Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Matcha-Black Sesame Shortbreads {#FBCookieSwap}

When I was trying to decide what cookies I would make for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap of 2013, I toyed with a couple of possibilities, including Salted Mayan Chocolate Cookies and Rosewater-Cardamom Crisps

But the reviews from my local taste-testers were tepid. Dylan suggested I lose the white chocolate chips and sub in more dark chocolate. I thought about trying it with a smoked paprika versus the Aleppo pepper. My mom declared that they were "nothing special and not really worth the calories." Don't worry, I'm not thin-skinned about my cooking! And only two people who tried the rosewater cookies liked them. Those are not good odds. So, I went back to the drawing board. 

Then a friend of mine, whose family owns and operates Ocean Sushi Deli, offered me a canister of matcha green tea. And I was instantly inspired! I considered making matcha macarons or matcha meringues; but I knew that my selection had to be hardy enough to withstand the mail. Eureka! Thanks, Shiho. I'll have to come up with a gluten-free version for you soon.

10 T butter
1/2 C organic coconut sugar
2 t pure vanilla extract
1 T ginger syrup
1 T matcha green tea powder
1 egg, beaten
1-1/2 C white whole wheat flour
1/4 C coconut flour
organic granulated sugar and black sesame seeds, for rolling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in ginger syrup and matcha green tea powder until well combined. Beat in the egg, then carefully fold in the flours.

Roll the dough into a long cylinder. Flatten the cylinder into a rectangular shape, pressing granulated sugar and black sesame seeds into the sides. Put the dough in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour, until the dough is firm enough to slice.

Using a sharp knife, cut the dough cylinder widthwise into 1/4" slices and place, slightly apart, on the baking sheets. Sprinkle with more sugar and black sesame seeds and bake for 16-18 minutes until slightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

This was such a fun project...and for such a great cause. I will definitely participate in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014! Be a good cookie and join the fun next year.

Here's a special message from the Cookies for Kids' Cancer team:

"The Cookies for Kids' Cancer team wants to extend a big thank you for participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. By simply swapping cookies, you helped raise funds for pediatric cancer research, bringing HOPE to children battling this ruthless disease. Being a Good Cookie does not have to end here. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a 365-day a year non-profit, with bake sales happening in all 50 states. Simply go to cookiesforkidscancer.org to learn more about the cause, to register to host an event or  send cookies to your friends and family this holiday season. And thank you for being a Good Cookie!"

For this year's Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, I was assigned to ship to Laura of the Pink Cake Plate, Tara of Chip Chip Hooray, and Kelley of The Culinary Enthusiast. I hope they enjoyed these. I'll post links to the entire round-up later. Look for it. You'll have plenty of inspiration for those holiday cookie platters!

And if you want to join the fun next year, visit this link and sign up for a notification. I know I'll be doing this again.

Tara, a matcha newbie, tweeted: "They are delicious!! I have never tried matcha before -- it works so well in shortbread." Hooray!

Thanks, too, to the gals who baked for me. Justina of Fail Sweetly. Renee of Tortillas and Honey. And the Cats and Commas team of Hannah and Nora. My family and I really appreciated the sweets...and I loved the inspiration to log a few extra miles on my running shoes.


  1. Ooooh I've never cooked with matcha! That's awesome! And in cookies no less! So glad you got to participate!!

    happy cookie day fellow SRC'er! (is there any better day???)

  2. They were so yummy! Thanks again. :)

  3. i love black sesame seeds! what a creative cookie :)

  4. How creative! The flavors sound absolutely delicious! My brother would absolutely adore these cookies. I'm so glad that you enjoyed the cookies I sent you, this swap is great in so many ways!

  5. Interesting and creative cookie! Great way to think outside the box.


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