Post by Alison Hein.
While perusing the quaint antique shops in western New Jersey near the Delaware Water Gap, I came across a sweet little teapot, coffeepot, and dish set. The dishes were hand-painted with a cheerful floral design, and the stamp on the bottom indicated they were “made inJapan.” They weren’t a child’s set, but also not quite adult size – lovely and colorful. I suddenly envisioned the tiny pots filled with steaming brew, and the little plate laden with petite and alluring Green Tea Macadamia Cookies.
Matcha, the base of the cookies, is a finely-ground, powdered tea, historically used during traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. These days, however, matcha has come into its own. Updated and modernized (and sometimes sweetened), it makes an interesting and versatile ingredient for noodles, lattes, and sweet confections. Matcha’s increased popularity has made it easy to locate in local stores and through web searches. (Just google it, you’ll see what I mean). Exotic macadamia nuts add crunch and depth, as well as visual interest, to the finished cookies.
The trick to making these cookies is to shape the dough and refrigerate it until very firm. This makes slicing a snap, and produces lovely, round cookies. Also, keep a close eye during baking – you’ll want your cookies baked through, but not so browned that their lovely green color is compromised. The dough needs to chill at least 2 hours, but can be prepared up to a few days in advance, or even frozen. Then, when you’re ready for some exotic Green Tea Macadamia Cookies, just slice and bake for a petite, alluring breakfast in bed.
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon (green tea) sweet matcha powder
1¼ cups flour
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add milk and vanilla and beat well. Stir in matcha powder and flour. Add nuts and mix thoroughly. Roll and shape into approximately 2 8-inch long rolls, about 1½ inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill thoroughly, at least 2 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°. Cut cookie rolls into “generous” ¼-inch thick slices (more than ¼ inch but less than ½ inch). Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are golden. Remove to wire rack and cool.
Makes about 35 to 40 cookies.