Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Matcha Almond Cookies

First of all, matcha is finely milled green tea. 

I actually made these ages ago. So I made a batch of cookies for my friend in Glasgow. Cookies are my go-to gifts for people because they’re so incredibly easy to make and so versatile. Unlike other baking, it’s not as much of a science (obviously depending on the type of cookies you make), so it allows a lot of room for experimentation. Find a good basic cookie recipe, leaving the ratio of the wet ingredients and dry ingredients relatively the same, and you can let your imagination go wild. 

I love matcha, Starbucks in China has this amazing matcha latte, which is essentially just matcha powder + sugar + hot milk. It can be an acquired taste because I find that it’s mainly us Asians that like it. The matcha latte – not everyone likes, but matcha flavored desserts are popular amongst all sensible people.

Matcha is complemented by delicate flavors, like fruits and soft spices. It pairs especially well with citrus notes, like lemons. Matcha and lemon zest are always together in my puddings. It’s like salt and pepper; Hans and Gretel; Mickey and Donald. I find one just lonely without the other. For these cookies I’ve experimented with the addition of cardamon as well. It’s always a safe addition to most desserts; it adds an exotic note that really spices up your dish. Try adding it to your average old custard or rice pudding.

When thinking about what ingredients go together just think about the ones that you can already find. With matcha, think about Twining’s wide green tea range – Green Tea with Pomegranate, Green Tea with Mango, Green Tea with Pear and Apple etc.

Prep time: 10 min  Cook time: 10 min  Makes: about 20 cookies  Suitable for: gastronomic gifts

½ cup flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
1tbs matcha powder
pinch of salt
½ tsp ground cardamon
Zest of 1 lemon
110g butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup caster sucar
½ cup flaked almonds

In a large bowl, mix the flours, matcha powder, ground cardamon and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Combine the two mixtures with the addition of lemon zest and flaked almonds. And you’re pretty much done!

Form it into a block, wrap it in clingfilm and leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours to harden. Afterwards cut into half a centimeter squares, or rectangles, or whatever shape depending on how you shaped your block. Line the cookies on a baking sheet and put into a preheated oven of 180 degrees. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Mmm then you just get these green crispy gems that go beautifully with your tea, coffee or milk

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