Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Green with delight - Matcha Sablés

I have a tendency to want to put green tea in everything. Fortunately, with matcha powder, a little goes a long way. Also, it doesn’t come cheap, so I usually end up refraining myself. However, making matcha sablés was something I’d wanted to do for a long time.

We were having friends over for what you could call a “fancy pot luck.” Everyone had to bring something, and it had to be relatively gourmet. Amongst the tasty morsels were foie gras served on toasted pain d’épices, roasted peppers and chorizo, stuffed zucchini, and duck confit. For dessert, someone had brought homemade truffles, which Laurent and I complemented with homemade berry sorbet and green tea sablés.

I’d recently rediscovered the berry-and-green-tea combination at POP!, a Montreal wine bar. I’d indulged in a “Japanese-style” raspberry cheesecake, with a matcha-flavoured shortbread, and I just had to try to recreate the effect – at least the main flavours, if not the textures.

When I was a child, I used to find sablés quite boring, and too heavy. It took me a while to appreciate the rich, buttery taste, and the crumbly texture. As for these treats being heavy, I’ve reached an age where I don’t eat cookies by the handful anymore (except on a really, really bad day), so one of these babies is usually enough. And while I’ve learnt from experience that matcha powder doesn’t make everything better, it still manages to improve most baked goods.

Matcha Sablés
Adapted from Anita Chu’s Field Guide to Cookies

Yields around 25 cookies

200g (1 cup) butter, softened
140g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
The zest of 1 lemon
2 egg yolks, room temperature
280g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 tsp matcha green tea powder

In a medium bowl, combine the flour and matcha green tea.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar, salt, and lemon zest, and beat until combined. Beat in the egg yolks.

Gradually stir in the flour and matcha mixture, until you obtain a smooth dough. Do not overwork the dough.

Divide the dough in two, and roll each half into a log that measures around 20 cm (8 inches) long and 5 cm (2 inches) wide. Wrap each log in waxed paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Stack two baking sheets on top of two other sheets, and line them with parchment paper.

Remove dough from fridge, cut the logs into 1 cm (1/2 inch) slices with a sharp knife, and set them on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for around 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden, rotating sheets halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack. Store in a airtight container.


  1. They are such a gorgeous colour--I'm not sure I could stop at just one! Can you taste the green tea? I think I've only ever had green tea in ice cream. My favourite ones to drink are the genmaicha, and then a Moroccan style with mint. mmm

  2. They look absolutely beautiful! I still haven't done any cooking with matcha. I know where to buy the powder now, but I just haven't tried it yet. Cookies seem like a fairly safe thing to start with.. :)

  3. I love the colour and the sable is the perfect cookie for the matcha powder as it is so delicate, too.
    Great thinking.

  4. Well you know I share your tendency to put matcha in everything. I love your sablés they really look delicious. Curious to try the berry combination!

  5. Your matcha sablés look a real delight!

    Great as food gifts too!

  6. What lovely morsels. I love the color and your description has me hooked. I'll have to try these. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary