The first time I had green tea in sweets was during our trip to Hong Kong a few years ago. We loved the fast-paced, cafeteria-like bakeries we found on almost every corner. During one quick stop, I picked up a green tea cake with red bean filling, and loved it.
If you do a search for matcha green tea there is no shortage of sweets and bakery creations on food blogs. I’m actually a bit late to the party, but for good reason. I had a difficult time finding the powder around here. I tried to find it when I made the Green Tea Bubble Tea last year without success.
Now I know why.
Since my first experience with green tea baked goods was in Hong Kong, I was associating it with the wrong culture (shame on me). When Matcha Factorycontacted me to offer a sample, I learned a thing or two, most importantly that matcha green tea is of Japanese origin.
I’d wanted to bake with it for a while so I gladly took them up on the offer. Matcha tea is ground, shade grown, steamed tea leaves. It’s full of antioxidants, and like most other Asian ingredients, it boasts a variety of health benefits. If that isn’t enough, it also turns everything it contacts into a beautiful shade of green. I definitely need more of this in my kitchen.
When it came to bake goods, just about every idea I had for the matcha tea had been done before, and done well. I first set out with the idea of a tea cake. I wanted to use some of this year’s gooseberries sent from my parents.
I posted about gooseberries last year. If you are unfamiliar it is a small round fruit with an internal texture of a blueberry, but a skin more like a grape. They are tart, and great for a something a little different in baked goods.
My cakes are more like a rich, sweet, chewy cookie, and I’m not complaining. The tart gooseberry filling turned out to be perfect for them.
Cookies or cakes, I’m sold on adding matcha tea to baked goods. I loved some of the recipes I found on the company’s website such as the Matcha Butter and Matcha Salt. Next up I’m going to use it in a morning shake or maybe a latte.
Matcha Tea Cookies with Gooseberry Filling
1 1/3 cups Demerara sugar
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
½ tsp almond extract
1 1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp matcha green tea powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and lightly grease a 9 x 13 in baking dish.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and melted butter, until combined. Next, whisk in the egg until incorporated and add the almond extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and matcha tea.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir until all is combined. You will end up with a thick batter, kind of like a very soft sugar cookie dough.
Press the batter/dough into the baking dish, and smooth it so that it is evenly spread to the corners.
Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and the center is set. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
1 ½ cups gooseberries, defrosted if frozen
2 tbsp Demerara sugar
¼ cup water
Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once the berries have burst and it begins to thicken, remove from the heat. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
Transfer to a small food processor, or you can use an immersion blender in the pan. Blend until smooth and no skins can be found.
Transfer back to the sauce pan and continue to cook over medium to medium-high heat until the filling becomes thick and spreadable. Set aside to cool completely.
Use a round cookie cutter to cut the cooled matcha tea cookies, or cut into squares. You will get about 16 (8 cookies) with a 1 ½ inch cutter. You will get more if you choose to make squares.
To assemble, spread a small amount of the filling on one cookie, and top with another just before serving.
Disclosure: A free Matcha Tea sample was sent to me by the Matcha Factory. I was not required to post about it and received no compensation for doing so. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Lori Rice is a freelance writer, recipe developer, food photographer and nutritional scientist. Fake Food Free is a creative outlet that allows her to connect with people from around the world who share a love of travel, food culture and cooking.