies of Food and Wine and clipped out recipes that sounded like I might actually make now that my cooking and baking time is much more limited. This cookie recipe was in the February 2015 issue, and while matcha isn’t something I usually keep on hand, I cut it out because their color was so striking (plus they sounded easy to make – no creaming of butter and sugar).

Matcha is a ground green tea powder from Japan. If you’ve ever seen a traditional Japanese tea ceremony performed, matcha is the type of tea used. It’s also used in various Japanese confections like mochi. The green color permeates everything that the powder is mixed with, giving baked goods and sweets an almost unnaturally intense hue.

These cookies may not appeal to everyone, but I really enjoyed the way they turned out! They’re not overly sweet and they have a strong matcha flavor (there are two whole tablespoons of the powder in the dough, plus more for dusting on top), and there’s a hint of almond which complements the green tea flavor nicely. I also enjoyed the cake-like texture – I think it suits the flavor better than a more traditional drop-cookie texture would.

If you’ve enjoyed other Japanese confections made with matcha, I think you’ll love these cookies! If you give them a try, let me know what you think!

Matcha cookies

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Dust with the matcha sugar before serving.

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon matcha tea powder
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom. In another bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla and almond extracts. In a small bowl, stir 2 tablespoons of the matcha powder with 2 tablespoons of water, then stir into the wet ingredients. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture just until combined.
  2. Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop or 2 tablespoons, scoop 1-inch balls of dough at least 
2 inches apart onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the cookies for about 
10 minutes, until set at the edges and very lightly browned on the bottoms. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  4. Arrange the cookies on 1 baking sheet. In a sieve, combine the confectioners’ sugar with the remaining 1 teaspoon of matcha. Dust over the cookies and serve.

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