I love baking with matcha powder; so much that I have lovely friends who buys me various brands of Japanese matcha powder for my experimentation. My brother finds matcha too “grassy” for his liking but I love precisely the grassiness, richness and bitter aftertaste. In this recipe, I doubled up the matcha content and reduced the amount of sugar. I’d suggest keeping to the original sugar content as the cookies turned out pretty bland or perhaps healthier. And because I opted out from the cream filling, they weren’t that sweet at all. The cookies were crisp at the brown edges and slightly soft and chewy on the inside as I suppose pistachios ain’t quite the crunchy type of nuts after all.
Adapted from Rachel’s Recipe Book
1 almost-full cup (4 oz) unsalted, shelled pistachios
130g (2/3 cup) castor sugar (I used 100g)
125g (1 cup) plain flour
1tbsp matcha green tea (I used 2tbsp)
115g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1tsp vanilla extract
1 egg white
3/4 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
1/4 cup (2 oz) cream cheese, softened
1tsp matcha green tea
1tbsp heavy cream
- Pulse pistachios, sugar, flour, matcha powder, and salt in a food processor until finely ground. (Be careful not to grind to a paste.) Transfer to a bowl and stir in butter, egg, and extract until combined well. The dough should be crumbly but still stick together well enough to form round balls without cracking when pressed lightly. If too dry, add some heavy cream until it comes together. Chill dough, covered, until firm, about 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, make the filling. Pulse the pistachios and matcha powder until the pistachios are small pieces, not finely ground. You want the crunch from the pistachios. In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, honey, heavy cream, and 4 Tbsp of the pistachio and matcha mix. The consistency should be like Greek yogurt. If too dry, add more heavy cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Place oven rack in middle position and preheat the oven to 175deg Celsius. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
- Roll 1 tablespoon amounts of the cookie dough into balls. If you like extra pistachios, quickly drop the balls into the egg white to coat then coat with the extra pistachio and matcha power mix you made for the filling. Drop onto cookie sheets and place 1 inch apart. (I white-washed a few cookies and topped them up with my remaining pistachios)
- Bake for 5 minutes then take out from the oven. Using the back side of a teaspoon measuring spoon, gently press the cookies to make the signature thumbprint cookie shape. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cookies are firm.
- If the thumbprint shape was lost during baking, re-press with the teaspoon right out of the oven. Let the cookies cool completely.
- Using a Ziploc with a cut tip or a piping bag, pipe the cream into the wells of the cookies. Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let them return to room temperature before serving, unless you prefer them cold.