Here’s an easy recipe for delectable matcha cookies that you can make for Valentine’s Day or just any old time. You can make them plain, but I find they’re especially nice and eye-catching adorned with some vegan white chocolate, such as Vegó (in Paris, you can find this at Vegami near République).
“Valentine’s Day?!” you might be thinking. “But these cookies are green!” Yes, they are, but why should Valentine’s desserts always be pink, red or white? Green is a lovely color too, and just as appropriate for love, if not more, as it’s the one corresponding to the heart chakra!
White chocolate—which as a loyal reader once pointed out, is not actually chocolate at all—sometimes melts faster than “regular” chocolate, so for this recipe I added it at the very end of the baking time. More details below…
Makes about 20 cookies
- 2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅔ cup (131 g) white granulated sugar
- 1½ tablespoon unsweetened matcha powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup (79 ml) plant-based milk
- ½ cup (118 ml) neutral-tasting oil such as grapeseed or canola
- 2½ oz (100 g) vegan white chocolate (two Vegó bars)
First, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Then sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and matcha powder into a medium-sized bowl. In another bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla extract, milk and oil. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined (if it seems too dry, add more milk), taking care not to overmix.
Form balls of equal size and place on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper, pressing down to flatten them. Place in your preheated oven and set a timer for 8 minutes. Break the white chocolate squares into pieces that will fit easily in the center of each cookie and keep an eye on the timer because timing will be of the essence for the next step.
When the timer goes off, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press a piece of white chocolate down into the center of each cookie. Doing this will cause the cookie surface to crack nicely. Place the cookie sheet back into the oven and bake for another 60 seconds, long enough for the chocolate to melt just slightly and fuse with the cookie. The melting speed can vary depending on the brand. If you have one that seems to melt less slowly you can add it earlier on.
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack, brown paper bag or paper towel. The cookies will be soft until they cool, so be careful to keep them flat. Store any cookies you aren’t serving right away in an airtight container, as exposure to the air can make the matcha turn brown.
Enjoy with some tea (green tea? why not!) and a Japanese novel. I recommend Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood.
Variation: colorful m&m type candies can give these cookies a whole new look (perfect for Easter). I use the ones by Clarana, also available at Vegami. As the tops of the candies can crinkle with too much heat, I add them about halfway through baking. They can withstand heat longer than the white chocolate.
And if you love matcha as much as I do, you might also like my matcha galette des reines, a modern spin on a traditional French pastry.