Matcha Green Tea White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

 

Last week my friend and I ventured out to try a new(ish) ramen restaurant for lunch.  After stuffing our bellies to the brim full of rich chicken broth, noodles and pork to the point that we couldn’t eat any more ramen, we decided we really wanted some warm, gooey white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  Yes, there is a separate dessert stomach…I’m a doctor, I know these things.  Unfortunately (or perhaps for our waistlines, fortunately), we couldn’t find any cookies up to our standards (although we didn’t look too hard because by then, the food coma had already set in), so I decided to take matters into my own hands…but with a twist.

I’ve been seeing dessert recipes utilizing matcha green tea recently, such as these cookies from Bon Appetit and this vertical roll cake, and have wanted to experiment with some of my own creations. Matcha is a shockingly bright green powder made from ground green tea leaves.  It reportedly boosts energy with anti-oxidants and caffeine and has been popping up in coffee and tea houses around the country.  You can read more about it here.

Since this was my first recipe experimenting with matcha, I decided to start simple and these cookies were the perfect opportunity.  The recipe is very straight forward; it’s as easy as adding 2 Tbs of matcha powder to the flour and then making the cookies per usual.  It’s pure coincidence that these green beauties are just in time for St. Patty’s Day!

Matcha Green Tea White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
(recipe modified from Flour)

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
2 Tbs match green tea powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
11 oz white chocolate chips
1 cup salted and roasted macadamia nuts, chopped

If you’re baking the cookies on the same day you prepare the batter, heat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center of the oven.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or mixing by hand with a wooden spoon), beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about five minutes. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle itself a few times; the sugar and butter love to collect here and stay unmixed. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract on medium speed until thoroughly combined, two to three minutes. Again scrape the bowl and the paddle to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.

Mix together the all-purpose flour, bread flour, matcha powder, baking soda and salt. Turn the mixer to low speed (or continue to use a wooden spoon if mixing by hand) and slowly blend the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture until just mixed.  Add the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts and mix until incorporated.

For best results, scrape dough into a container and let rest in the refrigerator for a day before baking. The next day, heat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center of the oven. Scoop the dough into 1 Tbs balls onto a baking sheet with parchment paper about two inches apart. Press dough balls down slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake until cookies are just starting to brown at the edges about 8-10 minutes. They will still be very soft in the center. Remove from oven and let cool. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days. The unbaked dough can be stored for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

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Lemon Ricotta Muffins

People often ask me how I got into cooking and I don’t really have a great answer.  There was no lightening moment for me.  It just happened gradually over time, starting around college, each year getting more and more into the world of the culinary arts.  Along the way there have been a lot of influences, starting with watching a lot of Food Network: Bobby Flay, Alton Brown (if you haven’t been to his live road show GO!!!), Ina Garten, and Giada De Laurentis.

I have since “outgrown” most of the Food Network shows (and have less time to watch them), but I still turn to my old favorites for some classic tried-and-true recipes.  This lemon ricotta muffin recipe by Giada is one of them!  It is basically foolproof.  Delicious, lemony, soft muffins with just the right amount of sweetness. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack!

Lemon Ricotta Muffins (Biscuits) from Giada De Laurentis

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar or more as needed for sprinkling
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar, butter, and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the ricotta. Beat in the egg, lemon juice, and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended (the batter will be thick and fluffy).

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar over the muffins. Bake until the muffins just become pale golden on top, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.