Exams are over and I can finally start my holiday baking. I planned to do the 12 days of cookies again this year but I'm running out of days before Christmas! I hope no one objects to two recipes today so I can catch up.
My original idea was to make green tea Christmas tree spritz cookies. Instead of using green food coloring, I was hoping matcha powder would give the cookies a natural green shade. Sadly, my Christmas tree cookie press disc was nowhere to be found so I used the wreath/flower disc instead (it's probably a flower but let's pretend it's a wreath). My green tea powder is technically not real matcha, instead it's a weaksauce green tea beverage powder so I had to use 3x (3 tablespoons!) what I normally would if I had matcha. Even with extra powder, the cookies only tasted faintly of green tea and instead of the lovely emerald colored cookies I envisioned, my cookies looked seasick with a sickly green tinge. Not exactly what I was hoping for but they're terribly addicting, with each cookie being bite sized, I easily ate half a dozen in one sitting.
I've written the recipe to call for a healthy dose of matcha but feel free to scale down if you want a more subtle green tea taste. The key to working with a cookie press is to use cool, ungreased cookie sheets. Do not use nonstick cookie sheets, parchment paper, or silicone baking mats because the dough won't stick. After baking, use a spatula and run it under all of the cookies before they cool, otherwise the cookie will stick to the cookie sheet when they cool and it will be nearly impossible to get them off. If you don't have a cookie press, you can use a pastry bag with a large star tip and pipe the dough into various designs.
Green Tea Spritz Cookies
makes nearly 5 dozen cookies with a cookie press
1 Tbsp matcha (green tea) powder
1 Tbsp hot water
1 1/3 - 1 1/2 C all purpose
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C unsalted butter at room temperature (1 stick/4 oz.)
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Dissolve the matcha powder in hot water and set aside to cool.
In a bowl, whisk 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour with the baking powder and salt. Set aside the remaining flour to add as needed to the dough later.
Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the sugar, egg yolk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and dissolved matcha. Beat until evenly mixed and fluffy.
Add the flour, baking powder, and salt mixture to the ingredients in the mixer bowl and mix until the flour is just incorporated. The dough should look shaggy and somewhat fluffy. If it is too wet, add a little more flour.
Load the dough into the cookie press barrel and press the dough onto a cold, ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 - 12 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden brown around the edges. Rotate the cookie sheet 180 degrees halfway through baking. After removing the cookies from the oven, run a spatula under all of the cookies to separate them from the cookie sheet. Cool the cookies on the sheet.
Cool and rinse off the cookie sheet before each batch.