3.09.2008

Green Tea Cookies (Made with barley flour)


For those of you who don’t know me, I am a tea fanatic: red, green, white, herb, fruity, grassy, flowery…whatever! I especially love the flavor of green tea leaves in cooking; salty dishes bring out its grassy tones while sweet dishes bring out its bright, sweeter side.

Have you ever baked using barley flour? It is actually my favorite flour for baking. Like white flour, it is light in weight and does not absorb as much moisture like spelt or oat flours. Unlike white flour, it is not processed and therefore contains fiber and a bunch of minerals.

Lately, I’ve been baking/experimenting with natural liquid sweeteners- the results have been quite frustrating and have not met my expectations: not enough rise, too much density and dull in flavor. After many a trial and error, I consulted my favorite cookbook, Heidi Swanson’s Supernatural Cooking. She also cooks using only natural ingredients and does not cease to succeed in baking. Her list of recommended natural sweeteners included pure organic cane sugar.

Off to the co-op I go! Low and behold, just below the liquid sweeteners, I found beautiful pure organic powdered sugar and pure organic cane sugar. They both had a slightly grayish tint and a texture more granulated than processed sugar or evaporated cane juice. In addition to using barley flour in this recipe, I also used the pure organic powdered sugar. The results were small fluffy silver-dollar cookies, bright in color and delicious in taste.

Green Tea Cookies (adapted from Lovescool.com)
Makes 20 silver-dollar cookies

¾ c pure organic powdered sugar
4oz + 1tbsp butter (softened and cut into cubes)
1 ¾ c Barley flour sifted or passed through a strainer
3 large egg yolks
1.5 tbsp green tea powder
Pure organic cane sugar for coating

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly butter a baking sheet. Mix the powdered sugar and green tea powder together in a bowl and then add the cubes of softened butter. Mix with a mixer (hand or stand) until smooth and bright in color. Gradually add the flour and mix until well combined (the mixture will start to look dry and “pebble-like” but that is ok!) Lastly, add the egg yolks and mix until they are incorporated and the dough forms a mass in the center of the bowl. Let the dough cool for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator; the cooler the dough is, the easier it is to work with. Roll the dough out until it is ½” thick and cut with a small, round cookie cutter (I actually used a 1 ½ inch diameter shot glass that I found in the cabinet). Place the cookies on the baking sheet and sprinkle a very small amount of pure organic cane sugar on the tops. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes on the top rack. When removed from the oven, let cool on the baking sheet for 2-5 min and then remove to start the next batch.

**A couple of notes: You can find green tea powder in Asian or other specialty health food stores. You can also grind up green tea in a spice grinder until it forms a powder (This is the method that I used).**

1 comment:

Veggie Wedgie said...

This sounds fantastic! I have also had my fair share of unsuccessful sugar free baking...It is quite frustrating, but you only learn the hard way!