Green Tea Cookies 抹茶クッキー

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  • Enjoy your afternoon tea with these buttery, crispy Green Tea Cookies with Matcha powder. The unique flavor of matcha in the cookies is surprisingly delightful!

    Green Tea Cookies on a black plate.

    I have always had a sweet tooth starting at a young age. As I got older, my taste bud for sweets has evolved and I’ve come to appreciate baked goods and confectionaries that have different tones of flavor and preferably not overly sweet. When comes to flavoring in the sweet department, my absolute favorite is matcha (Japanese green tea power). The earthy, slightly bitter taste with a sweet hint of vanilla-like aroma of matcha is utterly dreamy and alluring, which makes it a delightful ingredient to work with. It is subtle but unmistakable.

    And good news for matcha lovers! You can now find every imaginable snacks and sweets available in matcha flavor. Specialty stores, mini markets and even food courts at the departmental stores in Japan are offering matcha flavored goodies with astonishing array of selection. Since I’ve been inspired to cook and bake with matcha, I’m excited to share one of my favorite butter cookies, Green Tea Cookies (抹茶クッキー) with you today.

    Watch How To Make Matcha Green Tea Cookies 抹茶クッキーの作り方

    Love butter cookies? Then you’ll love these homemade green tea cookies with decadent white chocolate.

    What is Matcha?

    Before I begin talking about these cookies, let me share a bit of info on Matcha with you.

    Matcha is a type of tea leaf powder that has a beautiful vivid green color. However it’s different from the “green tea” that you drink with Japanese meals. That’s green tea too, but matcha green tea leaves are grown and harvested differently.  The leaves are are grown under shade.

    I found this beautiful video that explains a little bit about matcha and its making process, check it out if you wish to learn more about matcha.

    BEGIN Japanology Mini – Matcha Powdered Green Tea

    For those of you who want to try this recipe, I hope you can find 100% pure matcha powder in your local Asian grocery store.  The good quality ones should have very beautiful green, not dull green.  Japanese grocery stores around my area sell Maeda-En matcha and it’s around $8 for 1 oz (28.5g).  It’s a bit pricey but matcha is expensive in Japan as well.

    Green Tea Cookies with White Chocolate

    These cookies are really delicious even without white chocolate chips (if you’re not a fan of white chocolate). However, I highly recommend it as the green tea powder brings its characteristic bitter flavor to the cookies, and the sweetness from white chocolate chips actually balance out the cookies quite well.

    If you add regular chocolate chips, the milk chocolate can be too strong and it ruins the unique matcha flavor and fragrance so I don’t recommend it.

    Without the chocolate, the cookies may not be sweet enough.  I’ve also tried rolling the chilled cookie logs over white sparkling sugar (large sugar crystals) for this recipe before slicing the dough. To keep the recipe simple, I omitted the sugar for the blog.  If baking with only white chocolate chips is not sweet enough for you, this is a great way to add some more sweetness to the cookies. The large sugar crystals will keep its shape and give a nice sweetness and sparkles to the cookies.

    Green Tea Cookies on a wire rack.

    Buttery, Crispy, Green Tea Cookies

    This type of cookies are known as butter cookies. They also go by shortbread cookies or sable cookies.

    They are unleavened cookies, which means that leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda is not used in the recipe.

    The ingredients are simple: butter, sugar, and flour. They often include vanilla extract, but we can omit it for matcha flavor.

    I am often asked by JOC readers about the texture of these cookies. They are crisp rather than chewy or soft. If you have tried and love shortbread cookies, you can expect the same crispy texture.

    Another FAQ (frequently asked question) I get about butter cookies recipe is whether we need to chill the dough. I know it’s an extra step and it’s not fun to wait around. However, the chilled dough will give clean, sharp edges for the cookies and holds its shape better in the oven. So before baking, make sure to chill the dough (in a log shape) and slice into rounds (or roll out the dough, chill, and cut out).

    Green Tea Cookies on a black plate and a cup of tea.

    I hope you enjoy making this matcha flavored Green Tea Cookies recipe. They are perfect for a cozy afternoon snack or for your cookie swap during the holiday season! If you try it, don’t forget to share your picture on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with #JustOneCookbook.  Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!

    Don’t want to miss a recipe? Sign up for the FREE Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch with me on FacebookGoogle+, Pinterest, and Instagram for all the latest updates.

    4.42 from 104 votes
    Green Tea Cookies (抹茶クッキー) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com
    Green Tea Cookies
    Prep Time
    20 mins
    Cook Time
    15 mins
    Total Time
    2 hrs 35 mins
     
    Course: Dessert
    Servings: 24 cookies
    Author: Namiko Chen
    Ingredients
    • 240 g all purpose flour (240 g = 2 cups) (See Notes if you use cup measurement)
    • 15 g matcha green tea powder (15 g = 2 1/2 Tbsp) (1 Tbsp matcha is 6 g)
    • 170 g unsalted butter (170 g = 3/4 cup) (softened)
    • 130 g confectioners’ sugar/powder sugar (130 g = roughly 1 cup)
    • pinch Kosher salt
    • 2 large egg yolks
    • 50 g white chocolate chips (50 g = 1/4 cup)
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Green Tea Cookies Ingredients
    2. Combine 240 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour and 15 g (2 ½ Tbsp.) matcha green tea powder in a large bowl.
      Green Tea Cookies 1
    3. Sift the flour and the matcha powder.
      Green Tea Cookies 2
    4. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat 170 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter until smooth and creamy. It’s important to soften the butter ahead of time.
      Green Tea Cookies 3
    5. Add a pinch of salt and blend.
      Green Tea Cookies 4
    6. Add 130 g (roughly 1 cup) powder sugar and blend until soft and light. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
      Green Tea Cookies 5
    7. Add 2 large egg yolks and mix well until combined.
      Green Tea Cookies 6
    8. Gradually add the flour and matcha green tea powder mix and blend until the dough is smooth.
      Green Tea Cookies 7
    9. Add 50-65 g (1/4-1/3 cup) white chocolate chips and blend well.
      Green Tea Cookies 8
    10. Cut the dough in half and shape into 2 cylinders, about 1.5 inches (4 cm) diameter, 7" (18 cm) long.
      Green Tea Cookies 9
    11. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours (or overnight). Optional: you can place the logs on a bed of rice while chilling. It’ll keep the dough in nice cylindrical shape, so your cookie slices won’t be flat on one side.
      Green Tea Cookies 10
    12. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C) degrees. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking liner. Remove the dough from the plastic wrap, and with a sharp knife, slice the dough into ⅓ inches (7 mm)-thick rounds. Place them on the baking sheet, leaving about 1” (2.5 cm) between rounds.
      Green Tea Cookies 11
    13. Bake the cookies at 350F (175C) degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the edge of the cookies starts to get slightly golden brown.
      Green Tea Cookies 12
    14. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes; then carefully transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. If you pack the cookies in an airtight container, they will keep for at least 4 days.
      Green Tea Cookies 13
    15. You can also freeze the unbaked logs of dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 months. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before cutting and baking. Do not let the dough fully defrost.
    Recipe Notes

    A properly measured cup of all purpose flour weighs 4.25 oz (120 g). The weight for 1 cup of all-purpose flour varies depends on how you measure it. When you measure flour by volume, please follow the methods below. I’ve tested this method many times, and if you do it properly, 1 cup is VERY close to 120 g each time.

    1. Fluff up the flour several times with a spoon.
    2. Using the spoon, sprinkle the flour into your dry-cup measure (the one that measures exactly a cup at the top).
    3. Scrape off the excess with a knife.

    Recipe is slightly adapted from A Food Lover's Journey, originally from Okashi Treats by Keiko Ishida.

    Editor’s Note: The post was originally published on November 11, 2011.  Since then the post has been updated with new video, new pictures, and updated recipe in July 2016.

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