Honey, it’s green: Green tea – matcha – shortbread


I once saw a tv commercial for John Deere lawnmowing equipment. A man sitting behind the wheel of his car at a stoplight casually gazes out the car window and catches a glimpse of a John Deere lawnmower, a robust machine, a rich, deep green that is the John Deere signature. The man's wife exclaims, "Honey, it's green!" (referring of course to the stoplight); the man, coveting the John Deere, replies, "It sure is."

I have always found this rather silly but can't help but think of it when the words "it's green" come to mind or pass my lips. (Other than thinking fondly of Kermit the Frog, of course.)

In this instance, I have finally created the perfect matcha green tea shortbread cookie. I have done many previous green tea shortbread experiments in the past. They worked okay but the dough in most cases was somewhat difficult to work with. A lot more work than it was worth considering that only two colleagues had voiced any approval or desire for the very particular flavor of matcha.

Perhaps my luck has shifted because I sourced the matcha powder from a new and infinitely more wonderful place. In the past, my experiments were born of a kind of hatred. A guy who has come to be known as "green tea asshole" furnished the first batch of what was actually really superb matcha. But the guy was insufferable. Good riddance to him and to the matcha he brought. This time, a good friend, Katherine, who was living in the Vancouver, BC area so very graciously volunteered to send me some matcha powder, and she followed through. (Have you ever experienced the disappointment of someone offering to send you something and then realizing that they will never follow through? In fact, most people are very bad at getting around to sending anything.) I was delighted to receive this parcel, and even more delighted with the way the shortbread turned out this time.

My latest matcha/green tea shortbread cookie recipe, which I recommend:

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon matcha powder
10 tablespoons butter
1 3/4 cup flour
3 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar, for rolling.

Whisk powdered sugar and matcha together. Beat the butter together with the whisked dry mixture. Add flour until just combined. Mix in the three egg yolks. Form a dough and make a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 175C. Roll the dough out to about 3/4-inch thickness. Cut with your favorite cookie cutter (smaller is better) and roll the cut dough in granulated sugar. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake about 12 to 15 minutes.

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