Sunday, January 22, 2012

DIY Cookie Cutter Stencils & Green Tea Shortbread Recipe

Happy Chinese New Year's Eve and welcome to the year of the dragon! To celebrate I have a fun DIY post mixed with a baking post!

We're making green tea shortbread cookies shaped like little tea leaves. No leaf shaped cookie cutter needed! Here was my inspiration, and here are how mine came out, plus dipped in chocolate.

White chocolate dipped green tea shortbread

Before I get into the how-to and recipe, I want to point out that this shortbread is made with matcha which is really thought of as Japanese, and great for baking and green tea ice cream. Visit here for more about matcha, and here for more about Chinese green tea. The matcha I used was purchased at Teavana.

How to Make a Cookie Cutter Stencil 
Downloadable instructions
(or jump to the recipe)

Supply list:
Template for cookie stencil - get the leaf template here
Clean lid of plastic tub (like cream cheese or sour cream come in)
Permanent marker

DIY cookie stencil supplies

How to:
Following the outside of the line, cut out your shape.

Pattern for leaf cookie stencil

With the inside of the lid facing up, center the paper template on the lid. Use the permanent marker to trace the leaf onto the lid.

Pattern for cookie stencil

Cut out and get ready to trace cookies!

Leaf stencil

Lay on top of rolled out cookie dough, and use a sharp knife held as vertically as possible to trace around the stencil.

Leaf stencil

Cute! Now here is the shortbread recipe as promised

Green Tea Shortbread
Adapted from marthastewart.com

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
2 tablespoons Chinese green-tea powder (matcha)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
About half a bag chocolate chips for each flavor to dip with! (I used Ghirardelli white chocolate and 60% cocoa)
  1. Sift flour, tea powder, and salt into a small bowl; set aside. 
  2. Cream the butter in an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. 
  3. Add sugar; continue to beat until very light in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. 
  4. Add flour mixture; combine on low, scraping sides of bowl with a spatula if necessary, until flour is just incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed with fingers.
  5. Dust a clean surface with flour and roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. (If your dough is too warm, chill it in the fridge for a bit)
  6. Cut or trace shapes and transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  7. Let chill in fridge for about 30 min. (Don't skip this step!)
  8. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  9. Bake until firm and barely starting to color, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through. 
  10. Cool completely on wire rack.
Green tea shortbread cookies

Great! Cookies are done! If you want to dip them in chocolate like I did, read on...

I melted my chocolate in a heat proof measuring cup in the microwave, since I wanted the chocolate to cover about 1/4 of the cookie, and I would have had to use way too much chocolate to get the chocolate that deep if I used a sauce pan on the stove.  Even so, I had chocolate left over, so here is what I suggest.

Before you start melting and dipping, prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment and get ready to make chocolate bark! Have your ingredients on hand and when ever you are done dipping, pour the extra chocolate right onto the sheet, sprinkle with extras and let set. You're magic! Two desserts in one night! Here is a recipe I have for s'more bark for inspiration.

One more tip for the white chocolate, it is very easy to overheat so go slowly! It may help to add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to the chocolate to thin it as you melt, but go slowly with that too!

Freshly dipped green tea shortbread

White chocolate dipped green tea shortbread

1 comment:

  1. That is very creative! Although I am not a big fan of green tea, it might be a cute little project!