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!
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 powder). 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 an 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 grown under shade.
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) for the culinary grade. 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.
Buttery, Crispy, Green Tea Cookies
This type of cookies is 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).
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!
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
- 240 g all-purpose flour (plain flour) (2 cups; If you're using a cup measurement, please follow this method to measure. Otherwise, the amount of flour tends to be more than you need.)
- 15 g matcha green tea powder (2 ½ Tbsp; 1 Tbsp matcha is 6 g)
- 170 g unsalted butter (¾ cup; softened)
- 130 g confectioners’ sugar/powder sugar (roughly 1 cup)
- pinch kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; Use half for table salt)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 50 g white chocolate chips (¼ cup)
Gather all the ingredients.
Combine 240 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour and 15 g (2 ½ Tbsp) matcha green tea powder in a large bowl.
- Sift the flour and the matcha powder.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat 170 g (¾ cup) unsalted butter until smooth and creamy. It’s important to soften the butter ahead of time.
- Add a pinch of salt and blend.
- Add 130 g (roughly 1 cup) powder sugar and blend until soft and light. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Add 2 large egg yolks and mix well until combined.
- Gradually add the flour and matcha green tea powder mix and blend until the dough is smooth.
Add 50 g (¼ cup) white chocolate chips and blend well.
- Cut the dough in half and shape into 2 cylinders, about 1.5 inches (4 cm) diameter, 7" (18 cm) long.
Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill in the 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 a nice cylindrical shape, so your cookie slices won’t be flat on one side.
Preheat the oven to 350 ºF (175 ºC). 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.
Bake the cookies at 350 ºF (175 ºC) for about 15 minutes, or until the edge of the cookies starts to get slightly golden brown.
- 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.
- 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 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.