Thursday, January 31, 2013

Matcha Shortbread Cookies (抹茶酥餅)for Chinese New Year 恭喜發財!


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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 excuses reasons to share wonderful treats with friends and family and indulge a little bit more without feeling guilty (although the feeling guilty part seems like never happened.)  It is the tradition that on the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families.  On the New Year morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year (Gong Hay Fat Choi), and receive money in red envelopes like those from the pictures below.  Last year when my hubby’s cousin visited us, she got us some newer design “red” envelopes with our family name printed on them (those with the purple background and red Chinese characters).  We loved them as we know those are quite impossible to find in the States.    

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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. 

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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.

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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!

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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.
 
Pictorial A

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.

Pictorial B

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!

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Matcha Shortbread Cookies (抹茶酥餅): (Printable Recipe)
Makes: approximate 60 1 ½-inch cookies

3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons matcha (Japanese green tea powder)
12 tablespoons (6 oz.) salted butter, room temperature
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (to coat the dough, optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the powdered sugar, matcha and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract until fully incorporated. Scraped the sides of the bowl if necessary. With the mixer on low, add the flour slowly until just combined. 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.

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. 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.

If using sugar coat, gently press cut out dough onto sugar before placing on the baking sheet. Bake 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottom and edges are slightly golden. Cool completely on wiring rack and enjoy.

69 comments:

  1. Wow Amy! The cookies look consistently thick and yummy!

    Gong Hay Fat Choi!

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    1. Thank you. Gong Hay Fat CHoi to you and your family too.

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  2. This would definitely make for an incredible new year!!!

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    1. Thanks, Belinda. Happy CNY to you and your family.

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  3. I love how these look! So scrumptious, and green!!

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    1. Thank you. I love that deep green too, all natural from the Matcha green tea powder. ;)

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  4. So pretty and fits snake year! Sorry, may I have your help to have the recipe in grams pls. Thank you! :)


    Chloe

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    1. Hi Chloe. Here you go with the ingredients in grams:

      3/4 cup powdered sugar = 450 grams
      2 tablespoons matcha (Japanese green tea powder) = approx 15 grams
      12 tablespoons (6 oz.) salted butter = approx 170 grams
      3 large egg yolks, room temperature
      1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract = approx 2.5 ml
      1 3/4 cup all purpose flour = approx. 218 grams
      1 tablespoon vanilla sugar = Approx. 12.5 grams

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  5. I've seen people use matcha in recipes, I just haven't tried it yet! Your cookies look absolutely lovely!

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    1. Thank you. Oh, if you love the matcha aroma, you've gotta give this a try. :) I need to make more for the CNY...they just mysteriously disappeared in my house too quickly!

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  6. These green tea cookies are beautiful, Amy.
    Gong Hay Fat Choi!

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    1. Thank you, Angie. Gong Hay Fat Choi to you too.

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  7. Amy , those cookies are pretty delicious ! I love drinking tea but haven't used tea powder in my bakes yet :P..... Your photos are gorgeous !

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    1. Thank you, Anne. You definitely want to give these a try. I love the green tea aroma in these cookies. :)

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  8. Hi Amy,

    These cookies look absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to try and make it. I love the red (purple) envelopes your husband's cousin had printed. It's so unique. =) You're right! You definitely can't find something like that here in the States.

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    1. I'm sure you'll love these cookies. The matcha aroma is wonderful. Yes, I love those red envelopes. I hope there will be more varieties in the States in the near future. :)

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  9. Oh, that's fantastic! This is the first year I won't be spending the new year with my family...but I'd love to make these and send them home as a new year gift. Thank you, Amy! I think they'll love these.

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    1. Oh yeah, these little cookies are wonderful. I'm sure your family will love them. Wish you and your family a wonderful CNY. :)

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  10. Gorgeous looking cookies, could do with a big plate of them right now.
    Happy Chinese New Year to you!

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    1. Thank you. Glad you like them :) Wish you and your family a wonderful CNY too.

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  11. I love the color that matcha turns things. Sounds yummy.

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    1. I agree. I love the deep green color from matcha. and the aroma is amazing too. :)

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  12. These look gorgeous! What a lovely colour and bet they taste fabulous too. Shortbread and matcha..yum.

    Nazneen

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    1. Thank you. Yes, the matcha aroma is lovely in these shortbread. :)

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  13. Awesome bakes & food shots, Amy! Great into on CNY too. Gosh, it's just next week! Busy, busy, busy! Hahaha! Well, I'm following u now on GFC & would love to have u follow me too. Have a wonderful week ahead, dear! xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Shirley. I love your blog, it's fun and informative. Thanks for following me on GFC. I'm your follower now. :) Wish you and your family a wonderful CNY!

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  14. Here where we live it's hard to find Matcha tea :/ yours look so lovely! I hope that one day i will be able to try it!

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    1. Oh...sorry to hear that. I know you can get the matcha online these days. This is the brand that I use. Hope you can give this a try someday. I really love the aroma of matcha.

      (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007A0PWG/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0007A0PWG&linkCode=as2&tag=a0464-20)

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  15. Hey Amy, happy Chinese New Year and gung hay fat choy! these shortbread cookies are absolutely delicious and since I like everything with matcha I'll definitely try out this recipe. Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe!

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    1. Thank you, Dear. Gung Hay Fat Choy to you too. :) I love the matcha aroma in these cookies. Hope you'll give them a try soon! Have a wonderful CNY celebration! ;)

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  16. Great photos! Happy Chinese New Year!

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    1. Thank you, Katrina. :) Wish you a wonderful weekend too.

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  17. Don't we all just love excuses to whip up treats in the kitchen :) The cookies look perfect :) Great pics too.

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    1. Thank you. Oh yeah...Those are the good excuses to have. Wish you a beautiful weekend ahead. ;)

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  18. These cookies and photos looks great! Thank you for the recipe!

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    1. Thank you. :) I'm so glad you like them. Wish you a wonderful weekend.

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  19. I love sweets with matcha! Your cookies look so cute and delicious! Wonderful way to start a new year. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you, Sissi. Glad you like these cookies. Happy New Year to you and your family. :)

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  20. Hi there Amy, thanks for dropping by at my blog. You have a really nice blog, I am your new follower :)

    Btw I think we have the same tea set.

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    1. Thank you for you kind words and following my blog. :) You have a beautiful blog too. Happy Chinese New Year to you and your family.

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  21. Amy, I think you know that I love anything with matcha flavour. Your cookies look super yummy! Oh the 'ang pow' look pretty too!!

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    1. Thank you, Ann. Yes, I really enjoy the match aroma in these cookies. Hope you'll like them. Happy CNY to you and your family.

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  22. these look wonderful :-) have a lovely new year

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    1. Thank you, Rebecca. Glad you like them. Hope you're enjoying your weekend as well.

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  23. Hi Amy, your short bread cookies look addictive. Look very pretty and lovely presentation. Great to go with tea.

    Have a nice week ahead,regards.

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    1. Thank you, Amelia. These matcha cookies are quite addictive, I have to agree. :P Thank you for stopping by and wish you a wonderful CNY!

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  24. These looks so divine.I should start baking cookies soon! Thanks for stopping by my blog so that I can discover your wonderful site. Expect me to stop by often.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment. :) I'm happy that you stopped by for a visit. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

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  25. I love the green tea! These are hands down beautiful and delicious!!

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    1. Thank you, Dear. Yes, I love the match aroma a lot too. :) Have a wonderful week ahead.

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  26. Love these little green tea shortbread! I can see them to be the perfect snack when people are visiting during CNY or great gift to bring to someone's home.

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    1. Oh yes, everyone is happy to get a box of these matcha shortbread cookies. :) Hope you're having a wonderful CNY weekend.

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  27. What a great idea to use Matcha in a shortbread! Love the looks of these cuties and I know the flavor is wonderful!

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    1. Thank you. Yeah, the matcha flavor was wonderful. :) Have a wonderful week ahead.

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  28. Hi Amy, this is first time I visit your blog. You have such a fantastic and lovely blog!!!
    I love everything with Matcha. Your Matcha cookies looks great and delicious !

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    1. Thank you, Esther. I'm glad you stopped by and thank you for leaving a sweet message. Wish you a wonderful weekend ahead.

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  29. great tip, and I learnt something new today as I have never heard of matcha before :)

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    1. The matcha is Japanese green tea. Really wonderful aroma and hope you'll give it a try someday. :)

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  30. I've never made these before, and definitely need to. Look yummy, and fabulous picture. Good stuff - thanks.

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    1. Thank you. Yes, I love the green tea aroma in these cookies a lot. Hope you'll like them too. Have a wonderful week ahead. :)

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  31. Amy, i made a similar matcha cookies too, yours also look so good !
    By the way, Thanks for your support given to my CNY delights event, appreciate much!

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