February 10, 2013 marks the first day of the Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is the biggest Holiday in many countries in Asia, pretty much like Christmas or Thanksgiving in the United States. I love all kinds of holidays, which gives me more
Another tradition on the Chinese New Year is that the families are to visit the oldest and most senior members of their extended family, usually their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents and so forth. Along with our visits, we always bring some delicious treats. Boy, our culture really value sharing food and treats with our loved ones! I created these Matcha Shortbread Cookies to celebrate this special time of the year.
With the same cookie dough, I made two variations of these cookies; one with vanilla sugar coated on top and one without (see the close up picture below). They are both lovely. The one with the sugar coated gets an extra crunch from the sugar and just a tad sweeter. These cookies are not overly sweet to start with, so, even with the extra sugar coating, they are still pretty well balanced. I can’t decided which one I like more. They are equally good to me.
Since it's the holiday season, I'm feeling extra generous. Sorry, it's not that I have a red envelope for you, I've got to save those for my kids. But, it's a great tip that you'll love to know for making rolled out cookies, such as this one. Here's my tip: Roll your cookie dough between two plastic wraps. That way, you can roll the dough easily without using extra flour on your board or rolling pin. Why is that important? Without adding extra flour to your dough, it means that the rolling process won't change the texture and taste of your dough. You can roll and re-roll the scrapes from the cut-out dough as many times as you like, which means no wastage! As your dough getting softer from re-rolling, you can simply pop it back to the fridge to harden it up a bit and roll it again. Additional advantages of rolling dough between the plastic wraps are that it's super easy to roll and the dough won't stick on the board/roller which minimize tearing of the dough. So, there you have it. I think the tip is way better than a red envelope!
Are you ready to come into the kitchen with me to make a batch? Here’s what I did:
1) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the powdered sugar, matcha and butter together until light and fluffy.
2) Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract until fully incorporated.
3) Scraped the sides of the bowl if necessary. With the mixer on low, add the flour slowly until just combined.
4) Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it into a disk. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until it is firm.
5) Preheat the oven to 345°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Place the vanilla sugar onto a small shallow dish, if using. Roll the dough between two plastic wrap to 3/8 to 1/2-inch thickness.
6) Use a small cookie cutter (I used 1 ½-inch ones) and cut shapes from the dough. Place cut out dough onto prepared baking sheet, at least 1-inch apart.
7) If using sugar coat, gently press cut out dough onto sugar before placing on the baking sheet.
8) Bake 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottom and edges are slightly golden. Cool completely on wiring rack and enjoy.
Pretty simple right? The Matcha aroma really shines through in these little cookies. I truly enjoy the flaky texture and buttery taste as well. I hope you’ll give them a try soon. Before we go, I would love to wish all of you a healthy and fruitful new year (Gong Hay Fat Choi!) 祝大家恭喜發財, 龍馬精神, 身體健康, 步步高升!