Today marks day 4 of this craptacular cold of mine and I am none too thrilled about it. As you can tell by how late this post is going up I’m having a bit of a struggle with the situation. The worst part is I can’t taste things. So all of the things I had planned on making this week have pretty much been scrapped, since I can’t taste well enough to decide if they’re any good or not.
I thought I would attempt to cheer myself up a bit by baking some cookies. Easy peasy, right? You would think that. But have you noticed that I don’t have a lot of baked treats on this site? There’s a reason for that, actually there’s a couple of reasons for that. First, baking is not really my first love. I may be a geek and kind of a techy nerd, but baking is a little too exact for me. Baking is a science and you can’t really screw around with science without incurring a bit of a disaster. The other reason for my not baking (and this is the REAL reason) is given the size my ass is trying to become, I don’t think it really needs the excuse of baked goods for reaching its size goal. I figure if the rest of my body can’t realize its goal of living in a fantastic beach home on a private island in the South Pacific with Johnny Depp, then I’m certainly not going to help my ass grow to be the size of a small bus. You see, it’s all about teamwork around here.
But is there anything more cheery than a cookie when you’re under the weather? Well, maybe ice cream. So I decided to make my ice cream cookies again, but this time they would be green tea cookies instead of chocolate cookies. There’s just something about matcha powder in baked goods that I find so irresistible. It has to do with the subtle sweetness mixed with a touch of herbal flavor. I just find that combination so good.
Plus, earlier in the week I got a major score. One of my neighbors has a bunch of citrus fruit trees and he regularly puts out boxes of fruit for the neighbors to take. I traded him an empty gardening bin (calling him a gardener would be a major understatement) for a bagful of lemons and yuzu.
You may not have heard of yuzu before. They aren’t really available commercially here in the US. It’s a Japanese fruit that looks like a yellow Satsuma mandarin.
I knew the yuzu would taste fantastic with the green tea cookies. (Plus I am able to taste citrus.) I mixed up the yuzu juice with some powdered sugar and made a thick glaze to make sandwich cookies and added a bit more juice to make a thinner glaze for the glazed cookies.
Since I’ve worked with this dough before (it’s REALLY sticky), I knew that I couldn’t make cut out cookies. I’ve actually tried and it’s quite a disastrous mess. But this dough does have some interesting properties to it that allows you to use the same dough and create different types of cookies depending on how you roll it out.
These green tea cookies have all the flavor of green tea, but the cookies are not strikingly green like you may be used to seeing. Of course, sometimes that has to do with the matcha powder that you are using. They are a very pale, almost not noticeable green color (if you look at my pictures, neither batch looks green). I’m telling you this so you don’t think you messed something up.
The first batch I made were just plain green tea cookies. I used an ice cream scoop (a #1 – which is the small one) to scoop out the dough. Then I rolled it into a ball and dipped it into confectioner’s sugar. Rolled it a bit more and put it on the baking sheet. I gently flattened it a bit with my palm. These turned out to have a slight crust on the outside, from the sugar, and be light and cake like on the inside. I liked these so much, that I made another batch and made them into the glazed cookies you see above.
The third batch was the sandwich cookies. I used the same technique for rolling these out as for the plain and glazed cookies, but I only used a teaspoon of dough for each of these balls. I flattened them using the bottom of a heavy glass which made them thinner. These cookies also had a crisp outer layer, but the inside was moist and very light. They were practically a completely different cookie. They were almost elegant. Yes, I did eat the sandwich cookies with a cup of tea (just like in the picture). It was quite the elegant picture. Me, sipping tea with my pinkie extended my other hand daintly holding one of the sandwich cookies and hurrying up to put everything down and wipe my runny nose before it could drip into my tea. Yes, it would have made the Queen Mum proud. (or hurl)
You get a lot of cookies out of one batch of this dough, so you could make one type of cookies for the kids and one for the adults. Or in my case…all the cookies were for the adults…err…adult (me). Yeah, I shared with a few of neighbors…remember the whole ass discussion of earlier? Oh, and you could use lemons or limes in place of the yuzu. Even better would be Meyer lemons if you can get them.
You know that they say we all have a doppelganger out there somewhere.
Recipe: Green Tea Cookies: Sandwich, Glazed or Plain
Summary: Makes Approximately 4 Dozen Cookies
For the Cookies
- 4 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 3/4 Cup Almond Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Matcha Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar (plus more for rolling)
- 3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
- 14 Ounces Melted Vanilla Ice Cream
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
For the Yuzu Filling/Glaze
- 1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Yuzu Juice (for the glaze, you can add an additional tablespoon of juice to make it thinner or use it as is)
- In a large bowl add the flours, matcha, baking powder and salt. Use a fork to mix the dry ingredients thoroughly (this should take at least 1 minute).
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (or you can use a hand mixer for this) add the butter and sugar and beat until well creamed.
- Beat in the melted ice cream and the eggs. (If you’re using your hand mixer this is going to be a bit messy.)
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients in thirds and make sure all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed before adding the next batch. You’ll need to scrape down the bowl frequently while doing this step.
- Add in the vanilla and beat to combine.
- Scrape the dough onto 2 or 3 sheets of plastic wrap. There is a large quantity of dough and it’s much easier to work with in smaller amounts. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. (This dough is really sticky, so the more chilled it is the easier it is to work with.)
- Pour approximately 3/4 cup powdered sugar into a small bowl.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
- Open one package of the dough and leave the rest in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
For larger plain or glazed cookies.
- Use a #1 ice cream scoop or a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon for scooping dough into uniform sizes.
- Rub a little powdered sugar on one of your hands.
- Scoop out dough and roll into a ball. Drop it into the powdered sugar and coat the dough with the sugar.
- Remove the ball and roll it in your hands to evenly distribute the sugar. Lay the ball on a baking sheet that’s been covered with parchment paper or a silicone pad (Silpat).
- Press each ball gently with the palm of your hand to flatten them.
- These cookies don’t really spread when you bake them so you only need to leave about 1″ between them.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Cookies are done when they have a “dry-ish” look to them. They will not be brown.
- Continue this process for with the rest of the dough.
For the sandwich cookies.
- The process is pretty much the same except:
- Use a teaspoon to measure out the dough.
- Then use the bottom of a heavy glass to flatten the cookies (you may need to dust the bottom of the glass with powdered sugar from time to time if it sticks).
- Bake for 7-10 minutes or until the tops of the cookies have a “dry-ish” look to them. You do not want these to brown. If they do, the will be crunchy all the way through. (They still taste good, but they don’t have the same lightness to them.)
Make the Glaze
- Pour the powdered sugar into a medium size bowl.
- Add the 3 tablespoons of yuzu juice. (If you want to make the thinner glaze you can do that after you fill the other cookies. Or if you only want to make the thinner glaze, add all 4 tablespoons now.)
- Stir the mixture until all of the clumps are gone and it’s nice and smooth.
Filling and Glazing the Cookies
- To fill the cookies add some of the yuzu filling to one half of the cookie.
- Let it stand for 2-3 minutes and then put another cookie on top.
- These should completely set up in about 30 minutes.
- To glaze the cookies, make sure they are all on a cooling rack (so the extra glaze can drip off).
- Dip the top of the cookie in the glaze and let the excess drip off. Then, twist your wrist (to catch any leftover drips) and turn the cookie right side up. Lay it on the rack to dry.
- The other way you can glaze these cookies is to spoon some of the glaze over each cookie.
- These should also set up in about 30 minutes.
You’ll get roughly 3 dozen glazed cookies. Or 2 1/2 dozen completed sandwich cookies.
Preparation time: 4 hour(s) 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 12
Culinary tradition: USA (General)