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thank you so matcha!

Recipe: matcha green tea shortbread cookies

Someone has been doing their snow dances, because we are finally seeing a little winter love over here. Last week it snowed a nice half-foot at the local hill. I knew it was going to snow. You see, every time Kat comes to visit Boulder from Colorado Springs, it snows!

of course, the winds were not far behind

It mostly cleared up by the time Kat arrived for lunch the next day. We are huge fans of The Pinyon, but when they announced the start of lunch service in the new year we promised one another that this would be our next get together. I mean, a favorite resto that serves my favorite meal of the day? Booyah! We met up with two other fascinating and uniquely wonderful friends: Butter (how can you not love a girl who goes by the name Butter?) and Michael.

we all shared the fried brussels sprouts leaves salad, which was *amazeballs*

my shrimp po’ boy

Jeremy returned from travel and we spent the weekend driving to and from IKEA, disassembling and reassembling the house, working, and waiting for more snow. It was warm, windy, and not snowing.

while we waited: dramatic cloud formations at sunset

a little pink afterglow

But it did start snowing this morning on our backcountry ski and it continued to snow all day, dropping a few inches in the neighborhood and more in the mountains. Our winter weather pattern in the Colorado mountains is mostly like this: if it isn’t snowing, it’s sunny. Sometimes it’s both snowing AND sunny. Usually when it snows, it tends to be overcast and cold. That’s how we like it. Jeremy invariably makes himself a hot cup of coffee or tea when he comes inside from the cold, and if there is a sweet nibble of cookie, cake, or pastry to be had, his day is pretty much golden. I figured, if one likes tea and cookies, surely one would like tea in cookies!

flour, butter, sugar, confectioner’s sugar, egg yolks, matcha green tea powder

mix the matcha and confectioner’s sugar together

I’ve had this recipe on my “to try” list for years. I don’t know why it was buried for so long. I love matcha green tea anything because it’s such an easy and lovely “Asian” ingredient to incorporate into so many western desserts. And because this is a shortbread, I knew it would be reliable to bake at altitude with essentially no need for adjustments. You have no idea how much I love that.

beat the matcha, confectioner’s sugar, and butter until smooth

mix in the flour

add the yolks

The better the quality of your matcha green tea powder, the brighter green it should be. I used to have a heck of a time trying to find it, but these days it seems to be available in town (Boulder) and online. I purchased this batch from Whole Foods’ old coffee/tea counter in bulk.

gather the dough into a ball

form a flattened disc and refrigerate

You don’t have to use a cookie cutter. You can just as easily roll the dough into a log and slice it, or roll it out flat and cut it into squares or rectangles… but cookie cutter shapes are so fun and cute! I don’t own any 2-inch cookie cutters, so I used a tiny 1-inch cookie cutter (which is probably a fondant cutter or something). Small cookies are great because you make so many of them and they’re totally adorbs.

roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thickness

cut out the shapes

Unlike some cookies that don’t do well with recombined scraps, these were terrific. I’d cut out all of the cookies I could, then gently press the scraps together and refrigerate them, roll them out, and cut more cookies. Just try to avoid manipulating and mooshing the dough too much.

roll the cookie dough in sugar

place on parchment-lined baking sheet to bake

This shortbread has a lovely – almost brittle – crumble as you bite into it. Then it melts on your tongue (probably from all of that butter) and releases a flood of vegetal, green, earthy, bitter, sweet. These little matcha green tea shortbread cookies are ideal for popping into your mouth, chased by a swig (or sip) of hot tea. [Note: I noticed the flavor of my cookies changed after 3 or 4 days – changed to an off-taste. I’m not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but I’d love to know if you have.]

a little tea time

matcha green tea shortbreads

Matcha Green Tea Shortbread Cookies
[print recipe]
from Lovescool

3/4 (2.25 oz.) cup confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 tbsps matcha green tea powder
10 tbsps (5 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cup (8.5 oz.) flour
3 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar (to coat the dough)

Whisk the confectioner’s sugar and matcha powder together. Beat the butter and matcha sugar mixture together in a stand mixer (use paddle attachment) until the butter is smooth and light. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Mix in the egg yolks until they are incorporated and the dough comes together. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it into a thick disc. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until it is firm. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness. Use a small cookie cutter (about 2-inches) to cut shapes from the dough. (*Note: I didn’t have a 2-inch cookie cutter, so I used a 1-inch cookie cutter and it worked quite well.) Roll the cut shapes in granulated sugar and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes (13 minutes for me) or until they begin to turn golden at the edges. Makes about 5 dozen 1-inch cookies (probably 3 dozen 2-inch cookies). Store in airtight container away from sunlight as the color will fade with exposure to sun.

50 nibbles at “thank you so matcha!”

  1. katherine says:

    These look really good :) I might have to try this one out! As I love green tea!

  2. Mrs Wibbs says:

    LOVE. This. Post.
    Must. Try. These. Cookies.

  3. L. says:

    I just made this about a week ago as well! Everyone loved it. Most of my cookies were gone by the third day, but when I had one of the couple cookies left I didn’t notice a change in flavor at all – maybe it’s the type of matcha you used?

  4. Melissa | Dash of East says:

    Oh my we are on the same wavelength! I just bought a little batch of matcha this weekend and I can’t wait to start cooking up some recipes with it.

    Love your shortbread cookies. Love the color. And love the cute flower shapes! <3

  5. Zita says:

    These shortbread cookies are so beautiful and I bet they’re yum too!

  6. Heidi @ Food Doodles says:

    Beautiful! I love the picture of just the butter, sugar and matcha. But the finished cookies are so pretty! I’ve been wanting to get some matcha to experiment with :)

  7. Claudia says:

    Oh, these cookies look so good. Can’t wait to try the recipe. You and Kat need to visit CA again. We could also use the snow! :)

  8. Margie says:

    These babies are cute! I’ve never used matcha. This will be a first for me.

  9. Donna says:


  10. barbara says:

    Pretty cookies. I use the roll log and slice method. Mine are 1/2 th thickness of yours. I don’t have a problem with bitterness as I keep them in the freezer and reove them as I need them. The defrost quickly. My recipe was given to me by a Japanese friend.

  11. Sharla says:

    Your pictures are always such a welcome feast for my eyes. Your recipes unusual. Your blog continues to be my daily-check in! Thank you so much, because I haven’t let you know in awhile ;)

  12. Ruth says:

    Need another photo (or two) of Kawheah! Miss that gal.

  13. Kristin says:

    I think I need to make them just because they’re so beautiful! As I don’t have a cute one inch cutter, I may have to follow Barbara’s tip & slice & bake….but the darn shape adds so much to the beauty!

  14. jo-lyn's cup cakes n' candies says:


  15. Suzy says:

    That totally makes me want to making a fried brussels sprouts leaves salad!! However, that looks like they PEALED off each leaf?? Is that even possible?! All the recipes I found said to cut in quarters… but I am SURE it will be much better if singly layered…

  16. Joy says:

    So so adorable.

  17. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence says:

    So adorable! And I love the shot with the creamed butter, sugar and matcha. What a color!

  18. katha says:

    that’s quite funny, because i want to make them for years now, too. so i think the time has come. i do know that changing matcha-taste from matcha-cake, i think it’s kind of an oxidation because the tea gets moist and has a huge surface what could be the reason why it oxidates within a short period of a few days.

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  20. kim says:

    I loooove matcha. The bitterness. The health benefits. The texture. Just the entire package. I remembered I used to get a matcha muffin studded with azuki beans when I was in Japan. Love that stuff.

  21. amy says:

    I made a rendition of these tonight. Thank you for sharing this!

  22. jenyu says:

    L – perhaps? I should try making another batch. I was saving them to share with friends, but after the taste changed, I had to toss them #sadpanda

    Melissa – thanks, sweetie!

    Heidi – it’s so much fun to bake with! I love matcha anything :)

    Claudia – absolutely! Although I will also encourage you and Michael to come and visit us in summer (the winds are insane in winter). xxoo

    barbara – aaaahhhhh! Great tip there, my friend. You are wise. I should do that next time. Thank you!

    Sharla – so sweet of you! Thank you xoxo

    Ruth – ha ha, I’ve been so busy preparing for the new year that I haven’t taken photos of her lately ;)

    Kristin – the shape is the total cute component!

    Suzy – I think you can lop the base and squeeze it apart to get the leaves. It was heavenly.

    Brandon – thanks!

    katha – yes, that could be it. Or the large amount of butter/fat coming into contact with the matcha?

    kim – oh wow, that sounds GREAT!

    amy – you’re welcome!

  23. Gali says:

    Wah! These look really awesome. I’ll have to try these one day (but a GF flour version, should work out fine though) – so simple, yet the green makes them stand out.

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  27. KiwiMonstar says:

    I’ve made stuff with matcha before, they tend to only be good for 5-7 days if left out of the fridge. If you want a longer lifetime from your cookies, toss them in the fridge and pull a few out at a time about half an hour before you want to eat them.

  28. Mary says:

    tried making these tonight and they weren’t very tasty ;( i don’t really know what i was expected especially since matcha isn’t that sweet. it’s probably operator error.

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  31. Lynnette says:

    Ohhh these look so good! :D I recently made some matcha shortbread cookies too in flower shapes as well! Can’t wait to check out more of your blog!

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  34. Alyssa says:

    Made these cookies tonight. DELICIOUS :) Thank you for sharing!

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  37. Alexis says:

    A lovely tea house in my city makes these! They’re very popular and so yummy.

  38. Jessica says:

    Was searching up ways to use up the egg yolks left over from my matcha macaroons and came across this lovely recipe. First of all, absolutely delicious! And about the matcha flavor, not sure if it applies here but when I utilize the matcha to make macaroons, the flavour actually takes 2 to 3 days to fully develop… perhaps that’s what’s happening here? But yes, I do love the shortbread cookies and definitely bookmarking this for future reference. <3

  39. pattyabr says:

    love this recipe! beautiful pic of the cookies!

    What is the brand of matcha you purchase. I’ve had a heck of a time finding an inexpensive brand at Whole Foods in Denver. I’m thinking of buying it online

  40. jenyu says:

    pattyabr – I just used the Whole Foods bulk matcha powder. I should also note, the one I used here was dull in color because it was an old batch of matcha powder. I found the new (bright pretty green) batch in my cupboards right after I posted this recipe (doh!) :)

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  43. HayleaLemons says:

    Made these just now! turned out amazing!!! Sprinkled a little extra matcha powder on top of them after they came out of the oven! :)

  44. Tara Whelan says:

    I love this recipe! I’m a Steeped Tea Consultant and I have made these a few times now and some Gluten Free! They turn out great and my customers love them. I have made them using flavoured matcha. Currently have Melon Mambo matcha cookies baking in the oven! Thanks so much for this recipe I mention this post when I serve these at my parTEAs!

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  47. Matty says:

    Hi, I tried this recipe but it did not work for me.

    Everything was okie till I put in 1 3/4 cup flour. It made everything super dry and eventually i did not get a dough but only crumbs…

  48. jenyu says:

    Matty – I would double check the amounts you used for all ingredients. Lots of times with shortbread recipes, the biggest culprit is not using the right amount of butter or flour. I’ve made this recipe multiple times, so perhaps give it another go with special attention to the measurements? Good luck!

  49. Erica says:

    Yup this is the winner. tried some other recipes and yes they were tasty but just couldn’t get that right texture for the cookie cutter. Usually to soft or runny. This one was great.Rolled it out & it was warm in my kitchen so blasted it in the freezer for a minute & cut my heart shapes easily. So much fun!

  50. Sophie says:

    I made these for a close friend of mine and he loved it! Said they were super addicting haha I would definitely recommend this recipe.

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