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Sunday, July 31, 2005

IMBB#17: Green tea and almond cookies

Tea. n A clump of dead leaves steeped in hot water to create an aromatic drink.

Of course not!

As this month's host of IMBB, Clement, points out, tea is embedded with ritual. The Japanese are famous for their highly ritualised green tea ceremony. The English elegantly partake in a Devonshire tea of scones with jam and cream (altho' the way I pile on the cream negates any sense of dignity). And in India, refreshing cups of spicy sweet chai masala are mandatory from the chaiwallahs present on every street corner.

The AugustusGloop tea ritual is nowhere near as culturally imbued. Laziness and urgency usually wins out over authenticity and quality. Yes, that means ~ quelle horreur ~ tea bags are usually the vehicle of choice. Dilmah tea bags though. We do have some standards.

Something sweet almost always accompanies the brewed beverage (a terrible hard-to-kick habit). Between sips of scalding hot tea (nothing is worse than lukewarm tea, except, um, perhaps cold), the lips itch for something sweet to nibble on.

The habit goes both ways, and in posh restaurants, pleas have to be made to the waiter that "yes, I know it is exceedingly common to drink my tea with my dessert rather than after, but please may I be a savage and have it now?"

The kettle is on at breakfast to accompany my Vegemite toast; the urn is sought out at work to tide me through waves of procrastination; and when the door to home is finally opened, the shoes are kicked off, the house keys are tossed to one side, and the salvation of tea melts away any woes of the day.

IMBB #17: TasteTea called for all foodbloggers to create a dish or beverage with tea, and share any tea rituals (tick! -- see above). Apart from spiced tea eggs, I've never used tea much in cooking so I had no instant recipe ideas come to mind.

After some web surfing, Tibetan butter tea sounded fascinating, but when I read how "the tea's buttery calorific excess is perfect after a hard day's hiking at high altitude" I couldn't quite see myself drinking it.

So instead I made up my own biscuit/cookie recipe incorporating matcha powder. I figured almonds would match perfectly with the cleansing taste of green tea. These turned out quite well... not very sweet at all, since the matcha is quite bittter. The cookies are quite crumbly too and the almond taste comes through without overpowering the taste of the green tea.

Green tea and almond cookies

125g butter
1.5 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2.5 teaspoons matcha (green tea) powder
1 cup ground almonds
flaked almonds to decorate

Cream butter and sugar until light and fuffy.
Add eggs and beat in well.
Stir in sifted flour with baking powder, matcha and almonds.

Roll mixture into small balls and flatten slightly. Gently press a flaked almond into the top and place on greased baking trays.

Baked at 190C for about 15 minutes.

Makes 40 small cookies.
18 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 7/31/2005 04:00:00 pm


  • At 7/31/2005 7:53 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    I love matcha cookies and I like how you combined the matcha and almonds. I almost made something like this for IMBB, but I decided to do something a little different.

  • At 7/31/2005 9:02 pm, Blogger eat stuff said…

    These look great AG!


  • At 7/31/2005 9:05 pm, Blogger boo_licious said…

    Yum! Matcha and almond - my fav flavours.

  • At 8/01/2005 6:28 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The cookie look yummy.. thanks for the recipe.. i will try it out sometime.. :)

  • At 8/01/2005 8:48 am, Blogger tytty said…

    love anything n everything matcha!

    if only i had a cake mixer, i would try this one out. i feel you can't go wrong with a jap recipe.

    hav a great week ahead

  • At 8/01/2005 2:21 pm, Blogger deborah said…

    interesting flavour combinations - I love the green colour of the biscuit!

  • At 8/01/2005 7:29 pm, Blogger Kelly said…

    Looks and sounds delicious, AG. I've never had green tea in anything except, well...tea! It's time to broaden my biscuit horizons!

  • At 8/01/2005 9:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey AG,

    Those cookies sure do look good. I can just imagine the sweetness of the amonds balanced out by the bitterness of the matcha... *drool* :)

  • At 8/02/2005 2:56 am, Blogger Nic said…

    Tasty looking, AG. I agree that matcha and almonds are a good combination, but I'm still curious about that butter tea!

  • At 8/02/2005 5:35 pm, Blogger tytty said…

    AG, now you're really killing me.
    wish i could eat off the comp screen, looking forward to the matcha marble cake!

  • At 8/04/2005 12:36 pm, Blogger Joycelyn said…

    hiya, those matcha cookies look absolutely wicked - thanks for the recipe, can't wait to try it...cheers,j

  • At 8/05/2005 4:02 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Mmm, your green tea and almond cookies sound yums! Easy recipe too. Now, if only I had an oven. :)

  • At 2/15/2006 5:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i like green tea. Thank's for info.

  • At 9/14/2006 11:21 am, Blogger Angie said…

    heyyy! looks really cool!! i Wanna try! :), btw, i looked at your flicker photos, and i found some taro mooncakes. do you by anychance have the recipe for it? if you do - can you please forward it to me?.... :) thanks a lot :).

  • At 8/04/2007 5:49 pm, Blogger Frustrated Foodist said…

    I just finished baking these and i already ate quite a lot! @.@ soo yummy! thanks for the recipe!~ :)

  • At 8/04/2007 7:10 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Frustrated Foodist - Glad you liked them. Mmm... I should make some more of these. You've just given me a craving :)

  • At 6/17/2008 8:00 pm, Blogger kwana said…

    I just randomly stumbled onto your site - and its got soo many nice 'sweets' reviews + recipes!
    I'll definately want to try this recipe out!
    Thanks n keep it up!
    From fellow sweets lover...

  • At 6/23/2008 9:09 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Kwana - Glad you're enjoying the site. I hope you enjoy the green tea and almond cookies too :)


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