I originally posted Matcha black sesame cookies in 2016. Cookies are not really a food that originated in Japan but I decided to put a Japanese spin on it. Western style sweets such as cakes and cookies are called “Yogashi” and they are very popular in Japan.
It seems that Matcha (Japanese green tea powder) has gained a lot of popularity and it has kind of become a food trend to use Matcha powder in sweets (e.g. matcha cookie, Matcha madeleine, Matcha ice cream, etc) and drinks like Matcha lattes. This matcha black sesame cookie is very easy to make and are a super tasty Japanese infused sweet treat. They are so delicious, crispy, and crumbly (‘saku saku’ texture)
So what is Matcha? Because it is one of the food trends, many of you may already know what it is so I am not going to give a long lecture of what matcha is. Matcha literally means powdered green tea. It is made from camellia sinesis, the same as black tea and oo long tea. What makes Matcha differ from those two teas is that Matcha is not fermented but it is steamed, dried, and then milled very finely into powder form.
One of the reasons that Matcha is so popular is that Matcha has a lot of health benefits. Matcha is high in antioxidants and helps to boost memory and lose weight as it increases metabolism and helps the body burn fat without any negative side effects, such as high blood pressure or increasing heart rate. And the good thing for people like me who love baking is that Matcha can be incorporated into baking so easily because it is in powder form.
How do you choose good Matcha though? There are many grades of Matcha; high ceremonial grade to cooking and low grade matcha. I am not a master of Matcha but when I purchase Matcha I usually look for where it is made, the colour of the Matcha, how finely grounded it is, and the price. I always buy matcha that is made in Japan. I believe the Matcha made in Japan is the best quality you can get. Matcha are mainly made in Uji, Kyoto, and Nishio, Aichi prefecture in Japan.
Also the colour of the Matcha powder is important. If you can see a sample of the matcha, check the colour of the powder. Good quality matcha has a vibrant green colour where as poor quality matcha is a dull yellowish green. This is due to whether the matcha has been properly grown or not. Two to six weeks before the leaves are harvested to make matcha, they are covered to become shaded. That shade protects the leaves from direct sunlight and the leaves are forced to over produce chlorophyll which gives matcha that vibrant green colour. High quality matcha is grounded really fine and smooth. And Matcha in general, is not cheap. You get what you pay for.
For cooking I use superior culinary grade matcha from Matcha Wellness. It is made in Japan and has a vibrant green colour which gives my baking a really nice green colour. And you don’t need a lot to get the nice green colour in your cooking. Any left over of the matcha should be stored in a sealed container and in the refrigerator because Matcha is sensitive to light and heat.
If you liked my recipe for Matcha Black Sesame seed cookies, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook , Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I can see your wonderful creations!
- 100 g Butter room temp *1
- 90 g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 30 g almond meal
- 165 g plain flour
- 2 tsp matcha powder or 5 g
- 1 tbs black sesame seeds
- Sift the flour and matcha together and add almond meal. Set aside.
- Place the butter and caster sugar in a bowl and mix well until the colour of the butter becomes whitish and creamy (I used a stand mixer with the whisk attachment).
- Add the egg to the bowl and beat well.
- Change the attachment to a blade attachment and add sifted flour and almond meal to the bowl. *2
- Add black sesame seeds as well and combine them all together but try not to over mix.
- Separate the dough into two and form into two balls.
- Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and roll it into a long round 4 cm in diameter or square shape then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. *3
- Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
- Cut the cookie dough into 5mm thick slices then place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Bake for 25 minutes then remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. *4