Matcha (Green Tea) Cookies

Matcha is a Japanese word that literally means “powdered tea.”  But unlike traditional green tea (which is created by steeping the leaves in hot water, then drinking the infusion – and discarding the leaves), Matcha is a beverage made by dissolving the powdered green tea leaves into the hot water, and drinking the liquid, dissolved tea leaves and all. Matcha can also be used to make other, non-beverage recipes, like these cut-out cookies:

2 Cups flour
1/2 tsp fine Sea Salt
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp green tea powder (matcha)
1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

In medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In large bowl, use an electric mixer, on low speed, with the paddle attachment to cream the butter until smooth. Add the almond and vanilla extracts, then add the dry ingredients, about 1/2 Cup at a time, until all ingredients in the dough are fully combined. Use a spatula to shape the dough into a ball, then wrap the dough-ball in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place unwrapped, chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the dough, and roll it out to about 1/4″ thickness. Cut out shapes with floured cookie cutters, or “freestyle” shapes by hand using a sharp paring knife.

Arrange cookies, about an inch apart, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake until cookies are golden around the edges, about 15-18 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven, and transfer cookies to a wire wrack to cool.