Holiday Special: Matcha Presents (Matcha Tea Cookies with Red Bean Paste)

Happy Holidays! I decided to make something a little special to celebrate the holiday season and made Matcha Presents! These are Matcha Tea Cookies filled with a red bean paste filling, with a white chocolate bow on top. Each bite of cookie has a crispy exterior but softer, buttery interior, with a hint of bitter green tea. The white chocolate bow on top adds some sweetness to balance out the the flavors. Each of these presents are filled with a sweet and rich red bean paste that perfectly harmonizes with the green tea. You could say its a perfect matcha!

The matcha cookie recipe is based off of Just One Cookbook’s Green Tea Cookies.

Ingredients (yields approx 7 Matcha Presents; 21 individual cookies)
-240 g all-purpose flour
-15 g matcha green tea powder
-170 g softened unsalted butter
-130 g powdered sugar
-Pinch of kosher salt
-2 large egg yolks
-1 cup white chocolate chips
-Red bean paste, to fill

Useful Tools
-Food scale
-Piping bag/ziplock bag
-Sifter

Procedure
White Chocolate Bows
1) Melt white chocolate in a microwave (high setting for 15 second intervals, stir at each 15 second interval until all chocolate is melted)
2) Place melted chocolate in a piping bag and pipe out a present bow shape onto parchment paper
3) Place in fridge and allow the chocolate to solidify for at least three hours

Cookie Dough Preparation
1) Sift flour and matcha green tea powder through a sifter into a mixing bowl
2) In a separate stand mixer/mixing bowl, add softened butter and beat until butter is smooth and creamy
3) Add pinch of salt and powdered sugar to the butter and mix until smooth
4) Add two egg yolks and mix again until egg is well incorporated
5) Add the sifted flour/matcha into the butter mixture (1/3rd at a time) and continue mixing until a smooth dough forms.
6) Press dough together and form into a square shape (about 2 inches in width and height, and 7 inches in length)
7) Wrap the square log in plastic wrap and let firm up in fridge for at least two hours.

Shaping into log

Baking
1) Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2) Cut the cold dough log into 1 cm cuts.

1 cm cuts from the log

3) Each “present” will comprise of three of the 1 cm cuts. The first cookie will act as the base. For the second cookie, cut a smaller square in the middle of the dough and remove the inside piece. Place the second, cut cookie on top of the first one, and fill the hole with red bean paste.

Second cookie stacked on top of first and filled with red bean paste

4) The third cookie should be baked separate from the first and second cookie, and not stacked on top. This third cookie acts as the “lid” for the present.
5) Place all cookies on top of baking sheet lined with parchment paper (third cookie separate). Bake at 350°F for approx 15-20 minutes, or until cookie edges start browning
6) Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool
7) When cookies are cooled, melt a batch of white chocolate. Place a small amount of white chocolate on top of the third cookie and allow to slightly cool for approx 3 minutes. This acts as the base to place the chocolate bow.
8) When the chocolate has partially cooled, place the white chocolate bows on top of the semi-melted chocolate so that the bow stands upright.
9) Place the cookie with the bow on top in the fridge for 10 minutes to quickly solidify the chocolate bow
10) After chocolate solidies, place the third “lid cookie” on top of the stacked cookies to complete the Matcha Present.

Observations/Tips
-Waiting for the chocolate base to slightly cool down is important. If the base is too hot, the chocolate bow will start melting and deforming
-Careful when cutting out the hole in the cookie, as the dough is easily breakable!
-If you don’t have a piping bag to pipe out the chocolate, you can fill a ziplock bag with melted chocolate and cut off a small corner piece for a makeshift piping bag.
-It’s fine to slightly overfill the hole with red bean paste, as the contents will slightly shrink during baking. You can fill it with more paste after baking to fill the hole up.

References
Just One Cookbook’s Green Tea Cookies

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