Rich, crumbly, and not too sweet matcha checkerboard shortbread cookies. Super easy to make and you can use up your matcha making cookies to share with friends.
Do you love shortbread cookies? And do you love matcha? If you said yes to both, then you are going to love this matcha checkerboard shortbread cookies. They are so crumbly, and so melt-in-your-mouth. The cookies are not too sweet, which can be dangerous since they disappear so quickly before I even realize I have eaten half a dozen cookies before I stop myself. :D
Good Matcha is a Must
If you have been flummoxed trying to get that elusive bright green color in your matcha, then you are not alone. I am by nature (or is it by nurture?) a very frugal person. The first couple of times when I shopped for matcha, I used to choose the cheap kind, and they always ended up looking brownish and the tea I made with them felt slightly gritty. Well, lesson learned. Now I know better to look for good quality matcha so I don’t end up disappointed. You can try this culinary grade matcha from Maeda-en if you are still looking. Or if you are a Costco member, I recently bought a huge 12 oz packet of Ito En Matcha for less than $30, super great quality at an unbelievable price.
Not Too Sweet Cookies
Once you have read enough Japanese recipes, you get this concept of not-too-sweet dessert/snack/sweet/cake/e.t.c. I don’t grow up in Japan, but my Mom is an expert in making not-too-sweet dessert, so much so that I now end up having to cook/bake all sort of sweets at home since store-bought ones feel too sweet for me. But, if you have a more normal palette, this cookie can be on the not-sweet side. In that case, feel free to increase the sugar to suit your preference. I would suggest adding 50% first, and if even that is not enough, go ahead and double the sugar.
Do Watch Your Oven
In the recipe, I states that the cookies need about 15 minutes of baking time. Know that oven can varies, and yours might need slightly less or slightly longer. But regardless, do start to watch out at around 12 minutes mark. For this particular batch, it took about 18 minutes, but I think the edges are a bit too brown. ;) I looked at the cookies at 12 minutes, decided they need more time, and added 5 minutes. Haha, shouldn’t have done that, should have added just 3 more minutes like I usually did. But, there will be plenty more batches since these quickly disappear into thin air around here.
Matcha Checkerboard Shortbread Cookies
- 140 gram (5 oz/1.25 stick/10 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened
- 30 gram powdered sugar (1 oz/0.25 cup ) (*)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 240 gram (8.5 oz/2 cup) all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon matcha
- Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, beat again until creamy.
- Whisk together all-purpose flour and salt, then slowly add to the butter mixture until the dough becomes lumpy. Now use hands to knead into a smooth dough.
- Divide the dough into 2 portions. Add the 1 tablespoon of matcha to only one of the cookie dough, and knead until the color is uniformly green.
- Divide the regular dough into 2 portions, and the matcha dough into 2 portions. With the help of saran wrap/parchment paper, shape each into a 12-inch long cylinder. Stack the four cylinders together to create the checkerboard pattern, gently pat so the 4 cylinders stick together.
- Wrap the shaped dough with saran, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours (I usually just leave them overnight).
- Preheat oven to 180 Celsius/360 Fahrenheit, and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove cookie dough from the fridge. With a very sharp knife, slice the dough into 48 equal slices (each about 0.3cm or 1/8-inch). Arrange on the lined baking sheets.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or just until the edges are slightly browned.
- Remove from oven and cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve and store any leftovers in an air-tight container.
- (*) This amount of sugar produce shortbread with only a hint of sweetness, which I really like. If you prefer sweeter cookies, you can easily increase the sugar amount by 50%.