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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Matcha Shortbread

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Everyone loves matcha, right? Not exactly. What I didn't know until very recently is that there's another  type of creature that may very well look human, but looks can be deceiving. These 'people' may walk and talk and may even sip a bit of green tea every now and again, but, scandalous as it may sound, they don't like matcha.

It seems that matcha is an issue almost as divisive as cilantro, Wikileaks, and Justin Bieber. Personally, I love the stuff. There's something about that electric green powder that has me hooked. I just can't get enough. Give me matcha-whiskey macarons, matcha lattes, matcha anything, really (well, maybe not matcha-scrambled eggs), and I'll be a happy gal.

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 My roommate, Blair, falls into the other camp. She wrinkled her nose at the mere mention of the slightly bitter, slightly smokey stuff. While I'm more than happy to appease my friends' cravings- I can't tell you how many times I've made peanut butter blossoms for my friend Taylor- I decided to forge ahead with my one-track-matcha-mind. I deserve cookies too, don't I?

So, for those of you who fall at the feet of the matcha gods, I have a recipe for matcha shortbread. It's a lovely accompaniment to a mug of green tea, and they keep for ages. And, if your roommates are like mine, you might get more to yourself.

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  Matcha Shortbread
Makes about 4 dozen

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons matcha powder
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar, to coat the dough

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together powdered sugar and matcha powder. Beat in butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Mix in vanilla extract. Shape dough into a large, flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Once dough has chilled, roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a small cookie cutter to cut cookies into shapes (because I have a ghetto, ill-equipped kitchen, I used a water bottle to roll out my dough and the top of a nutmeg jar to cut them, and it worked just fine). Roll each round of dough in granulated sugar. Place on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes until firm to touch and beginning to turn golden at edges. Let cool on a wire rack.

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