Friday, December 18, 2009

Matcha (Christmas) Cookies

This will be the last pictures and recipe of Christmas cookies for this year (apart from the video tutorial which I probably won't have time for before Christmas), I promise, but I was very excited about my "invention" and the overall outcome of the matcha cookies:

matcha cookies (onemorehandbag)Working playing with the matcha powder and the way the dough and marzipan easily transformed into playdoh-like green matter was pure fun:

green matter (onemorehandbag) The recipe produced about one sheet of filled, i.e. double-tiered, and one of plain cookies.
matcha cookies filled and plain (onemorehandbag)The whole decororation-thing was actually just an excuse the mape-leave shaped food-cutter (I assume it's used for fish-paste or other savoury food rather than for marzipan in Japan) I bought at a grocery market near the famous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. The little thing was surprisingly expensive. I can't remember the exact price, but it cost more than € 10.

cutting edge (onemorehandbag)

Ingredients (cookies)

200g cold butter cut into cubes
1 heaped teaspoon of matcha powder
400g flour (plain)
150g sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 egg

Ingredients (marzipan decorations)

250g marzipan
1 heaped teaspoon of matcha powder
icing sugar


Add the matcha powder to the flour and blend well. Combine all ingredients to a smooth dough, using first an electic mixer, then elbow grease. Roll into a tight ball and wrap with clingfilm. Let rest in the fridge for at least an hour. Unlike other buttery doughs, this one did not stick on the worktop at all, quite surprisingly.

Knead the marzipan with the matcha powder and a bit of icing sugar, wrap with clingfilm and store in a cool place (or the fridge) until you need it.

Preheat your oven to 200° (fan setting: 180°) Cut off half of the dough. It will probably be rock-solid when you take it out of the fridge, but this is normal. Leave for some minutes until soft enough to knead through. Roll out on a floured surface and use your favourite cookie cutters to cut out nice shapes. When all the dough has been used, work with the remaining half. Bake for 10 mins approx and be careful that the surface does not get too brown. Actually, it should not get brown at all as we want (pale) green to be the dominant colour. I used greengage jam as a filling for some of mine, but they actually taste nice plain as well.

Roll the marzipan out with some icing sugar to prevent it from sticking to your worktop and cut out small shapes. My Japanese cutter thingie was actually quite tricky as I had to get out the little shapes with the aid of my pinkie. If the marzipan sticks to the cookies on its own, fine. If not (as was the case with mine) use a tiny bit of jam as "glue".

Store in a tin between layers of greaseproof-paper and leave to soften for a couple of days.


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