Matcha powder adds festive color to these crisp butter cookies from Aiko Cascio, a Japanese cooking instructor with the League of Kitchens in New York City. Cascio learned how to make these not-too-sweet matcha tea–flavored cookies from a friend who owns a bakery in Tokyo, where they are popular during the winter holiday season. Matcha powder is made from finely milled green tea leaves and imparts a slightly bitter and earthy flavor to these cookies, and melted white chocolate boosts the sweetness and gives them a festive look. Due to the high ratio of butter in the dough, it softens quickly at room temperature; chill it in between rolling and cutting for clean cuts.

December 2021 / January 2022

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Credit: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Lydia Purcell

Recipe Summary test

active:
45 mins
total:
3 hrs 15 mins
Yield:
48 cookies
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Sift flour and matcha into a medium bowl, breaking up any clumps using a rubber spatula; set aside. Vigorously whisk butter in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar to butter, about 2 tablespoons at a time, whisking well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Whisk in egg until well combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, folding with a rubber spatula after each addition to form a shaggy dough. Using your hands, gently knead dough in bowl just until all dry ingredients are evenly incorporated and dough forms a ball. Flatten into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

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  • Preheat oven to 375°F with racks in upper third and lower third positions. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Unwrap dough. Place dough between 2 separate sheets of parchment paper, and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes. Cut out cookies using desired tree and wreath cookie cutter shapes (about 2 to 2 1/2 inches wide or long each). Arrange cookies at least 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Place cookies in refrigerator, and re-roll dough scraps; repeat cookie cutting process with remaining dough, chilling dough as needed.

  • Bake cookies in preheated oven until very lightly browned around edges and matte on tops, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheets between top and bottom racks halfway through bake time. Let cookies cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely, about 20 minutes. Reserve parchment-lined baking sheets.

  • Fill a small saucepan with water to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a simmer over medium. Place white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl, and place over simmering water, ensuring bottom of bowl doesn't touch water. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat, but keep bowl over warm water.

  • Dip cookies partially into white chocolate, or drizzle white chocolate over cookie tops. Let cookies dry on reserved parchment paper–lined baking sheets until white chocolate hardens, about 1 hour, or chill for 15 minutes.

Make Ahead

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Note

Unsweetened matcha powder can be found at Japanese grocery stores or online at curiospice.com.

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