December 20, 2015

Asian Christmas Cookies

I've been a huge fan of Food 52's Cookies of the World, which was the impetus for baking Italian Rainbow Cookies this holiday season. It came as no surprise to me when there was no cookie for Korea. Are there Korean cookies? All I can think of are rice cakes but those aren't exactly cookies...

So I decided to bake a cookie from a neighboring country in hopes of finding a cookie that the parents would enjoy (they're not big on sweets or cookies). Japanese Matcha Butter Cookies seemed like a perfect balance of sweet and savory to satisfy the palate of a non-sweets eater and I was excited to bake with matcha again.
I could have waited until I was reunited with my Christmas cookie cutters (they didn't make the cut when I moved down to Houston in August) but I was too impatient so I used my circle cutter and my cupcake cutter to make these festive cookies. Icing christmas decorations brought some holiday cheer to the cookies.
The Result: the cookies are on the drier side like a shortbread cookie. They aren't too sweet so icing is a must to balance out the bitterness from the matcha (unlike the pictures, ice the entire cookie). Not too shabby and they're so festively green!
Japanese Matcha Butter Cookies adapted from food 52 and The Kitchn
Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
6 tbs powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 almond meal
3 tsps matcha green tea powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

border icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs water or milk

flood icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbs water or milk

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. Then add in flour, almond meal, matcha powder and vanilla. If the batter is dry and isn't coming together, remove from bowl and knead dough until soft and smooth. Let dough rest in refrigerator for a half hour covered in plastic wrap if too soft.
2. Roll out dough with a rolling pin onto a lightly floured surface until about 1/3 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters.
3. Bake for 15 minutes until they are dry to the touch and still pale. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then let cool completely on a drying rack .
4. While the cookies are cooling, mix together powdered sugar, vanilla and water (or milk) for the border icing. Mix another batch with a little more water for the flood icing. Transfer to a piping bag with a small round tip (no. 1 or 2).
5. Once cookies have cooled, outline cookies with icing to create a border. Once the border has dried, to the touch, scoop a tsp of the flood icing into bordered areas. Spread icing with a toothpick until area is filled. Allow cookies to dry for at least a day so the icing doesn't smudge or nick.
6. Enjoy!

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