Matcha sablé cookies

Matcha has seen a huge increase in popularity in the recent years. I’ve seen it been incorporated into a whole range of foods – soba, mochi, breads, cookies, cakes, frapuccinos etc. And why not really? It has a wide range of health benefits, increases metabolism and energy levels, and is packed with antioxidants. Plus it gives a beautiful green tinge to food – in my books, that’s a definite win.

Catty (who is by far, one of the most matcha mad people out there) decided that it was time that the world joined her in her love for matcha. And so Matcha Madness! month was born. The concept is simple: make anything with matcha in it, and two best recipes (as determined by Catty & Teapigs) will win a tin of matcha each.

It took me a while to decide what I wanted to make. As I mentioned, matcha is incredibly versatile…. and I am incredibly fickle. Possibilities included matcha semifreddo, matcha marshmallows, matcha opera cake and matcha biscuits. My original plan was to make the marshmallows, but I decided against them at the last minute because it’s been so humid lately that I was worried that my marshmallows would not fare very well. Having said that, it’s definitely something I’m going to make when it gets cooler as homemade marshmallows are so, so much better than storebought ones. Unless you’re buying them from Pierre Marcolini.

I’d previously seen these cookies on Y’s blog, and was intrigued by them. She’s an excellent baker , and when she said these were the best matcha cookies she’d ever tasted, I immediately bookmarked the recipe. And you know what, I agree with her. I’ve not eaten many matcha cookies, but of the ones I have – I think these are my favourite to date.

Sablé is a French shortbread biscuit that originated in the Normandy province. The word “sablé” means “sand”, and is rather appropriate as these cookies have a sandy and crumbly texture. The sandiness comes from the the cookie itself, as well as the sugar that coats the edges of each biscuit. As always, I cut down on the sugar content of the cookies – which I think may have made the matcha flavour more intense. Not that I’m complaining though! Although they’re meant to be similar to shortbread, they’re less rich compared to normal shortbread… which means you can eat more at one go and not feel *as* guilty about it. Perfect, no?

I brought these to work, and everyone loved them (even people who hated green tea!). So if you’re a fan of matcha and shortbread-type cookies, do try making these. I promise you will love it.

Matcha sablé cookies
Ever so slightly adapted from this recipe on Lemonpi (who got the recipe from Okashi by Keiko Ishida)

  • 240g cake flour* (chilled)
  • 15g matcha powder (green tea powder)
  • 150g butter (at room temperature)
  • 90g icing sugar (note: the original recipe calls for 130g icing sugar)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 egg yolks

1. Sift chilled cake flour and matcha powder twice. Set aside.
2. Beat butter, sugar and salt in a stand mixer (or in a bowl with a hand mixer) until the mixture becomes soft and creamy.
3. Add in the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after the addition of each yolk.
4. Fold in the flour/green tea powder mix with a spatula. I folded it in in 2 batches, simply because I would have sent a lot of flour flying all over my kitchen if I had attempted to do it all in one go.
5. Cover dough with clingfilm, and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. This step helps the dough firm up so you can form them into logs in the next step.
6. Divide dough into two portions. Place both portions on two pieces of parchment paper of clingfilm, and shape them into logs of about 2.5 cm diameter. Wrap the logs up and refrigerate until firm (I left them for about 2 hours). The cookie dough can be frozen in the freezer for later use if you wish, and can be kept for up to 2 months.
7. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
8. Take the logs out of the refrigerator, and roll them in demerara sugar or granulated sugar. Cut logs into 7mm thick rounds, and place the sliced cookie dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes (until the cookies start to brown slightly), then remove and leave to cook on a wire rack before serving. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days.

* If you don’t have any cake flour, you can make your own quite easily. Add 2 tablespoons corn starch to each cup of plain flour used. Sift twice, and measure out the amount needed in the recipe from the sieved mixture. Voila, cake flour!

28 thoughts on “Matcha sablé cookies”

  1. The colours and crumbly texture looks really tempting and inviting! Matcha sables are such wonderful idea for the Matcha Madness!

    1. I must say that they turned out a lot better than I expected, I didn’t think they’d taste so “light”. Think the best thing was that there was a very definite green tea aftertaste which I really enjoyed.

    1. Thanks Lorraine! That’s the one good thing about baking, I get to save all those pennies on things like this – only to spend them in places like Pierre Herme. 😛

  2. Like shortbread but not as rich? Part of me is upset that it’s not rich but YAY being able to eat more. These are so pretty and you take such great pics as usual Suyin. mmmm x

  3. Oh cool. Haha, I was just going to say that I love matcha, especially in cookies, then saw your link to the recipe! I still stand by my words – until I come across a better recipe (which I very much doubt), these are the best cookies!

  4. I just made these. They are really nice and so very easy 🙂 I increased the matcha powder and didn’t roll the dough in sugar so the flavour was awesomely intense. I will be snacking on these all week. Thank you 😀

  5. Hi I was wondering, when i folded the flour/matcha mixture into the egg butter mixture was the final product suppose to be crumbly? I did refrigerate them first for 15 minutes but when i went to divide the mixture into two it was still really crumbly and it wouldn’t hold its shape very well.

    I’m really new to baking and didn’t know if i did something wrong or if my measurements were WAY off or if they are suppose to be that way. Thanks for the help.

    1. Hi, I just realised I never replied you – apologies! They should be a little crumbly, but not so crumbly till they don’t hold their shape.

      Yours could have been too crumbly for two reasons, I think: 1) The level of humidity – in warmer, humid climates you usually would need less liquid; vice versa in cooler climates. 2) The size of your egg yolks (and thus the amount of liquid).

      If the mixture is too crumbly (as yours was), I’d suggest adding a teaspoon or two of milk, just enough to ensure the mixture comes together.

      I hope that helps, apologies again for the very delayed reply!

  6. I made this recipe today! But it’s kinda hard to make shape of it.. should i added more flour as necessary?
    But the crumbly yet soft texture is still amazing! ♥ thanks for the reference

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