Matcha Tea Shortbread Cookies, Reduced-Sugar

It should be easy to agree on a shortbread cookie recipe, one of the simplest and richest of cookies—if you think of all that butter as rich, and I do. The one I have made most often is from my old Betty Crocker (1961), p. 210, “Scotch Shortbread.” Comparing it to other recipes for shortbread, though, the ratio of the three ingredients—sugar, butter, and flour—seems a little odd. If you measure by volume, it uses 1 part sugar, 3 parts butter, and 8 parts flour. It seems very heavy on the flour, even though flour by weight can be very different from volume, and too light on the sugar. Still I always liked them.

I’m going to use the 1, 2, 3 formula in Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio and measure the flour by weight, because you just never know about flour, given the humidity and air pressure. Today, we have rain and gusty winds that will turn to snow later, so relying on a measuring cup just won’t work as well as a scale. I’m using 4 oz of sugar, 8 oz of butter, and 12 oz of flour. Twelve ounces of flour came to about 2 cups today.

I have found many shortbread recipes on the web that use the same formula, and assume that 12 oz of flour will always be 2 cups, but I wish they used weight. This one from Martha Stewart, for example. Her recipe for Green Tea Shortbread uses the same formula with 2 cups of flour. So, mine are like hers, substituting Japanese Matcha tea for the Chinese tea she uses. I’m not in the mood for rolling and cutting and think I’ll just roll the dough in balls and look around the kitchen for something with an interesting surface texture to press into them.

The title of this post says these cookies will have reduced sugar, but I’m technically not going to change the 1, 2, 3 ratio; I’m just going to use a sugar substitute baking blend, Truvia® Baking Blend, which still has some sugar in it, but according to the package information, 75% fewer calories. I’m more worried about the sugar than the calories. Because it is sweeter than sugar, the quantity is less, but it will be the sweetness equivalent of the 1/2 cup in the recipe. Too much math? Just think of it as magic, then.

Matcha Tea Shortbread Cookies, Reduced-Sugar

  • Servings: about 2 1/2 doz 2-inch cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 350°; line a cookie sheet with parchment.

4 oz sugar or equivalent 1/4 cup Truvia® Baking Blend

8 oz butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature

12 oz all purpose flour

1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons Matcha green tea powder

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until fluffy.
  2. Beat in sugar or reduced-sugar equivalent.
  3. Add flour, salt, and green tea powder, mixing slowly until combined. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth and holds together.
  4. Using a small scoop, measure out and roll dough in about 1″ balls. Place on baking sheet and flatten. I used the tenderizing edge of a meat tenderizer, pressing the dough down to about 1/4″ or so.
  5. Bake for 15 mins or until done. The cookies will brown a little on the edges.

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