There was this one time, several years ago, that I went to visit a friend for lunch before she moved across the country. We hung out and then she accompanied me to Chinatown where I think we went in every grocery store in the neighborhood in search of matcha green tea powder. I had seen a recipe for matcha green tea cream cheese frosting and decided I had to try it. That’s when cupcakes were all the rage. (Yeah, I said it: were.) Every employee of every shop we went in looked at me like I was crazy when I described what I was looking for. Finally, I settled on a matcha drink mix. It had some added sugar in it but it was close enough. That frosting was pretty good though…
Ever since I saw the recipe for Matcha Almond Shortbread I’ve been having wild fantasies. They look like the perfect cookie to accompany a cup of tea — green or otherwise. And the addition of the Matcha green tea flavor is a great twist that I was eager to try. And wouldn’t you know it. You can buy matcha powder in your regular grocery store now. It’s not cheap but you don’t need a lot in order to get the benefits.
Luckily I had some self-ground almond meal left over from my Christmas baking that I was able to use for this recipe. In general, the recipe was difficult just because it seems to make a very small amount. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be happier that it doesn’t make three dozen cookies like some recipes. But it was difficult, at times, for my mixer to handle such a small quantity. I was constantly scraping the mixing bowl. Also, I wasn’t able to get the dough to form a ball. It was sticking to itself but also to the sides of the mixing bowl. I let the mixer work it for a while but finally gave up. It was fully combined and I was concerned about over working the dough.
Instead of freezing the dough, per the recipe, I made this into a two day affair: making the dough on one night and baking it the next day. However, I chose not to freeze it as called for; I left the dough log in the fridge overnight. Unlike the Heidesand shortbread cookies I made for the food blogger cookie swap, these were very easy to slice and to slice with an even thickness.
It’s difficult to see in the photo, but there’s definitely a slight green tinge to the dry ingredients that really comes through when it’s mixed with the butter/powdered sugar mix.
The cookies are buttery and you can definitely taste both the almonds and the matcha. They’re good although I’m not sure I think that they’re really anything special. …but you know I’m going to eat them all.
Soundtrack: The Twilight Singers’ “Powder Burns”