It’s December! I can’t believe that it’s already more than a week into December and Christmas is fast approaching. No, I haven’t done my holiday shopping yet but I can already envision the empty bank account as I think about the things I have to buy. But the Christmas tree is up and I’m glad I got that done at least.
When December rolls around, cookies seem to be extra popular to bake. I’ve never done cookie exchanges or made cookie platters but I think it’s always fun to see people enjoy the things you make in the kitchen. These green tea white chocolate sugar cookies are extra tender and soft. The white chocolate in the batter softens the taste of green tea, which can come across as bitter to some people. But the green tea flavor is still bold and you might not even notice the white chocolate.
I put a dollop of royal icing on mine, because I made a whole batch to decorate the same cookies that were cut into Christmas tree shapes. But I didn’t realize that the royal icing wouldn’t stick onto the cookies because of the coating of green tea sugar. I had to force it onto the domed cookies by squeezing it straight onto the cookie and hoping it would stay. So, if you are planning on decorating these, you can skip the green tea sugar coating (ah, but that sugar is so delicious though!!).
Here are a couple of past posts for more holiday baking:
Christmas Wreath Macarons
Pomegranate Coconut Marshmallows and Coconut White Hot Chocolate
Green Tea White Chocolate Sugar Cookies
¾ c. sugar, divided
½ tsp. plus 2 tbsp. matcha
2 c. flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
8 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
½ c. brown sugar, packed
1 ½ tbsp. honey
1 large egg, room temperature
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. lemon zest
3 oz. white chocolate, melted
- In a small bowl, whisk ½ c. sugar and ½ tsp. matcha together.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt and 2 tbsp. matcha.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, brown sugar, honey and ¼ c. sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add egg, egg yolk, and lemon zest and mix until pale.
- On low speed, add flour mixture and white chocolate.
- Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F and scoop tablespoon sized dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. (I used a domed baking pan like the one here. I sprayed the pan with nonstick spray before putting the dough into the pan.)
- Bake 8-10 minutes, until the bottom and the edges are barely golden and the tops no longer look wet.
- Immediately, toss cookies into reserved green tea sugar gently and let cool before eating.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.
“Green tea beignets,” my sister said as she shoved her iPhone screen in my face. It is one of Dominique Ansel’s creations in his newest café and she is already making plans in our family group chat to go pay a visit. Even though NYC is just across the bridge, it isn’t simple to make plans and go on a moment’s notice. After all, we all work and have personal obligations. But dang, ever since she said it, I could not get it out of my head. The thought would not stop haunting me, and before I knew it I was googling recipes for beignets and looking up photos of green tea beignets.
Turns out, it was simpler than I thought (which in hindsight, is not necessarily a good thing because it means that I can make beignets on a whim). The dough does not need a mixer or kneading, and it doesn’t even require a second rise! It puffs up beautifully with a honeycombed interior and is just barely sweet. This leaves you with the option to give it a generous shower of powdered sugar.
My matcha is not the highest grade because I didn’t think I would ever need a high quality powder. (In case you didn’t know, matcha can get quite pricey by the ounce.) But for this recipe, I think it is necessary. My green tea powdered sugar does not have the vibrant green that would make it scream, “Hey, I’m green tea flavored!” Instead, it whispers, “I might be something different from regular ol’ powdered sugar, you’re going to have to taste me to see…” This is not the message I wanted to send, but then again you get what you pay for and it is a lesson learned.
Either way, how wrong can you go with fried dough and sugar? The only thing is, you need to eat them within about 4 hours (and that’s with using a low heated oven to keep them warm). Past that, the dough starts to get very stale and loses its magical deliciousness.
Green Tea Beginets
1 c. water, 110˚F and not from tap
3 tbsp. sugar, divided
1 ½ tbsp. active dry yeast
3 c. all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. kosher salt
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
vegetable oil for frying
green tea powdered sugar (recipe below)
- Combine water, 1 tbsp. sugar, and yeast in a bowl until foamy.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, eggs, and 2 tbsp. vegetable oil until combined. Add the water mixture and stir until a smooth, sticky dough forms.
- Spray another bowl with nonstick spray and transfer dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for the dough to rise and double in size, about 1-2 hours.
- On a large surface, generously coated with flour, dump out cold dough and roll out to a rectangle that is ¼ in. thick. Cut into 24 squares with a well lubed pizza cutter.
- On two baking sheets, set each sheet with a wire cooling rack.
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven until 350˚F, fry dough 5 at a time until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes. Keep oil temperature between 325˚F – 350˚F. Transfer fried dough onto wire cooling rack
- If you want to wait until all of the dough is fried, keep it warm in a 175˚F -200˚F oven.
- Dust generously with green tea powdered sugar and serve.
Green Tea Powdered Sugar
3 tbsp. matcha (green tea) powder
1 ½ c. powdered sugar
- Sift matcha powder and powdered together with a mesh strainer and mix until homogenous.
It’s been forever since I posted something on the blog. This is what happened… The weekend before I left for my vacation to Korea, I made a wedding cake, mini wedding desserts and did desserts for a confirmation banquet. It was jam packed with sugar, whipped cream, flour and butter. At this point, I was so sick and tired of seeing ingredients I had to take a break. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that I went on a two week vacation to South Korea and by the time I got back, I was so jet lagged I didn’t have it in me to do anything. And so here I am, three weeks later posting a new recipe for you guys. I think I’m sufficiently rested and I hope to continue on this culinary journey with you with no more stops in the road.
This green tea cake was inspired by my trip to O’Sulloc Tea Museum in Jeju, South Korea. Unfortunately the weather was horrible the day we went and I wasn’t able to see the plantation but, I did enjoy some green tea desserts.I paired my cake with both red bean and sweet potato frosting. The slight bitterness of the green tea balances well with the smooth creamy sweet potato and the red beans give it a pop of interesting texture. While we are talking about sweet potatoes, I should let you know that I do not mean the orange fleshed American sweet potato. This is the potato I am talking about. The Korean/Japanese sweet potato has purple skin and yellow flesh. When baked, it tastes slightly like a perfectly roasted chestnut and is less water logged than its American cousin. With that bit of information, I hope you give it a try! Enjoy 🙂
Mini Green Tea Cakes
Green Tea Cake
¾ c. cake flour
2 tbsp. matcha powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
4 large eggs, separated
pinch of cream of tartar
¾ c. granulated sugar, divided
2 tablespoons buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, sift together cake flour, matcha powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Once foamy, slowly add ¼ c. granulated sugar until incorporated and raise speed to high until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk egg yolks until pale and thickened. Then add ½ c. granulated sugar and mix until thick and the batter forms ribbons when whisk is lifted.
- Stir in buttermilk to the egg yolk mixture until combined.
- Fold in flour mix into the egg yolk mix until just combined.
- Fold in egg white mixture until fully incorporated.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean or the cake is springy to the touch.
- Let cool.
Sweet Potato Frosting
1 lb. Korean/Japanese sweet potatoes, roasted and peeled
2 tbsp. heavy cream
pinch kosher salt
⅓ c. vanilla frosting
- In a food processor, add all the ingredients and puree until smooth.
Red Bean Frosting
8 oz. canned sweet red beans
⅓ c. vanilla frosting
- In a separate bowl, mix red beans and vanilla frosting until completely blended.
Assemble the Mini Green Tea Cakes:
- Using a 2” cookie cutter, cut out 2” cake rounds.
- Use the same cookie cutter to assemble the cake.
- Place a cake round into the cookie cutter and proceed to layer the red bean frosting, a cake round, sweet potato frosting and finish off with a cake round.
- Slowly remove the cookie cutter to reveal your layered cake.
- If desired, you can garnish the tops of the cake with powdered sugar.
Green Tea Cake adapted from Oh Sweet Day!