Sunday, November 22, 2009

Green Tea Shortbread Cookies

The original recipe was actually for green tea shortbread sandwiches, with a white-chocolate ganache as the filling. While I know that you can make lactose-free ganache by substituting fruit purée for the cream, I didn’t have time to start fiddling with that when I made these cookies. However, you should know that they are really not very sweet in and of themselves, and they are also quite brittle, so a sweet sandwich filling would have helped on both these fronts here. I sprinkled sugar on my cookies, which is optional, but recommended if you don’t do the sandwiches.

2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp unsweetened green tea powder (matcha)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (or cold lactose-free margarine)
½ tsp almond extract
superfine sugar, for sprinkling

Whisk dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a larger one, beat the softened butter with an electric mixer until just smooth. Add the almond extract, then all of the dry ingredients.

Divide the dough in half and shape into two discs, wrapped in plastic. Chill the discs for an hour or two in the refrigerator, or until completely firm.

Preheat the oven to 325 °F.

Roll the dough to your desired thickness on a floured board (I wanted to avoid staining my white countertop green). You will need to lightly flour the top of the dough and the rolling pin, too, before rolling.

Cut with cookie cutters into your desired shape, arranging them on baking sheets (You can line them with parchment paper is you want). Sprinkle a thin coat of superfine sugar over the cookies.

Bake them until lightly golden at the edges. For thin, small cookies, this took 15 minutes. The darker the edges, the more intense the flavour and, some say, the longer the cookies will keep.

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