Green shortbread really? Yes really. This matcha shortbread is melt-in-the-mouth delicious, with a well defined, but not strong flavour of Japanese green tea. For extra vim and vigour this recipe contains cacao nibs, but you can replace those with chocolate chips if you prefer or leave them out altogether.
What Is Matcha?
Matcha is Japanese green tea powder. The process starts with young green tea leaves which are picked and dried and then stone-ground to a very fine powder. Once you have the powder, whisk it into hot water to make a beautiful bright green beverage.
Tea is a serious business in Japan and ceremonial matcha is the finest grade available. The youngest and sweetest leaves go into it. It is thus the most expensive; this 50g packet costs £18.95. If you want to use matcha for baking purposes only, then a coarser and cheaper version is a better way to go.
The Japanese have a special bamboo whisk called a chasen. They use it to whip the hot water and matcha together to create a layer of bubbles on the top. I have to say, although I have a chasen, I’ve never quite mastered the technique. Patience is not my strong point.
Matcha is a bit of a wonder and guess what? It has achieved “superfood” status. According to Healthline, matcha contains 137 times the antioxidants of normal green tea. It may also increase the metabolism, boost the immune system, improve concentration and help the body fight cancer.
Why I Like Matcha Green Tea
Since CT first bought some matcha back from Japan a few years ago, I have been in love with the stuff. The tea itself has a unique and distinctive flavour which I took to very readily. Then of course, there are the health benefits. But more than anything I love the colour of it.
So when Matcha Factory sent me a packet of ceremonial matcha to try recently, I was just a little bit excited. It’s been a while since I had any to drink and even longer since I did any baking with it.
And yes, you read that correctly. Matcha green tea works wonderfully well in baking. It not only gives a lovely colour, but acts as a good foil for all that sweetness. Scroll down the post to see a list of some of the bakes I’ve made with it.
The tea gave me the opportunity to try out the two new glasses I recently picked up for 40p in one of our local charity shops. I love a bargain.
Cacao Nibbed Matcha Shortbread
Given the wondrous properties that matcha has, the shortbread biscuits I made with it, are ideal fare for the leaner, meaner, healthier month of January. Yes there is some sugar in them, but for biscuits, it’s a relatively small amount and it’s balanced by all those health benefits.
I’ve used half wholemeal spelt in the mix and wholewheat semolina rather than white. You can replace the semolina with brown rice flour if you can’t get hold of any. As if this isn’t enough, cacao nibs are also packed full of health giving properties.
Oh my, this shortbread is good. It’s lovely and soft and melts in the mouth. There’s added textural interest with the chewy cocoa nibs which all adds to the fun. The flavour is perfect for me, not too strong but well defined and of course, I adore the colour.
If you prefer something a little sweeter, you could substitute the cocoa nibs for the chocolate of your choice chopped into bits or even leave out the chocolate element all together.
Other Matcha Bakes You Might Like
- Matcha and white chocolate cupcakes
- Triple layer matcha chocolate cake
- Chocolate and matcha battenberg
- Matcha chocolate roll
- Rhubarb, matcha and chocolate marble cake
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this green matcha shortbread, with or without the cacao nibs, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more shortbread recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious and nutritious, of course.
Matcha Shortbread. PIN IT.
Cacao Nibbed Matcha Shortbread – The Recipe
Cacao Nibbed Matcha Shortbread
- 75 g golden caster sugar, plus extra for dusting (I use homemade vanilla sugar)
- 150 g salted butter – softened
- 1 tbsp matcha powder
- 100 g wholemeal spelt flour
- 100 g plain white flour
- 50 g wholewheat semolina or brown rice flour
- Cream the sugar with the butter until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the matcha and cream some more.
- Sift in the flours and semolina, then stir to combine until you get a sandy mixture.
- Halve the mixture and press into two 15 cm (6 inch) tin foil flan cases, or place all of it in a 22 cm (9 inch) tart tin.
- Prick all over with a fork.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 150℃ (130℃ fan, 300℉, Gas 2) for 25 minutes.
- Dust with golden caster sugar (I used homemade vanilla sugar) and cut into 16 triangles triangles. Leave in the tin to cool before removing.
Not only has Matcha Factory offered me a 50g packet of ceremonial matcha to giveaway to one lucky reader, but it comes with a whisk (chasen) and scoop so you can create your own authentic cup of Japanese tea. This is worth over £40.
To be in with a chance of winning, please fill in the Rafflecopter below. You will need to leave a comment on this post which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random from the entries received.
Please give me some way of identifying you in the comment section as I will be verifying the validity of entries and will always check back to the comments to ensure that part has been done. Any automated entries will be disqualified.
This giveaway is only open to those with a UK postal address. Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted. Failure to do this may result in another winner being picked.
Prizes are offered and provided by Matcha Factory and Chocolate Log Blog accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of said third party.
Closing date is Wednesday 5 February 2013.