Today I'm going to share a Christmas cookie recipe with a Japanese twist! Enjoy these adorable Christmas Tree Cookies flavoured with matcha powder! A delicious treat for you and your family, they make the perfect gift too!
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Christmas in Japan
Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan. People love to decorate their houses, buy presents and eat Kentucky Fried Chicken on December 24th (yes, 24th not 25th!), but other than that, Christmas is a regular day!
That's why you might find that there are very few Japanese Christmas recipes. Japanese families mainly eat chicken and Christmas cake, that's pretty much it! And Christmas cake might not be the kind of cake you're thinking... It's a light and fluffy strawberry shortcake (check out my strawberry shortcake recipe!). Very different to Christmas cakes in England at least.
What is Matcha?
As I'm using matcha in this recipe, I'll tell you a little bit about it. Matcha is a type of green tea made by grinding young green tea leaves into a fine, bright green powder.
Because of it getting more popular outside of Japan, matcha powder has become more accessible. You can probably even find it in well stocked supermarkets. If not you can check specialist tea stores or asian supermarkets, it’s easy to order online as well.
I recommend this Tsujiri Ichi Matcha Powder on Dokodemo (Affiliate link), it's delicious and perfect for baking and drinking!
Because of matcha's bright green colour, it's great for Christmas recipes! You can add colour to your baking naturally without using food coloring, and it tastes great too. Win win!
This recipe is a butter cookie with matcha flavour. Butter cookies are rich and luxurious and just perfect for Christmas! Because of the amount of butter and sugar in butter cookies, the texture is crisp and a bit crumbly like a shortbread.
Butter cookies are often piped into different shapes. For this recipe you will need a piping bag and a star shaped nozzle. The dough might be a bit stiff, you can use a bit more milk to make it soft enough to pipe. I get worried about adding too much milk so I just run the piping bag under warm water if the dough is too stiff.
Make sure you use soft butter when making this cookies. Cold hard butter is gonna give you a hard time and it will be impossible to pipe. The butter will harden again when you put the cookies in the fridge to chill.
I recommend drawing a Christmas Tree template on a piece of paper and then placing it under the baking parchment when you're piping. This will make it easier to make beautiful cookies and they will be uniform too.
If you like, you can download my template here for free!
If you love matcha...
We have more delicious matcha sweets recipes, check them out!