I baked these cookies a while back for a friend. Initially I was looking for a tea-honey-lemon cookies as that's one of her favourite flavour combinations but I couldn't find any recipe that I fancy. So I changed my search to tea cookies and I stumbled upon these - which are so delicious looking that they change my life forever (ok, that's an exaggeration, but they are really delicious looking!)
I had previously picked up some macaron baking tips from Jen and I actually managed to bake some pretty successful macarons. So I'm very certain that these cookies would be just as delicious as the macarons!
Instead of Earl Grey, I chose to use Green Tea instead as that's my friend's favorite tea flavour. I used green tea leaves instead of matcha powder as that's the only thing I have on hand.
Now, I know what you're thinking, "Is this green tea leaves the same as matcha powder?" (Ok, that's what I thought of, so I went to research about them... If you already know the difference, just skip the next paragraph!)
Green tea leaves
Green tea is a type of tea where its tea leaves undergo minimum oxidation during processing. There are two broad types of green tea - Chinese and Japanese, and each type has many variations of green tea, depending on their growth conditions. Chinese green tea generally comes in the form of tea leaves, while Japanese tea comes in the form of either tea leaves or a fine powder, and this powder is known as matcha. Matcha is a type of Japanese green tea that is grind into a fine powder during processing. They tend to have a more intense flavour than their tea leaves counterpart and its bright green colour often serves aa a natural food colouring. A good quality matcha is very, very expensive!
I feel like I'm an expert on green tea now! :p
Coming back to the cookies - the green tea leaves I used are of a Japanese variety. They gave the cookies a very light greenish tint and decorated the cookies beautifully (though my friend initially guessed that they were seaweed cookies before she tasted them...). However, despite the cookies being buttery, soft, crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth, the green tea taste was not very pronounced in the cookies. Matcha powder might have worked better - I'm not 100% sure about that - but matcha powder will turn the cookies green... I'm considering increasing the the amount of green tea leaves used or use a combination of matcha powder and green tea leaves the next time. Nevertheless, these cookies are small, dainty, delicious, good for give-away and perfect with a cup of tea!
Start off by first measuring the flour ad salt in a small bowl. Whisk together until fully they are mixed thoroughly.
Measure some butter, icing sugar and green tea in a mixing bowl.
Cream with an electric mixer until pale in colour, light and fluffy! This will take about 3-5 minutes.
Add the flour mixture.
Stir until a soft dough forms.
Fast-forward and skipping several photos - roll the dough into a log, wrap with plastic wrap and freeze until firm.
Slice them into thick slices!
I actually wanted a square log, but they ended up a rectangular in shape... Oh well...
Arrange them on baking sheets and bake away!
Golden brown at the edges is what we're looking for - let cool and serve!
Green Tea Cookies
- 125 grams 1 cup plain flour
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 115 grams ½ cup; 1 stick good quality unsalted butter at room temperature
- 30 grams ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon green tea leaves, from about 3 tea bags
- Whisk together flour and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat together butter, confectioners’ sugar, and green tea leaves on medium speed until pale and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes), scrapping the sides down several times with a rubber spatula. Reduce speed to low and gradually mix in flour mixture until just combined. Alternatively, stir in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula or a large metal spoon.
- Line a large plastic wrap (cling film) on the table counter. Transfer the dough onto the plastic wrap and shape into a log. Roll in the plastic wrap until it is about 1 ¼ inches in diameter (or 1 ¼ inches in length if making a square log). Freeze the dough until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Unwrap the log and cut ¼ inch thick slices. Space them 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes, until the edges are golden. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack. Store the cooled cookies in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 5 days. Serve with tea.