Classic shortbread cookies will never go out of style. The rich, buttery flavor and irresistible crumbly texture are incomparable. They are also very simple to make and lend themselves easily to variations.
Matcha is Japanese green tea that is finely ground into a powder and used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. It is very concentrated in flavor and color, and you will probably have to mail-order it unless you have a well-stocked tea purveyor near you.
|2¼||cups all-purpose flour|
|1||cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces|
|1 to 2||Tbsp. matcha (powdered green tea), to taste (see Note)|
|1||Tbsp. coarse sanding sugar, optional (see Note)|
As with all teas, there is a huge range of quality and prices. Ito En is a Japanese tea company that offers many matchas from which to choose. For baking, I like their Kiri No Ne matcha, which not only has a lovely color and flavor profile, but also happens to be less expensive than many. I suggest a range for the amount of the matcha; it has a distinct flavor that some might prefer on the nuanced side, in which case use the lesser amount. If you are a matcha fan, use the more generous proportion.
The optional coarse sanding sugar can be sprinkled on half of the cookies; after baking, when both the sugared and plain cookies are arranged on a platter, it creates a nice contrast between sparkly and matte. The sugar can be ordered from Beryl’s.
The leaf-shaped cookie cutter is a playful nod to that fact that these contain leaves — tea leaves. I used a “rose leaf” cookie cutter that is just shy of 2 inches long and 1 inch wide, which you can find at Beryl’s. You can certainly use a larger cookie cutter, or even a different shape, but the yield and baking times might change.
This content is from the book Unforgettable Desserts by Dede Wilson.
Change in our kitchens
Reflections on cooking — and a career that’s based largely at the stove.
The Food Corps co-founder
Flatbreads from around the continent
Beyond a supporting role