These cookies are a buttermilk base, with green tea, ginger, and honey. They are very light, moist, and cake-like. Green tea and lemon/buttermilk add a great sour note, and a very light glaze keeps them from being overly sweet (which means I can eat a gazillion of them). I made this up as I was going, so they haven't really been tested, but I love them already, and don't want to forget what I did.
Green Tea Buttermilk Cookies
Adapted from Gourmet, January 2008
I'm not sure how many cookies this yields, as I ate some along the way. Oops.
1/3 cup buttermilk (or 1 tsp lemon juice and enough milk to total 1/3 cup)
2 bags of green tea (I use Celestial Seasonings)1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
3/4 stick unsalted butter (softened, or not, if you find it difficult to plan ahead)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey (I used raw)
1 large egg (or 1/4 cup Egg beaters)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 bag of green tea
1/4-1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons of honey
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
What to Do With Above Stuff
Heat the buttermilk (do not boil, it will make a mess, seriously, trust me on this) on the stove, or if you're lazy, in the microwave. Add the tea bags and allow to steep for five minutes, then remove tea bags. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and ginger in a medium sized bowl, and set aside. In a large-ish bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and honey (it should become light and fluffy) with an electric mixer. Then, decide that you want cookies rather than just dough, and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Add the egg to the butter and sugar mixture, then add the lemon juice, mixing until combined after each. Alternate small additions of the flour mixture and the buttermilk tea, again, mixing after each addition. When everything is mixed together, scoop the dough (it is somewhere between pancake batter and rolled cookie dough in consistency) by the 1/2 tablespoon* onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (don't use aluminum foil because it's closer), leaving an inch or so between blobs.
Bake for 10-12** minutes, or until they look done. (Seriously, you know what cookies look like, when they look like that, remove them from the oven. Oh, and don't forget your protective gear, oven mitts are far sexier than 2nd degree burns.) Allow to cool on pan for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack (strategically placed in a cat resistant zone). There should be about 2 1/2 pans worth of cookies, baked one at a time.
For the glaze, place the tea bag in a very small bowl, mug, or dish (something that has a base about the same size as the tea bag). Cover with almost boiling water, and allow to steep for five minutes. Remove the tea bag. Pour the tea into a larger bowl (significantly larger, but more on that later). Add honey and lemon juice to taste, stir, then add the corn starch. Stir until there are no lumps. Then, because you waited until the tea had cooled to add the other stuff, put the whole thing in the microwave to help it along. When about half of it has boiled out, and is forming a small pool in the bottom of the microwave, remove it. (A larger bowl would prevent this, but maybe you enjoy cleaning your microwave, who am I to judge.) *** Use a fork to apply the glaze in a crosshatch pattern, dunk the cookies in the glaze, smear it on the tops with your fingers... basically, get the glaze on the cookies in whatever manner you see fit. Then, devour.
2-23-11 I made another batch of these, and made a few changes. I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose flour. I heated the glaze in the microwave for about 30 seconds, keeping a close eye on it, which yielded a much better consistency than the mess I had last time. I ended up adding ginger to the glaze, because the flavor of the whole wheat flour overpowered the ginger in the cookie. Next time, I will add more ginger to the cookies, and keep the flour at half and half, as I liked the flavor.
I really should just break down and buy some matcha, but I am stubbornly committed to finding a better way to brew the green tea in the milk. My mom suggested just grinding down the loose leaf gunpowder tea we have. I might try this, but it seems like cheating.
I ended up with 40 cookies, but we ate some of the dough, so it probably yields somewhere in the 4 dozen range. That sounds like a lot, but they are tiny.
*I used a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon, filled it with a spatula, the used the teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop it out. It worked great.
**It's probably more like 11 - 13 minutes, but I don't like odd numbers, unless they're multiples of five, so...
***The microwave step may not really be necessary, especially if the tea is still hot when the other ingredients go in.