Chocolate-dipped green tea shortbread cookies
Japanese matcha green tea and bittersweet chocolate make these buttery shortbread cookies deliciously decadent, with coffee or tea.
This post was written by Terry's wife, Marion Boyd.Skip to next paragraph
Terry Boyd is the author of Blue Kitchen, a Chicago-based food blog for home cooks. His simple, eclectic cooking focuses on fresh ingredients, big flavors and a cheerful willingness to borrow ideas and techniques from all over the world. A frequent contributor to the Chicago Sun-Times, his recipes have also appeared on the Bon Appétit and Saveur websites.
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It’s the time of year again when people are streaming in and out of our house, and we are streaming in and out of lots of other houses, too. To help with all the festive to-ing and fro-ing, we like to have some lovely treats on hand. This year, for the first time, we’ve added green tea shortbread cookies to our arsenal.
Shortbread cookies are so wonderful – buttery, delicate, crumbly goodness. Adding matcha (Japanese powdered green tea) gives them a faintly herbal, haunting note – still delicate, but with a slightly sophisticated edge.
The Internet has zillions of shortbread recipes, but really there is only one. Deb over at Smitten Kitchen notes that, in her green tea shortbread cookie recipe, and so it is. There are faint variations in the amounts of this or that, and now and then someone will add an egg (noooooooo!), and the cookie décor might be different, but really, look around. All the recipes are the same.
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Shortbread cookies have very few ingredients, so each one needs to be fresh and of high quality. I recommend using familiar, fresh, unsalted American-style butter rather than a European-style butter like Plugra. The difference is that American butters have a higher water content, and when you are making shortbread, you need that extra bit of water to help it transition from a collection of inchoate ingredients into a single mass.
Regarding the green tea, we hope you will use the best matcha you can find. See the Kitchen Notes for a couple of outlets we recommend.
The most onerous part of this process is melting the chocolate, and that part isn’t complicated at all.
Chocolate-dipped Green Tea Shortbread Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus one tablespoon powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened green tea powder (matcha – about 1/2 ounce)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 or 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, for sprinkling on the unbaked cookies (optional)
5 or 6 one-ounce squares of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degree F. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, powdered sugar, and matcha.
In another bowl, beat the softened butter with an electric hand mixer, just until it becomes soft. Beat in the vanilla. Then gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Everything should form a single mass. If it stubbornly remains a powdery bunch of crumbs, sprinkle in 1 or 2 teaspoons of water, and continue to mix. When everything is combined, you will have a beautiful green dough. Cut it in half, form each half into a disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Longer than this and you may have to let it warm up a bit so it can be worked.
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