I hadn’t done any baking in weeks due to moving from my flat in London back to my hometown in Buckinghamshire and spending every waking moment finishing off my MA dissertation, but I’m happy to say it’s fiiiiinally done and dusted now, all 10,000 words of it 🙂 The people on my degree programme (English Linguistics if you’re interested) and our lecturers are getting together on deadline day for a wee goodbye tea party so I whipped up a batch of scones to take along, and also wanted to make something as a thank you to my friend Andy. He very kindly brought me back some traditional cakes when he went to Taiwan as he knows I love baking, cooked an amazing authentic Chinese meal for my friend Lara and me, and gave me some proper green tea leaves from his homeland of China – what a sweetie! I thought I’d make something that was partly traditionally British but also had a Chinese twist, hence this experimental shortbread made with matcha green tea powder (the same I used in my cupcake recipe here: https://cloud9point1.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/green-tea-cupcakes-with-white-chocolate-icing/). I was worried that the biscuits would taste too bitter or be over/undercooked but I’m happy to say that the results were lovely. They were very buttery and melt-in-the-mouth but with a slightly fragrant twang, and the dark chocolate pieces gave them just the right amount of sweetness.
Just a word of warning – the dough in this recipe will be very sticky so I’d advise not to skip the step that says leave it to chill in the fridge for half an hour, as this helps make it more workable, and make sure you use plenty of flour when rolling it out. If you find stamping out the shapes with cookie cutters too frustrating, just form the dough into a log and cut off rounds with a sharp knife instead.
INGREDIENTS – makes approx. 12 biscuits depending on size of cookie cutter
- 110g/4 oz plain flour
- 110g/4 oz butter
- 70g/2.5 oz granulated sugar
- 30g/1 oz ground almonds
- 1 tbsp matcha green tea powder
- 50g/2 oz dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- Add the butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk together until pale.
- Add the flour, ground almonds, matcha powder and chocolate pieces to the mix and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until a soft dough forms (it will be very sticky).
- Wrap the ball of dough in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Around 10 minutes before you remove the dough, pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C (or 150 gas).
- Sprinkle a generous amount of flour onto your work surface and rolling pin and roll the dough out until it’s about 1cm thick.
- Cut out biscuits using the cookie cutter of your choice, sprinkling on more flour as you go to avoid sticking, then squish the offcuts together, roll out again and repeat until all the dough is used.
- Carefully transfer the biscuits using a fish slice or large palette knife onto a large baking tray lined with parchment paper then pop in the oven and bake for around 10-13 minutes or until the bottoms are slightly browned – they will still be quite soft but will harden after you remove them from the oven.
- Place the biscuits on a wire rack and leave to cool.