I’ve adapted a classic American refrigerator-type cookie to accommodate a traditional Japanese ingredient—powdered ceremonial tea. Instructions are given here for making elegant two-toned leaves and some swirls with the leftover dough. You might want to play around with the dough to make more distinctive or exotic designs of your own. No cookie, though, should be so large or so thick that it takes more than 15–20 minutes to bake in a preheated 300-degree oven, since the jade-colored tea powder becomes bitter and turns an unattractive olive shade when exposed to high heat, or even low heat, for an extended period of time.
Cream the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to cream the mixture for about 1 minute until all the sugar is completely incorporated. Reserve
Blend in the
In a small dish, mix the powdered tea with the cold water, a few drops at a time. Stir to make a thick, dark paste. Add this paste to one of the two balls of dough and knead it in thoroughly. Shape the green dough into a ball again. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to flatten and pat the dough, coaxing it into a small rectangle
Brush the surface of the green dough with the reserved beaten egg. Place the white dough on top and gently press the two together. Wrap the double dough in the clear plastic wrap and chill it for at least 1 hour. The dough may be frozen after sealing it (allow this dough to return to room temperature before cutting and baking), or sealed and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Unwrap the double dough and slice it into
Bake the leaves for 10–12 minutes, checking progress after 8 minutes. If the cookies seem to be browning, lower the heat in your oven. The cookies are done when they’re firm, but uncolored. Remove the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool completely before serving.
While baking and cooling the leaf-shaped cookies, reshape the excess dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the white dough, then the green, keeping them the same size and no thicker than
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.