Friday, 10 August 2012

Green Tea Springerle Cookies



There is something about Springerles. I don't quite know what it is, just so beautiful I suppose. This Round Rose mould from House on the Hill is one of my favourites. To see how this mould can also be used with fondant have a look at my Old Rose Cookies.

I have seen a lot of recipes using green tea in cookies and cupcakes and couldn't imagine how this might taste, so really wanted to make something with green tea in it and this is how the green tea and springerle fusion came about, one day, in my kitchen.



These cookies then, are a bit of an experiment. I  adapted my sugar cookie recipe by using confectioners / icing sugar instead of caster sugar and replacing some of the flour in the recipe with green tea powder and this is the result. I can't quite believe how beautifully they have turned out (even if i do say so myself!).

The type of powder you need is called matcha powder. (Check it out on Wiki) I was lucky enough to go on a cruise of South America some years ago and remember seeing the locals walking round with their special cups full of matcha powder. The matcha cups were filled hot water, then the tea drunk through a special straw in the cup. The same powder is re-used for the next cup of tea. I remember the locals being quite bemused by the tourists wanting to take pictures of them drinking their matcha.

The powder in the UK is not terribly common and quite pricey, so I halved the quantities of my usual recipe for these cookies so as not to use too much matcha.




Matcha has a whole  load of claims for various health benefits, so you really can eat these with a clear conscious, knowing that they are, at least partly, good for you. Apparently matcha is packed full of antioxidants, may help boost metabolism and reduce cholesterol.

I took these cookies to work for a taste test and have to say there were some mixed results. Some wrinkled noses, some musings about an acquired taste or how they might be nice with cheese (cheese - really?) and some rather liking them, the recipe follows  so if you curiosity is piqued too, have a go and see what you think.

Recipe

100g / 4oz butter
100g / 4oz icing / confectioers sugar
1 egg white (or 1 1/2 table spoons of egg white)
185g / 7 1/2 oz plain flour
15g / 1/2 oz matcha powder

1. Cream together the butter and sugar until just mixed
2. Add the add white and mix until just incorporated
3. Mix together the flour and matcha, slowly as the matcha powder is very fine
4. Add the mixed flour and matcha and mix until it looks like cookie dough.
5. Add a little more flour if the mixture is sticky.





Making the cookies

1. Knead a couple of handfuls of dough a little to bring it together and then roll it out about 1.5 cm thick
2. Press your mould down on top to make an impression.
3. Carefully lift the mould. If you are not happy with the impression, roll and mould again
4. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the mould and place on a baking / cookie sheet
5. Pop the tray of cookies into the freezer for about 10 minutes
6. Bake at 165 C, 150 c fan or about 320 F for 15 to 25 minutes. You want to catch the biscuits when they all look dry, but before they start to turn brown.

I hope you have a go at these

Enjoy!




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