Many of my architecture colleagues will tell you that I worried more about baking enough matcha cookies than on how well I studied for my architecture finals. Instead of analyzing if a beam was statically determinate, I’d much rather be molding matcha batter into 1″ balls and sit watching them turn into this deep chartreuse color. Shipping to meet the Christmas deadline was much more of a priority than crafting a 1/4″ scale model by the architecture school deadline…. I’m very convinced that what saved me from failing my structures 202 and 302 classes were these cookies that I turned into the professor (as I turned in my exam)…yes, cookies can make up for points too.
I’m excited to share with you guys that these cookies is what also eventually started The ChefCharette. My lifelong love for drinking green tea developed into an obsession of baking matcha cookies. When I was 14 years old, I baked my first batch of matcha cookies in my dad’s kitchen and fell in absolute love with every moment spent with it: cracking one egg open, whisking in sweet homemade vanilla and almond extracts, measuring spoonfuls of fine matcha as the powder evaporated up into the air, swirling more matcha into a sweet matcha buttercream, and of course licking the green sticky batter off my fingers before sliding the trays of it all into the oven. It has always been this bliss, experimental project that I was eager to master. My dad and I realized it became an obsession once we realized I bought out all the boxes of matcha from our 2 local Japanese supermarkets and pulled an allnighter to ship the cookies a week before the Christmas deadline.
After constant experimenting of various grades and amounts of matcha, revising the recipe to this humble delectable one, I began to slip these cookies into paper bags and write personalized notes. Baking and bag-writing has always been my way to encourage friends and show a bit of my gratitude, love, and holiday spirit. This has become one of my favorite Christmas traditions.
For more holiday spirit, you can also easily prepare red bean filled matcha cookies. Just before rolling the matcha batter into 1″ balls, simply add in one teaspoon of adzuki (red bean) paste. Adzuki paste can be found in cans or airtight pouches in several international stores. Continue the recipe as follows and make sure you refrigerate any unused adzuki paste.
- 1 Large egg
- 1 tbsp Vanilla
- 1 tsp Almond extract
- 1 Stick of butter (4 oz butter)
- 1 1/2 cups White sugar
- 3/4 cups Brown sugar
- 1 tbsp Green tea powder
- 2 cups All purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Matcha (or however much you’d like)
Whisk wet ingredients (egg, vanilla, almond, and about 1 tsbp green tea powder) in a small-med bowl.
Using a hand spatula, cream together the creamables, butter and sugar, in a large bowl until its smooth and even.
Slowly mix in the egg, vanilla, and almond mixture into the sweetened butter mixture.
Mix the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and then gradually mix the dry ingredients into until well incorporated.
Using your hands, roll and shape balls about 1” in diameter.
Place them each about 2″ apart on a cookie sheet and bake at 350º for about 10 min or until the edges of the cookies are firm and golden brown.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let them stand for at least 2 minutes. then place the cookies on wire racks to cool.
- For a stronger matcha flavor, add in more matcha into the flour mix.
- The color of the cookie also depends on how much matcha powder and the grade of matcha you use.
- American stores have both green tea powder that is mixed with sugar, so be sure to choose pure matcha.