Once I’ve made a recipe in excess of 20 or so times, I tend to start to brainstorm ways to play with it. To be clear, I’m not trying to supplant my tried-and-true favorites, I just want to add some more variety to my repertoire. Just like one can never have too many shoes, one can never have too many cookie recipes!
My Tom’s Favorite Sugar Cookies are BY FAR my most-requested cookies (for full details, read that post). I know they say, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but, technically, I wasn’t trying to fix the recipe, just freshen it up a bit!
I made an impulse buy a little while ago and purchased a container of matcha latte mix. It turned out to be a bit more sugary than my unsweetened-coffee, plain-tea tastebuds liked for sipping. Still, I really liked the matcha flavor, so I thought the latte mix might be just the thing my TFSCs needed for a summery makeover.
I reduced the amount of granulated sugar in my original recipe to make room for the latte mix. The cookie batter was a tad greener than I was expecting (a side effect of the matcha powder in the latte mix…totally natural, just very green). Luckily, the greenness mellowed out significantly during baking, and the resulting cookie had only a subtle tint.
The cooled cookies had the gentlest hint of matcha flavor, without any grassy aftertaste (a common hazard when using matcha). I wanted a bit more matcha, though, so I made a matcha icing to fill the indentations. The result? A matcha made in heaven! All the textural bliss of the original recipe, with a special something extra.
Dousing the cookies with a colorful splash of sprinkles gave them a festive finish, and, since the icing dries hard, the set cookies can be stacked for storage. Practical, portable, pleasurably palatable…what more could you want in a cookie? Negative calories, you say?? I’ll keep experimenting 🙂
Matcha Latte Sugar Cookies
I would call these cookies “mildly matcha” as is. If you want a more robust matcha experience, up the latte mix to 1/4 cup in the dough, but decrease the granulated sugar to 1/4 cup to prevent them from being too sweet.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, place butter, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, matcha latte powder, and oil (in that order!), and beat until smooth and creamy (it will be VERY green). Beat in egg and vanilla. In a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl, use a fork to combine and aerate flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients to wet. Place bowl in fridge for 20 minutes.
Roll ~tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, and place on a wax paper-lined plate. Cover plate tightly with plastic wrap, and chill overnight (or at least 1 hour, if you’re in a crunch).
Remove dough balls from fridge, then preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and space dough balls ~1 1/2″ apart (usually 6-8 per sheet). Rub one dough ball all over the bottom of a small drinking glass to get some of the oil on the bottom of the glass. Then, dip the glass in a shallow bowl containing the 1/3 cup granulated sugar + 1/8 teaspoon salt (the sugar/salt should now stick to the bottom of the glass). Use the sugared/salted glass bottom to flatten each dough ball to ~1/4″ thick, re-dipping in the sugar/salt mixture between each cookie. The goal is to make a distinctly rimmed well in the middle of each cookie (see pictures). If it’s really hot and humid out, chill for 5 minutes. Bake 8 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through bake time. Let sit on baking sheet 2-3 minutes to deflate, then remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
For the icing, whisk 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar into the melted butter. Whisk in the matcha latte powder and salt, followed by 1 tablespoon of the milk. Add another 1/2 cup of the sugar, then the remaining milk. Add as much of the remaining sugar as you need to attain a viscous mix (should be pourable but not runny …think fabric paint). Use a teaspoon to pour icing into the well of each cooled cookie — it’s best to do this step with the cookies on the cooling racks in case of any overflows. Top immediately with sprinkles, then allow to set until icing hardens (you can accelerate this process with a fan or refrigerator).
Set cookies may be stored in fridge, stacked with wax paper between layers, for up to 5 days.
P.S. These cookies freeze beautifully for a later bake! Just flatten the dough balls, as described above, on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer for 30 minutes to firm up the cookies, then transfer to a gallon-sized freezer bag, with wax paper between layers. Burp out ALL of the air, seal, & freeze for up to 6 months. When ready to bake, remove cookies from freezer, and allow to thaw for 30 minutes. Then, bake and ice as directed!