Green Tea Almond Cookies

 Alternative Title: Her Green Tea Obsession, Part 1

Green tea ice cream. Green tea Pocky. Green tea KitKat (Someone, anyone, please please find some and send it to me).

I am a weak, weak woman and can easily be bribed with the anything green tea-flavoured (and many other things actually but those are for another time). Despite my obsession, I don’t actually drink a lot of green tea myself. Now, I would never turn down a perfectly good cup of green tea, but, um, could I have some black tea instead?

Upon my return home, I was rifling through our cupboards in search of snacks and found the tiniest canister of matcha. I found it unopened, hiding behind numerous boxes of tea. Matcha is powdered green tea, used in tea ceremonies and confectionery pursuits. Combine it with hot water and you have a perfectly good drink. Mix in a few pinches in your vanilla ice cream and you have my cheapo version of green tea ice cream. This particular canister was part of my mom’s tea splurge from a while back. She had bought it but didn’t know what to do with it.

Well, okay mum, I guess I can find something to do with it…

Matcha infuses anything with a grassy green colour, as you’d expect. The powder should be nice and brightly coloured and have a sweet aroma.The flavour of green tea itself is pretty mild and you have to be careful about overpowering it with other components if you plan to bake with it.

Unbaked cookies

Cookie dough, ready for the oven

These green tea almond cookies give off a hint of green tea and stand out on any dessert platter with their unique color. They are crumbly and soft, a perfect mid-afternoon snack with tea or coffee. If you’re looking for a stronger tea flavor though, you might want to search for turn to produced goods. You could certainly add a lot more powder as well, but for me, here in Ohio, the stuff is expensive.

Almond meal is the backbone of this cookie and I would caution against substituting it with another type of flour. The meal lends a certain moistness separates it from mere shortbread.

Green Tea Almond Cookies

Adapted slightly from Kiran Tarun
Makes 25 cookies (I ended up with about 20 big cookies)

1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup almond meal
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons pure matcha green tea powder
1/3 cup whole almonds, chopped*

 *I had omitted this in my cookies and they turned out fine.

In a stand mixer fitted with paddle, or with spoons and some elbow grease add butter, sugar and light brown sugar. Cream on medium speed, until fluffy for about 1 minute.  The butter should be smoother and light brown color. Stream vanilla extract and egg and continue to beat until combined. Whisk in the matcha as well.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, almond meal, salt and baking soda. Add the sifted ingredients and chopped almonds into the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Do not over-mix cookie dough.

At this point, I let the dough rest for about two hours in the fridge. You may skip this step, but this allows the flour to absorb the liquid goodness in the dough and usually makes for better cookies.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet, as I used.

Scoop cookie dough with a small ice cream scoop or two spoons onto baking sheets, leaving about two inches between scoops. Using a fork, gently press down onto cookie dough to form a disk. Imprint horizontally and vertically.

Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes. The cookies will be softer than you expect and not so dark, but they will finish as they cool on the baking sheet. After five minutes, remove from the sheet and let cool on racks.

Green tea almond cookies

As the original author intended, enjoy with tea or coffee. Or perhaps if you are daring, create the ultimate ice cream sandwich with a thick slab of green tea ice cream in between two of these darlings.

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