Monday, April 5, 2010

Nibby Matcha Wafers


These cookies are full of the good stuff. I'm not talking about some dusty, old schwag, I'm talking primo, dank, skunky, pure green.


Just smell it: fresh and earthy, with a hint of spice. This stuff is totally mellow and cerebral. It packs a serious buzz, but won't make you paranoid. It stimulates introspection and meditation, makes you more productive, and leaves you alert and clear-headed, with nary a munchy or hangover.


It's also full of antioxidants.


I'm not talking indica or sativa, I'm talking about top-notch, finely-milled camellia senensis.

Or matcha, to be precise.

You will recognize this pungent, green powder from the flavoring and color in green tea ice cream. I mixed some into a buttery sable dough, and added cocoa nibs for a bit of crunch and earthy, well, dankness. They're pretty stellar.


They may not be particularly stony, but put them on the table at the right party, and they'll get snapped up quicker than you would expect.


Nibby Matcha Wafers

Makes about 2 dozen 2" cookies

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1/3 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling the cookies
1 1/2 teaspoons matcha powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cocoa nibs

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and preheat to 350º. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a kitchen aid fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth, creamy and well combined, a few minutes on medium-low. (This is a dough that you don't want to over-aerate, or the dough will be difficult to roll and the cookies will spread too much during baking.) Beat in the salt and matcha, then add the flour, mixing on low until barely combined. Add the cocoa nibs.

Use a plastic scraper to fold the dough a few times by hand to make sure it is homogeneous, then form into a disc on a piece of parchment or plastic wrap. Chill until mostly firm, 30 minutes to an hour.

Roll the dough out to about a 1/6" thick round. This is most easily done between two sheets of parchment paper and light dustings of flour as needed. (If the dough becomes at all sticky, return to the fridge for 5 or 10 minutes.) Cut with a 1 1/2 - 2" round cutter, cutting the rounds as close together as possible. (You can either press the scraps back together and repeat the rolling/cutting process, or be lazy and just bake off the scraps to snack on.) Place the rounds on the parchmented baking sheets, spacing them 1" apart, and sprinkle with a bit of sugar.

Bake the cookies until lightly golden, about 15 minutes, rotating front to back and top to bottom halfway through. Cool on racks.

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to a week.

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