Bebe Taian: Matcha + Mikan Cookies

October 3, 2012

Matcha + Mikan Cookies

Matcha + Mikan cookies! My local teahouse has plain matcha cookies, and they're so, so delicious and delicate. I have my own set that I'm working on for a new recipe involving orange marmalade (no mikan jelly here! -_-). But if you CAN get mikan jelly, please DO! Mikan is known here as a Satsuma orange, for the region they were first imported from, so if you get the chance to try one, you should. It's unlikely, however, that you'll find a species-specific jelly pre-made on the shelves at your local grocery.

MATCHA + MIKAN COOKIES:


2c flour (for once, I say use bleached flour. It has much less flavour than unbleached, leaving that for tea.)
1/2tsp salt
1/2c powdered sugar
3tbsp matcha powder (a specific variety of green tea)*
1c unsalted butter, softened
1/2tsp almond extract (the real stuff, not the imitation. They taste different!)
Extra sugar, for sprinkling
Mikan jelly, or orange marmalade (no HFCS, just oranges, pectin, and preservatives)
Plastic or something to chill the dough in

Soften the butter and beat it until fluffy in one bowl. Put in the almond extract and beat for another second or two. In another bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. This ensures even distribution of tea in the dough. Spoon the dry ingredients into the butter/almond extract bowl and beat together.

Divide the dough into two loaves. Somewhat flatten them and wrap them in plastic for chilling (takes up less room). Leave the dough in the fridge for about two hours, or until firm. Chilling the dough serves two purposes: 1) it's a sticky dough, and chilling it makes it somewhat less sticky; 2) the dough is delicate, and will burn easily. Chilling helps prevent burning it.

Now, here's the creative part: you have two choices: basic thumbprint cookies, or sandwich-style cookies!

For thumbprint cookies, use a spoon to get evenly-sized balls of dough onto your parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Then, using a finger or smaller spoon, leave an indentation on top of each cookie for the orange marmalade to settle into. Make sure you don't make the bottom of the indentation too thin, or the cookie will break. If you want to, sprinkle the dough with a little sugar on top.

For sandwich-style cookies, lightly flour your rolling surface, and roll your dough out to be approx. 1/8"-1/4" thick. You might have to sprinkle the top of the dough with a little bit of flour too, to prevent the rolling pin from sticking. Don't use too much! Then, cut out your cookies. It's a good idea if you use a simpler shape, so that when they become sandwiches, the cookies will be mirrored properly and fit together. These, too, you can sprinkle with a little extra sugar.

I have non-stick pans, but even so, if you *can* use parchment paper over your pans, you should. This dough is a bit delicate and finicky. Preheat your oven to 325F. Lay out your cookies. They don't expand very much, so you shouldn't need too much room between them.

Both types of cookies should only need 12-15mins in the oven, until the edges turn slightly darker. The thinner the cookie, the shorter the time. At around the 12-minute mark with the thumbprint cookies, I take them out and drop a heaping spoonful of orange marmalade into the centre of each cookie. Then I put them back in the oven for just a few more minutes until they are done. Every oven is different, so experiment with times. The orange marmalade will bake into this stiff, gooey jelly, sweet and tart and delicious!

With sandwich cookies, bake them all the way. Simmer the orange marmalade in a small saucepan until it bubbles before spreading a thin layer of marmalade onto one cookie. Then carefully flip another cookie on top and press together. If you find a better way to do this, let me know!

Matcha, in it's proper state! Look at that colour! <3
*A note about matcha: the colour of good matcha is very specific. If it becomes tan or slightly yellowish, it is old and stale. It must be kept in vacuum packs or in tightly sealed jars, or it will lose it's flavour. If your local Barnie's Coffee or Smoothie King-type place SAYS they have matcha ANYTHING, ask them to prove it. One shop boasted a matcha smoothie, and then showed me a pale seafoam green powder. That is NOT matcha. It wasn't even tea! I have no idea what was in the bucket, but it was NOT what was advertised! So when buying tea, make sure you get what you're paying for!

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