Happy summer sweet friends! Hope you’re having a lovely one (or a lovely winter if you’re experiencing it right now). Recipe experimentation has been on my agenda, and I’m happy to be able to share a new cut out cookie recipe with you – matcha sugar cookies!
If you’re not familiar with it, according to Wikipedia, it’s a “finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea.” (More info. on Wikipedia, here).
Besides putting it in my daily smoothies (there are a variety of health benefits), I have been wanting to try baking with it since I received a copy of Annelies Zijderveld’s book, Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea. Annelies shares a Green Tea Sesame Shortbread Cookie, which I’ve since made and love. Among the many intriguing recipes in her book, I can’t wait to try the Mini Cherry Chai Cream Pies with Sweet Tea Glaze. But I digress… The Green Tea Sesame Shortbread Cookies are scrumptious and literally melt in your mouth, and like my vanilla shortbread cookie, are perfect back drops for decorated cookies, but not quite as sturdy as my sugar cookie recipe. Because I wanted to try making lily pad cookies as a base for frog cookies, I knew I needed a stronger cookie. After some experimentation, I’m ready to share my version of Matcha Sugar Cookies. Thanks to Annelies for the inspiration!
And a huge thanks to T by Daniel for sharing their premium quality matcha with me! You have got to check out this amazing tea shop… Their tea is available online and if you’re near the greater Toronto area, it’s on Main Street in Brampton. Flavours like Guavalicious, Vanilla Coco Loco, Mr. Fuzzy Peach and Strawberry Champagne, and I’m super excited to soon be baking with their Apple Strudel tea… yes, apple strudel tea! You can browse all the flavours here if you’d like to check them out.
You can find the matcha I used from T by Daniel here. (Matcha Made in Heaven). You’ll notice the dough has really taken on the green tea matcha color.
Once baked the cookies still retained their green look, and tasted so yummy!
If you’d like to try the recipe and these cookies, here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tsps matcha powder (you can add more or less as desired)
- 1 tsp baking powder (*take this out if you don’t want your cookies to spread)
- 1 tsp salt
- Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed. (Use the paddle attachment). Mix until thoroughly incorporated – for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more. Over mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough. If you’d like a light and fluffy cookie, that’s ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you’d like the cookie to hold its shape.
- Add eggs slowly and mix. Add vanilla extract and mix. Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix briefly again.
- Sift your dry ingredients together. (Flour, matcha powder and salt. I do not use baking powder in my sugar cookies).
- Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Place a large tea towel or two small tea towels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won’t escape. Mix on low speed for 3o seconds. Remove the tea towels and observe the dough mixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment it’s ready. It’s also important at this stage not to over mix the dough (the glutens in the flour develop and the dough can become tough).
- Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
- Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
- Put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again. They will then hold their shape better when baked.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C.
- Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.
- Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate!
I used circle cookie cutters of various sizes for the lily pads, sometimes cutting a triangular shape wedge out with a paring knife. The frog cookie cutter is from How Sweet is That?
What you’ll need:
- Piping Tips #’s 1.5, 2, 3
- Piping Bags
- Gel paste colors
- Gumpaste or fondant for the water lilies and corresponding tools (see tutorial link below)
- Daisy cutters
- Yellow nonpareils for the water lily centers
- Isomalt or clear candies for the water droplets
This video on outlining and flooding is a good place to start if you’re new to decorating cookies with royal icing. These cookie decorating basics YouTube videos may also be helpful to get you started.
If you have some cookie decorating experience you’ll see that these cookies are simple in technique to make, so I won’t share a step by step process here. Please feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section. I sometimes also post videos on Instagram. (Click here if the video below doesn’t load).
A description on how to make candy or isomalt “water droplets” can be found here.
A video tutorial on making basic gumpaste or fondant flowers can be found here. For the water lily center, I rolled a small piece of gumpaste into a ball, wet it with water using a paintbrush (never used for paint), and rolled it in the yellow nonpareils. I placed the yellow ball in the center of a small, gumpaste daisy cut out, and wrapped the petals up the side of the ball.
To make the frog cookie stand upright, I used thick royal icing and piped a great deal of it behind the frog, to prop him up. I pressed the icing into the back of the cookie using a spatuala and a ball tool (any tool would work for this).
These were so fun to give away! I just made sure to note that I would recommend not eating the gumpaste flower (it dries quite hard). If you make yours with fondant you won’t need to be concerned about that. I also made sure to note the the icing holding up the frogs is quite hard… like a gingerbread house type icing instead of the icing on the frog and water lily surface.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop me a line below in the comment section or on social media. You can find me on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.
Happy baking and decorating!