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Matcha Shamrock Shortbread Cookies

Matcha Shamrock Shortbread Cookies
We're baaaaaack—I'm so excited to be spending time in the kitchen with my good friend Leslie from La Cocina de Leslie again (finally) for another edition of she made, ella hace! I don't know how it happened, but somehow SEVEN months has gone by since we last did a little kitchen collaboration. I tell you, time only goes faster with each passing year.

Since it's March, we decided to get in the Irish spirit and choose GREEN as our theme, in honor of both St. Paddy's Day and the start of Spring. I was totally down with this idea, because I'd been sitting on a bag of Matcha Green Tea Powder for a couple of months, just waiting for the right time to use it. Using it as a natural way to infuse green into some shortbread cookies shaped like shamrocks couldn't be more fitting.

This shortbread dough is perfectly buttery and delicate, flecked with tiny bits of almond, and the delicate taste of green tea lies subtley underneath. My oldest son and I are the shortbread lovers (total understatement) in the house, and we've both declared that these are our current favorites. We'll be making them throughout the year...shaped like shamrocks for St. Paddy's Day, leaves for the start of spring, pine trees for Christmas...or just plain slice-and-bake if no "special" shape seems to fit.

Matcha Shamrock Shortbread Cookies
This is actually the first time I've cooked with matcha since I've never been able to get my hands on any locally. So, a huge thanks to Aiya for sending me a bag to play with. I loved the feel, the color, the flavor; I can't wait to try it in more recipes! I'm no longer a greenie. Isn't that ironic.

Now that you've had green cookies, you should drop by and Leslie's place for a cocktail—a Cucumber Lime Margarita. I'd say that's the perfect way to celebrate either St. Paddy's or the start of spring with a Mexican twist!

Matcha Shamrock Shortbread Cookies (naturally green, dye-free)
Buttery, delicate shortbread flecked with tiny bits of almond and tinted naturally green with matcha green tea powder. Perfect for St. Paddy's Day when cut like shamrocks, but delicious any time of the year!
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Matcha Shamrock Shortbread Cookies
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 15 minutes + time for dough to
Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert soy-free vegetarian butter flour sugar matcha St Patricks Day cookie

Ingredients (4 dozen)
  • 400 grams (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, at soft room temperature
  • 200 grams (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar + more for work surface
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 400 grams (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 200 grams (2 cups) ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Matcha Green Tea Powder
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
Cream the butter and powdered sugar together until light, then beat in egg yolks until smooth. Add the flour, ground almonds, matcha, and salt. Use a spatula to mix as best you can, then use your hands to incorporate everything until it just comes together in a cohesive dough; don't overwork it. Dump onto a work surface and divide in half.

Lay out 2 long sheets of plastic wrap and place half the dough out onto each. Form each into a rough rectangle (or form them into logs if you want to slice and bake), then seal in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before moving on.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.

Working with one portion of dough at a time, set dough on a work surface that has been dusted lightly with sifted powdered sugar (I like to use my dusting wand). Roll gently until the dough is about 1/4-inch thick. Use cutters to cut out shapes (shamrocks for St. Paddy's Day, pine trees for Christmas, leaves for spring, etc) or just use a pizza roller to cut them into squares or diamonds.
Matcha shortbread dough, cut into shamrocks
Lightly dust any excess powdered sugar off of the dough and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they have a light golden tinge; they will feel soft, but get firmer as they cool. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Completely cool cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

-inspired by and adapted from a shortbread recipe in Do-Ahead Christmas by James Ramsden
Matcha Shamrock Shortbread Cookies
I received a bag of  Aiya Matcha Cooking Grade Green Tea Powder at no charge for the purpose of testing, and was not compensated for this post. All opinions in this post are my own.
Matcha Green Tea Powder