Christmas is just around the corner, and I am still stuck with so much things to do. :P Can't wait for my short break coming this weekend! As busy as I am, I am still finding time to bake in my kitchen, sort of a therapeutic get away for me. There is one thing that I have been longing to bake for Christmas for a couple years now....somehow it just didn't happen. :P A Christmas Cookie Tree! Well, this year I finally got to do it, almost sounds like a mini wish come true. (^_^) But I actually had to break up the steps to 3 days....crazy right, to think that it's actually not that hard to do at all! Anyway, here it is; my Christmas Matcha Cookie Tree.
I used a simple butter cookie recipe and incorporated green tea powder into it. And since I worry the Matcha taste will be too strong for my kids, I didn't add too much, so my cookies aren't as green as I hoped. ;P However the taste was really good plus the cookie was buttery and crisp which I liked a lot. :9
Ingredients for Matcha Butter Cookies : (makes about 25-30 x 5cm round disc)
240g all purpose flour
12g matcha powder
150g unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1/4 tsp salt
110g confectioner's sugar
1 large egg yolk
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream, refer here for recipe and steps
- In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, matcha powder, powder sugar and salt into it. Knead the cold butter in until resembles bread crumbs.
- Add in the egg yolk and knead till just combined. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
- After chilling, lightly flour a cooled work surface. Then roll out the cookie dough on the surface into about 1/4" thick. If dough gets too soft and greasy, return it to the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Use desired round cookie cutters which varies in diameter size, must have at least 5 different sizes. Also cut out a star shaped cookie to top off the tree. Arrange cookie on parchment paper and chill in fridge for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 175C.
- Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes till the edges are slightly golden browned. Let cool completely before use.
- Arrange the largest disc as the base and pipe a round ring of buttercream around the edge. top off with the second largest cookie. Repeat this till all the cookie has been stacked. Finally pipe a dollop of the cream on top and stick the star right there. Chill the whole tree in the fridge till the buttercream firms up and it'll be really for your desert centerpiece!
Since I did reduce the sugar quite a bit, the cookies does go well with the Vanilla Swiss Meringue buttercream, so no worries about having a overly sweet taste there. But do chill the cookies before serving as the cream will eventually soften the cookies. So either assemble right before or chill it prior.
I am happy to submit this to participate in the White Christmas Challenge organised by Very Good Recipes via Quay Po Cooks.
And also to this month's Aspiring Bakers #14: Creative Christmas Bakes (December 2011) hosted by Hankerie.
Okay all, will try to post up another Xmas bake this week before I leave for my short get away. Hope I can squeeze out some time!! Cheers!