Growing up, shortbreads were a staple at our house. Mom and I would make huge batches for all our family and friends who would show up on Christmas Day, at our annual luncheon that was our family tradition. I would love to tell you that that recipe was passed down for generations, but the truth is that it came off the back of the Canada Corn Starch box! They were really, really good… but having some enjoyed some exceptional shortbreads over the years from various Scottish grannies, I decided to create a traditional shortbread recipe all my own, featuring our very own matcha.
It’s important to start with a high quality butter. I use Sterling, a local butter from Ontario.
Shortbread benefits from some time by itself. Don’t we all. So make a big batch, and store in a tin in a cool place for a week before eating, if you can resist.
Here is my recipe. You can make shortbread logs and freeze, ready for baking anytime. Enjoy!
1 lb salted butter, softened and cut into small cubes. Mash with a pastry cutter or fork until smooth, and add:
3/4 cup quick dissolving sugar (find in the canning section) which is extra fine, but not powdered. Cream these two ingredients together.
Next, sift together:
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour, and
2 tablespoons matcha, and whisk to combine.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in four stages and use the fork or pastry cutter to bring the dough together. Do not overwork the dough – you will end up with tough cookies.
When it is well blended (you will see pea sized balls of dough forming and there will be no dry flour left) form logs of dough by forming a ball of dough in your hands, and rolling into a log shape. They should be around 2″ in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and tie the ends to keep the dough logs well formed. Place in fridge, and let cool for at least two hours.
To bake: Slice logs into 1/2″ slices and place on cookie sheet. They won’t spread much, but they do need a bit of room. Bake at 300 degrees for approx. 30 minutes. You want to see a tiny hint of golden brown on the edges. Let cool on a cooling rack.
I like to finish with a dusting of icing sugar. These cookies make a great gift, and with the matcha in there – they are arguably ‘good for you.’