Thursday, December 18, 2008

Macha (Japanese Green Tea) Shortbread

As some of you may already know, JS and I aren't really bakers. When we were invited to a Holiday Cookie Exchange, we accepted without really knowing what that entailed. Of course, we were a little horrified to discover that we would have to make 6 dozen cookies each!

But, horror finally subsided and I sat about choosing my cookie. I knew I wanted something with macha (Japanese green tea), but what?

I opened our Joy of Cooking and chanced about a chocolate shortbread recipe that was even easier than its "regular" shortbread. I based this cookie on that recipe with some changes:

1) I omitted the chocolate, of course, and added macha.

2) I also substituted some of the all-purpose flour with cornstarch.

3) Finally, I sprinkled sugar on top of the dough before baking.

I had to bake 3 batches of this on three separate nights. I must say, the three batches all had different textures! Teehee. But, the recipe was quite forgiving because even with the slightly different results, each batch was still delicious. At least, they were all delicious to me.

Our cookies:
Macha (Japanese Green Tea) Shortbread
Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with Earl Grey-White Chocolate Ganache


Macha (Japanese Green Tea) Shortbread

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 Tbsp macha (Japanese green tea powder)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch

Preheat oven to 300 F.

In a bowl, whip together butter and sugar with electric mixer until soft and fluffy. Add macha and mix until incorporated.

Add flour and cornstarch and mix well together. This should form a soft “dough.”

Place dough in 13x9-inch baking pan and spread out in an even layer. Sprinkle sugar on the surface as desired. Bake for about 40 minutes.

Let cool in pan and cut.

Wikipedia: macha
I don't subscribe to spelling macha with a "t".

We're submitting this to Food Blogga's Eat Christmas Cookies event.

How to participate: click here.
Check out the round-up of all the cookies!

We're submitting this to Culinarty's Original Recipes.

More information here.
The Round-ups here.


  1. Oooh - cornstarch?! I made the regular Joy of Baking shortbread and loved it... I'll have to give this a try!

  2. Great idea! I love shortbread because they're the closest thing you can get to eating butter and sugar without feeling terribly guilty after wards.

  3. The matcha gives it such a nice color. I bet these would be fantastic with a cup of green tea!

  4. Those are cute. Very cute. I'm not sure if it's because it's my nightly snack time or what, but I want to take a bite right now. I have a bag of matcha (pilfered from my days working at Starbucks) in my pantry. When I find time, I will be sure to try these.

  5. Those look so tender and meltingly soft, TS! And I'm pretty sure they were indeed delicious :)

  6. oh oh oh...i really wanted to bake some cookies for this event too (and not the disastrous ones like the one i did)....wish me luck!!!

    i've never been a big fan of macha flavor, but i have a friend who's so absolutely nuts about it. she would definitely fall in love, head over heels with this one hehe

  7. Very unique! I have a lot of green tea powder at home, should try out too! Happy Christmas!

  8. Looks like you guys have the knack for baking after all! These are lovely. Thanks!

  9. Joelen:
    re cornstarch:
    Yeah, I read that it helps keep the texture nice and crumbly by preventing too much gluten development.

    Maybe if one doesn't see them being made. Otherwise, I know all too well that's it PURE BUTTER and sugar! ;D

    Marc @ NoRecipes:
    Of course! Green tea with green tea. =)

    Some were more melty than others. Although, actually, I didn't know how the texture was supposed to be. Teehee.

    Mochachocolata Rita:
    Make some more cookies! Try and try until you succeed? But hey, your cookies weren't a disaster after all!

    Merry Christmas to you too! =)

  10. I've made green tea ice cream which I love, so these sound wonderful!

  11. These look great! I must make tiny cookies because most batches I make give me 4 or more dozen. Maybe you should have cheated and cut them smaller?

  12. I really like the sound of matcha short bread!

  13. I've only tried something like this a few times but it was so good.
    Would never have guessed that you guys weren't bakers from the breads and cookies you guys make.

  14. Pam:
    I am definitely quite the sucker for macha!!

    I thought I cut them into fairly "OK" sized pieces. Hehe... One recipe yielded a 9"x13" rectangle.

    Thanks... We "try"? I guess? When we feel like it? ;)

  15. Love their colour, I bet they tasted just as good!
    Thanks for sharing them with the Original Recipes Round-Up

  16. I made these this past week and they were very addictive. If I ate one I had to eat at least 2-3 more. Simple to make and tasty, two things I love in a recipe.

  17. Anon:
    Good thing you could stop at 4 pieces! ;) Thanks for the feedback!

  18. hmmm...where can you purchase Macha? I am not familiar with it, but would love to track it down to make these irrestible shortbread. I live in North Vancouver, B.C.

  19. Anon:
    Macha is Japanse Green Tea that's ground into a concentrated powder.

    You can contact the following business and see if they have macha available for sale:

    T Tearoom
    1568 W. Broadway, Vancouver, BC
    (604) 730-8390

    Meinhardt Fine Foods

    Also, I'm not 100% if places such as T&T Supermarket (or other Asian supermarkets) carry it as well.

    Good luck!

  20. Many folks wonder what Matcha Green Tea tastes like. It is an often misunderstood, highly complex, alluring flavor. Chlorophyll together with amino acids supply Matcha with its distinctive rich taste. It has an initial astringent, vegetal taste which then gives way to a lingering sweetness. When Matcha is whisked with water in the traditional style of Japan, it is actually a very full-bodied green tea. The high intensity of your first Matcha experience can be compared to the first time you red wine or dark chocolate. When Matcha is used as in ingredient in baking, cooking, or beverages, the taste will become more subtle. It can add the unique flavor, (and generally the color), of green tea to a variety of creations such as ice cream, cupcakes, smoothies, a latte, or various different sauces.

  21. Yummy! love your macha shortbread, having a green tea in it makes it more interesting to me, as a tea lover like me, anything that has tea in it is must try.



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