I like St. Patrick’s day because it gives me an excuse to make and eat green food. Other than that, I don’t really celebrate it — in fact I’ve never even seen a green beer! These cookies are naturally colored with some beautiful sencha green tea powder gifted to me by Sugimoto America. This sencha powder had a nice strong earthy taste that paired naturally with the honey cream cheese filling.
The recipe for these cookies came from my co-worker who had brought them into the office but I never got to try them. I usually avoid making sandwich cookies since they’re twice the amount of work for one cookie, but these just might be worth it. Not as much work as linzer cookies, but a little more work than whoopie pies. I also got to try out my new rolling pin so that I could make sure the dough was uniform in thickness.
If you’re in the mood for a seasonal treat that isn’t tooth-achingly sweet, these are right up your alley. I’ve stuck a few in the freezer to give to my friend this weekend when we meet up for the NYC Coffee & Tea Festival; I’ll report back on how they fared.
This recipe is very easy and has a limited number of ingredients. I added heaping tablespoons of green tea powder because I had only a little left in my container (total amount = 227 grams). The cookie is a little dense, but lighter than shortbread. When eaten fresh, the filling will ooze out a bit. I stuck them in the fridge overnight and the filling firmed up for easier chomping.
Gyokuro is green tea that was cultivated in the shade and is considered one of the finest green teas in Japan. It has a unique sweetness since the shade allows the tea to retain a high Theanine content. Only the first flush tea leaves are used for Gyokuro.
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This is a very typical green tea. Smelling it is very buttery and then a hint of grassiness. The butteriness is missing almost completely from the tea when drinking and is instead replaced with a slight bitterness at the end.
The leaves are a very pretty blue-green color and are smaller than most other leaves, brewing up like spinach. The packaging suggested 140 degrees for steeping but I think this would have done better at either a lower temperature or lower steeping time since it did have a tad of bitterness.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Spinach
Preparation: 2 minutes, 15 seconds @ 140 °F
Sugimoto America is a complete supplier of Japanese green tea and a subsidiary of Sugimoto Seicha, a Japanese green tea company founded in 1946. They have been awarded both the Green Tea Connoisseur Award as well as the prestigious Prime Minister Award for its superior quality of tea leaves.
Tea quality is determined by tea farmers. Our Tea Maestro has selected 11 artisan farmers in his local area of Shizuoka prefecture. He and his farmers work toward the same goal — to produce the highest quality green tea possible using the traditional Japanese steam processing method (Fukamushi), and without using large machines to harvest from their farms located on mountain slopes.
Product provided for review. All notes & opinions are my own.
Wow, I can’t believe I’ve been gone for so long! I’ve been quite busy the last few months. I got married in September and just got back from my honeymoon to Maui, O’ahu, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Before all that happened, I took an impromptu trip up to Pittsburgh to visit my bridesmaid, Stephanie. I was a bit hesitant to make the drive all by myself, but after a grueling bus trip last October, I was convinced that driving would be better.
Stephanie’s birthday is also in August, so I took the opportunity to make an attempt at a super cute Pocky cake from Sprinkle Bakes. My version turned out pretty well, though when frosting the cake I accidentally mis-aligned the layers, which affected the way the pocky sticks stacked.
I like a strong green tea flavor, so I used about a cup of organic matcha powder between the cake and frosting. Paired with the dark chocolate and yuzu filling, this was the perfect light and refreshing cake to snack on after a long drive.
About the matcha I used: Sugimoto America is a complete supplier of Japanese green tea and a subsidiary of Sugimoto Seicha, a Japanese green tea company founded in 1946. Based out of Seattle, they were nice enough to send me some great samples of their product, including some powders to bake with.
Their tea is grown and harvested on the mountain slopes of Shizuoka, the tea capital of Japan. All of their tea is blended, roasted, and packed by Tea Maestro Sugimoto, who received the Agricultural Minister Award in 1986.