Matcha Shortbread

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Matcha Shortbread

When you’re hosting a special guest in town for the weekend, whipping up goodies is a must. After all, even if our recently-erratic weather doesn’t cooperate, staying in won’t be so bad as long as there are cookies!

I wanted to try something new and, at the same time, indulge my passion for fusing ingredients native to different parts of the world. Matcha immediately came to mind. It has Chinese and Japanese origins and is made up of high-quality, whole tea leaves that have been finely powdered to create a more potent source of antioxidants than steeped tea. Matcha is rich in polyphenols, especially catechins, a vital antioxidant. Unlike some artificially-coloured green tea-flavoured confections on the market, pure matcha’s green hue is derived from its chlorophyll content. I would also recommend matcha to those looking for a gentle kick-start. Its caffeine content exerts a steady sense of uplift without the jitters that is commonly experienced with coffee.

I thought that the best way to showcase this superfood is in a classic shortbread. The simplicity of old-fashioned Scottish shortbread allows the earthy tones of matcha to pop. Also, the mildly-bitter notes of matcha pairs well with the inherent sweetness of shortbread.

Matcha Shortbread

Matcha Shortbread (24 cookies)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon pure matcha powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup softened unsalted butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, matcha powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer at medium speed, cream the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until fluffy.
  3. Lower the speed and gradually add the dry ingredients in until a dough is formed.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and form the dough into a 1 1/2-inch thick log.
  5. Tightly wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes, or until firm.
  6. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  7. Remove the dough from the freezer. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/2-inch pieces.
  8. Arrange the dough on a lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack.
  9. Remove, let cool, and enjoy with milk or tea.

P.S. My new recipes always require taste-testing and, fortunately, my friends (and my special guest) eagerly obliged. Thank you to everyone that tried these shortbread cookies – please leave me with your thoughts on them!

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