a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes
Thank you, Martha Stewart, for the inspiration for these deliciously easy holiday cookies.
I’ve actually never been a huge Martha Stewart fan. I’ve always thought of her recipes like her craft projects—major endeavors that need a weekend-long commitment and then never turn out quite like the picture. But I’m changing my tune after browsing the December 2012 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine. There are about half a dozen easy-sounding recipes in this issue that I want to turn into tea foodie dishes, including chamomile panna cotta, Earl Grey crepe cake and homemade spiced chai caramels.
Martha’s Christmas tree-inspired macaroon trees were easy to convert to a tea foodie dish and make even more holiday-ish by adding that gorgeously green powdered tea known as Matcha.
I used a cooking-grade Matcha that I received as a sample from the brand Aiya. Cooking-grade Matcha is described to have a stronger green tea flavor than a drinking-grade Matcha so that the tea flavor can stand up to other ingredients in a dish. As Matchas go, I found this to be a very smooth and sweetly vegetal tea powder. It worked wonderfully as an ingredient in this sweet treat dish and it was not overpowering at all.
The great part about this recipe is that it doesn’t have to be Christmas to make mouthwatering Matcha macaroons. I also made a batch that I molded into little mounds and dipped in melted chocolate.
The mixture holds a shape well, so I imagine if you had heart molds for Valentine’s Day or egg molds for Easter, etc., you’d be in business to make Matcha macaroons for any occasion.
Happy cooking and sipping!
(Adapted from the Sugar-Dusted Macaroon Trees recipe in the Martha Stewart Living magazine December 2012 issue.)
Makes about 20 cookies.
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Matcha green tea powder (I used Organic Cooking Grade Matcha from Aiya)
2 ½ cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
pinch of salt
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
1. Whisk together the sugar and Matcha in a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut, egg whites, and vanilla and almond extracts, and combine everything thoroughly with a spatula or with your hands.
2. Take 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time and form it into 2-inch-tall trees with pointed tops. Place the trees on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. (Note: Don’t give up on molding the trees! It’s messy business. Mine looked like knobby mountains instead of trees at first. But after a first pass at molding the trees, I washed my hands of the sticky coconut mixture and then went back to each tree on the baking sheet and did some more shaping.)
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, until the trees are golden brown and firm. (Note: I baked the for trees 12 minutes, but the mounds took 15 minutes to really brown.) Let them cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. These will keep for a day or so if you store them in an airtight container.