I love a good shortbread. Give me a hot cup of tea with a splash of milk, a [giant] plate of shortbread cookies, some trashy TV, and I am set for the night. There is something about the plain but butter-rich crumbly cookie (is that enough description) that just pulls me in and keeps me there until only the memory of a full plate remains.
I decided the first couple of recipes of this years 12 Days of Cookiemas would tie in with some delicious coffeehouse favorites... specialty, snobby, #basic favorites. Moving along the tea vein from yesterday's chai tea spice oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (recipe here), I bring you a more subtle flavor... Matcha Green Tea Pistachio shortbreads. The only thing really reminiscent of Christmas in these is the green color the tea imparts, but why not mix it up a bit and take a step away from the spice? Don't worry, tomorrow's recipe will bring that back. :)
The Matcha powder gives these cookies a somewhat savory, grassy flavor but finishes with a little punch of sweet. The pistachio meal adds texture to these shortbreads, but also adds a nice nutty bite. A little extra salt make these a nice reprieve from some of the cloyingly sweet holiday treats. Great with any flavor of tea!! Best eaten by the dozen.
The Recipe: Matcha Green Tea Pistachio Shortbread
yields ~ 12-20 cookies
The Bits and Bobs:
7 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
6 tbsp powdered sugar
1 egg yolk, room temp
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp pistachio meal/flour (found mine on Amazon)
2 1/2 tsp matcha tea powder (I used Rishi from Whole Foods)
2 tbsp brown or turbinado sugar (whatever you have on hand)
Beat together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the yolk and beat until just combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, pistachio, salt, and matcha powder. Add to the the butter mix and beat until combined and a ball is formed.
Dump the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form into a log as best you can and wrap tightly with the plastic wrap. Freeze or refrigerate for 40 mins-1 hour or until firm.
Once firm, preheat the oven to 350*F and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
Unwrap the dough and roll in the brown or turbinado sugar, pressing down somewhat firmly to ensure the sugar sticks. Cut into slices, roughly a 1/4inch thick and place on baking sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Allow to cool for a minute or two on the sheet then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.