Green tea, specifically matcha, has become one of my favorite beverages. It’s been a wonderful substitute for helping me get over coffee, which I still love but it doesn’t always love me.
Another way I love green tea is in baked goods. You can pick up culinary grade matcha powder which isn’t as good to drink, but it’s fantastic to bake with. That’s why I decided to go with some Matcha Shortbread. I knew the delicate buttery taste of shortbread would work perfectly with the matcha flavor. Add in just a taste of chocolate and you’ve got a fan-freaking-tastic cookie.
To make this recipe I used the traditional ingredients in the traditional ratio by weight. That means aside from the added matcha, the recipe only has sugar, butter, and flour. I see a lot of recipes out there that are measured out by a 1:2:3 ratio using measuring cups, but you won’t get quite the same quality. Instead I started with 8 oz of butter then weighed 4 oz of sugar and 12 oz of flour.
Another thing I did that’s traditional is using granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar (aka icing sugar).
A change I made from the traditional recipe is that I didn’t dock the cookies. Docking is the process of putting little holes throughout the cookie, usually you’ll see this done with pie crusts to prevent bubbles and uneven cooking. I found this recipe doesn’t need the docking, but if you want to dock the cookies to give them a more traditional look, go for it!
To finish off the recipe I added a chocolate drizzle. My tip on this is to use a good quality chocolate. I used 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate. I chose to drizzle the chocolate instead of dipping it because I knew dipping would overwhelm the delicate flavor of the shortbread. The drizzle was just enough to give a taste of chocolate without overpowering.
Matcha Shortbread with Chocolate Drizzle
First put the ingredients in a stand mixer. 8 oz of softened butter, 4 oz of granulated sugar, 12 oz of flour, and 2 tbsp of culinary grade matcha. The flavor in the cookies is mild, but it is there. If you want a stronger matcha flavor you may want to add an extra tablespoon of the powder, but I’d try 2 tbsp first so you have a baseline.
If you have a splatter guard for your mixer you place it on now. Mix the ingredients at the lowest speed then move it up a notch once the butter starts to mix in. You’ll know the ingredients are combined when you no longer see clumps of butter. Even when it is done mixing it will still look like a green crumbly powder. Don’t worry, this is exactly what it should look like.
Get a long sheet of plastic wrap and spread it out on the counter. In the bowl of shortbread dough crumbles reach in and start pressing the dough together with your hands. It sticks together, but it is still fragile and can crumble apart easily, so be gentle. Form it into a rough shape of a dough log, place it on the center of the plastic wrap and wrap the plastic wrap around it. Once you have it in the plastic wrap continue pressing the log into a more circular shape until it has the diameter you want your cookies.
Next put it in the refrigerator to chill. When there is about 10 minutes left of chill time preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Note: If you would rather cut your dough into the traditional rectangles or use a cookie cutter on them form your dough into a flattened disk shape and put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. After it’s chilled pull it out and roll it to 1/4 or 1/2 inch, then cut the shapes you want.
When your shortbread log is chilled, pull it out and cut it into 1/4 or 1/2 inch disks and place them on the cookie sheet. For this batch I opted for the 1/4 inch which is obviously a thinner cookie. If you want it to be a bit thicker go ahead and cut it into 1/2 inch, but you may need to adjust the cooking time or temperature. If you want to dock the cookies go ahead and do that now.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Don’t overbake, they’ll start to brown around the edges if they’ve been in too long; this will alter the flavor. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for approximately 5 minutes to firm up then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
When cookies are cool place them on a sheet of wax paper leaving a small space, 1/4 inch is plenty, between each cookie. Melt 4 oz of chocolate, put melted chocolate in a sealable plastic bag, then poke a hole in one of the corners with a toothpick. Drizzle the chocolate over the cookies and let them sit for about an hour or so until the chocolate has cooled and hardened.
Matcha Shortbread with Chocolate Drizzle
- 4 oz granulated sugar
- 8 oz butter softened
- 12 oz flour
- 2 tbsp matcha powder
- 4 oz baking chocolate for melting
- Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer with paddle attachment and mix at low speed until all ingredients are fully combined. Mixture will be crumbly.
- Using your hands press the dough into a rough log shape and place on a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap plastic around the dough log then continue to form it into a smoother log shape of the diameter you want your cookies to be.
- Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. During last 10 minutes of chill time preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Place shortbread log on cutting board and slice into 1/4 inch disks and place them on the the cookie sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
- When cookies are cool place them on a sheet of wax paper about 1/4 inch apart. Melt chocolate and spoon it into a resealable plastic bag then prick the corner with a toothpick. Drizzle chocolate over cookies and let them sit for about an hour for the chocolate to harden.