Lemon and Matcha Tea Cookies with Macadamia Nuts!

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Yesterday, I attended the West Coast Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, California. My home town.

Wow- I was so excited to see Matcha represent throughout. There was even a section dedicated to the glorious foods of Japan.

Matcha is a beautiful vivid green color powder that comes from tea leaves. Although it is green tea,–it is actually very different from the “green tea” that we drink form a tea bag or loose leaf. Matcha green tea leaves are earnestly grown, harvested, aged and   processed contrastive to that of its fellow green leaves.

Grown and dried in the shade, Matcha tea leaves are significantly cared for. After hand picked – one by one, the continue to dry in the shade then packed for a special of aging  process resulting in a deep, beautiful extrodinary flavor. Many experts still argue Matcha flavors are also affected in the final milling process. Despite technology, many agree   the ancient art of milled by stone is the best technique.

Matcha boasts extreme heath benefits and calms the body. Extremely high in antioxidants, this vibrant  green powder is rapidly gaining popularity in many other countries.

Don’t be fooled though, just like many ingredients in the culinary world- some grades of Matcha are better than others. When applying Matcha to a baking recipe try to use, organic  bright green powder such as Sugimoto America brand. You can purchase on-line if you are not local. This brand is my new go-to resulting in a spot on flavor and issuing a nice bright green color in all my applications.

If you are local to the Bay Area, you can find Sugimoto America Products at these amazing San Francisco Bay Area grocery stores: Mitsuwa Market in San Jose ( amazing by the way)

Nijiya – Another great market- I shop at the Mid Peninsula store in San Mateo, but check this locator link

And…. of course, the ever amazing and accommodating Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco.

 

Lemon and Matcha Tea Cookies with Macadamia Nuts!

 

Ingredients

6 cups, all purpose flour

6 Tablespoons Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder

3 teaspoons fresh baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 pound cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-2 inch chunks

2 cups granulated sugar or coconut sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract

1 lemon, zested  and juiced

1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

 

Method:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl using your your hand beater, cream the cold butter with the sugar until light and fluffy and sugar crystals are dissolved. About 2-3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time- beating in between each addition. Add the extract, lemon juice and zest. Scrape the bowl and continue to mix well to combine.

In an additional medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients and incorporate the matcha, baking powder, ginger and salt well throughout the flour.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two or three batches- mixing slowly until incorporated and dough just begins to come together— add nuts. Mix just to combine.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and quickly, by hand – knead until dough forms a ball. If you are using round cookie cutters, flatten and shape into a large 1/4 – 1/2 thick inch large square. Cut with a knife into quarters and individually wrap air-tight in plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 1 hour before rolling out.

Or roll into a log on parchment paper of plastic wrap. Seal in well and chill for a minimum of one hour up to ten days or store in airtight container in freezer. When ready to bake- thaw and slice to 1/4 inch discs .

Always preheat oven to 350’F degrees.

Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove and cool on rack.

Bake on a prepared baking sheet lined with  parchment or a silicon baking mat.

 

Note:

Always work quickly with this dough to maintain a manageable temperature. If dough becomes too warm it will become sticky. Continue to keep dough cold, by working only with the portion you need, and keeping the remaining dough air tight in the refrigerator.

Lightly dust all work surfaces and tools with flour.

 

Variations: 

Rollout to 1/4 inch thickness and use a 3-inch square or round cookie cutter. Sandwich with your favorite ice cream. See my how-to “Ice cream sandwich method” here

Roll into 1 inch balls, and dust with granulated sugar, before baking.

Shape into rectangle or squares logs before wrapping in plastic and chilling. Slice while chilled and bake for a unique cookie shape.

Use your favorite cut outs

Dust with sifted powdered sugar, after cookies have cooled

 

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