Grilled as you like it

Matcha Cookies July 16, 2008

Since the new school year began in April, I have been joining my school’s cooking club after school on Wednesday afternoons. Their favorite dishes to cook are sweets and spaghetti. In preparation for School Festival they were baking cookies almost every week. I am looking forward to trying some new recipes with the club soon. However, summer vacation starts next week, so cooking club will probably be on break until late August.

One cookie recipe that we tried that I really liked was “Matcha Balls.” The cookies remind me of Mexican wedding cookies, but less sweet, and with matcha and almonds instead of cinnamon and pecans. They have a lovely pale green color, which contrasts nicely with a dusting of powdered sugar. The recipe is really small so that you can fit the whole batch in a tiny Japanese oven, which is just slightly larger than a toaster oven, but with two shelves instead of just one. Following the original recipe, the cookies weren’t very sweet, so I increased the amount of sugar from 20 grams to 30 grams (that’s just shy of a quarter cup). If you have an American-sized oven, you could probably comfortably double or even triple this recipe. One note, make sure to bake the cookies for the full 20 minutes. Although they shouldn’t brown at all, they should be dry all the way through. If they are undercooked the texture will be a bit pasty in the center.

The recipe calls for hakurikiko, or weak flour that is available in Japan. This is probably similar to cake flour in the US. The cooking club actually uses all-purpose flour and the cookies are fine that way too. The cooking club also tried a version that omits the almond dice, and those are delicious as well.

Matcha Cookies
makes about 20 small cookies
Adapted from いつでもクッキー、どこでもクッキー

60 grams butter, softened at room temperature
30 grams powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon matcha
90 grams hakurikiko (low-protein flour, weak flour), sifted
30 grams almond dice (or chopped almonds)
additional powdered sugar for sprinkling

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 160° C (320° F).

In a bowl, mix butter and sugar with a whisk. Use a small strainer to sift the matcha into the mixture. Mix until the matcha is evenly distributed.

Stir in the almond dice. Then stir in the flour. Use a rubber spatula to gather the dough together.

Roll the dough into 2 centimeter balls. Place the balls on the baking sheet about 1 to 2 centimeters apart.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven and cool.

When cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar.


6 Responses to “Matcha Cookies”

  1. Those look so yummy! I love the taste of matcha.

  2. David S Says:

    Hi Laurel,

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! I just tried this out using American cake flour and powdered sugar.

    The resulting cooking dough seems to be looser than what you’re getting with your Japanese ingredients. I refrigerated the dough before forming it into balls. In the oven, the balls flattened out into matcha cookies, which didn’t really resemble your matcha balls.

    The matcha cookies tasted fine, but they didn’t look as nice as yours. Apparently some adjustments are needed for American ingredients.

    Does your hakurikiko packaging indicate how much protein it has? The Softasilk bleached cake flour I used has 2g protein per 29g flour.


  3. laurel Says:

    Hi David,
    I checked my bag of hakurikiko and it doesn’t indicate how much protein is in it. Maybe try using unbleached all-purpose flour instead? I have seen the cookies made with all purpose flour and they are fine too. Another tip would be to make the balls smaller (if I make them larger they tend to spread more). The dough is usually fairly soft so I sometimes refrigerate it on very hot days before I form it to keep my hands from getting greasy, but it shouldn’t be unmanageable at room temperature. If your dough is very loose, try adding a bit more flour until it comes together.

  4. laurel Says:

    update: the homemaking teacher at my school recommended that regular (all purpose) flour can be substituted for hakurikiko.

  5. vinci Says:

    i tried this recipe and it tured out perfect… what i did was use the ratio and make it into cups instead, so for 30g i used one cup for 60g i used two cups… the dough was stuff enough and the balls turned out soo cute… i think all purpose flour is okay


  6. Anita J Says:

    I tried this recipe with a little bit more flour to maintain it’s ball shape, and substituted walnuts for almonds. It turned out looking so cute and still as tasty! They’re great to make as gifts during the holidays instead of the usual department store purchase.

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