Matcha, the very fine, very bright green tea powder, has eluded me until now - I found it on sale in the wonderful Yum Yum Asian market on Sydney Street in Brighton. The new treasure in hand, I was a bit overwhelmed and didn't know what to bake with it.
Then it occurred to me to add matcha to one of my favourite cut cookie recipes: Dorie Greenspan's linzer cookies. Instant Christmasy glee! See, I'm not normally a fan of cut cookies: they either tear when you're trying to transfer their delicate shapes onto a baking sheet or they lose their shape in the oven. But these are stellar and very easy to make. Not to mention that the earthy cinnamon already in the recipe goes well with the delicate tea flavour of matcha.
Adapted from Dorie:
1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds
1 1/2 cups minus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 large egg
2 teaspoons water
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Whisk together the ground nuts, flour, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Using a fork, stir the egg and water together in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed until smooth for about 3 minutes. Add the egg mixture and beat for 1 minute more.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough.
- Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, put the dough between two large sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap. Gently flatten each dough half into a disk, then, using a rolling pin, roll out to a thickness of about 1/4 in. Transfer the wrapped dough disks to a baking sheet and refrigerate until very firm (about 2 hours)
- Once the dough is very firm, preheat the oven to 375F/190C and Line two baking sheets with parchment.
- Peel off the top sheet of wax paper from each piece of dough and cut out as many cookies as you can, using a cookie cutter of your choice. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheets, leaving a little space between them. Combine the scraps to re-roll them and cut out more cookies.
- Bake the cookies for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the cookies are just firm to the touch. Transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature.