22 June 2020

Matcha Neapolitan Sugar Cookies


I will always have a soft spot for Neapolitan ice cream, especially if it comes in a paper carton. It is the ice cream flavour I grew up eating because my parents thought this was the best way to appease an indecisive child that preferred strawberry ice cream on most days but would only eat chocolate and vanilla on the odd day. For me, Neapolitan will always be the classic combination of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, and it was not until recently that I started seeing variations of this tri-coloured and flavoured ice cream. One of the most notable ones is Japanese Neapolitan ice cream with matcha, hojicha, and black sesame flavoured ice cream. I also feel like a combination of Hong Kong milk tea, red bean, and soy milk would also make an amazing Chinese-style Neapolitan.

Today we are not making ice cream but we are borrowing the three-flavour concept of Neapolitan ice cream. These are a variation of the lavender Earl Grey sugar cookies that are in my cookbook Blooms and Baking (we are using a similar chewy sugar cookie base) but instead of being floral and tea-flavoured, we are making the cookie with three distinct but complementary flavours. Vanilla, matcha, and strawberry sugar cookie dough is gently rolled together to create a cookie of three colours and flavours. After making the base vanilla sugar cookie dough, I divide the dough into three equal portions and fold in matcha powder into one portion, fold freeze-dried strawberry powder into another, while leaving one portion plain (vanilla). The best way to add bold strawberry flavour into a baked good without changing the ratios of wet to dry ingredients too much is by adding freeze-dried strawberry powder. It is essentially dried strawberries (freeze drying removes even more moisture than dehydrating!) that have been ground into a very fine powder. In additional to adding bold strawberry flavours to the dough, it also colours the dough into a vibrant pink colour. If you want a more marbled look, you can mix the three doughs together a bit more, but be careful not to over-mix. Over-mixing will produce a cookie with muddled flavours and colour.







Matcha Neapolitan Sugar Cookies
Yields 12 - 14 cookies

1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
11⁄4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar (and more for rolling)
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
2 1⁄4 cups (270 g) all-purpose flour 
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons freeze-dried strawberry powder
2 tablespoons matcha powder

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set the baking sheet aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and 11⁄4 cups (250 g) of the sugar on medium speed until they are smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until just combined and no more streaks of the flour mixture remain, about 45 seconds.

Divide the dough into three equal portions. Add strawberry powder to one bowl, matcha powder to the next, while leaving one portion of dough plain.

Take a tablespoon of each dough and combine the dough by rolling between the palms of your hands.

Toss the dough balls in a bowl of sugar until dough ball is coated.

Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each ball. Bake the cookies for 10 to 13 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are light golden brown. Do not overbake the cookies. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.


Happy baking!

38 comments

  1. What is the weighted portion of each ball?

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    Replies
    1. mine were roughly 55 - 60g per dough ball!

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  2. Can I grind freeze dried strawberries to get powder?

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    1. Yes! That is what I did for my freeze-dried strawberry powder :)

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  3. Considering it’s a tablespoon, I assume it’s about 15 grams (half an ounce.) I’m not sure though.

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  4. Do you think black sesame seeds crushed into a powder will work in place of the matcha?

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    1. i think that would be delicious actually!!

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  5. How much egg are you supposed to put? I don't see in the ingredients

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  6. Replies
    1. the dough freezes very well! i would recommend that you portion them out into balls and freeze vs. freezing all the dough as one portion.

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  7. excited to give these a try, such a great idea! curious if you'd thought about making this into a shortbread vs sugar cookie?

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    1. yes yes yes!! been playing around with it! very indecisive about what shape to make them :)

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  8. Can you update this with the variations you did with berries? or when you do the mango and peach!

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    Replies
    1. yes yes yes! i'll do an updated version soon!!!

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  9. if i want to half this recipe, would it be okay to still use one egg?

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    1. i would actually whisk the egg until the yolk and whites are combined, and measure out half of the egg! the dough also freezes really nicely so if you want to make the -full- batch of dough and bake half + freeze half for later, that works too!

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  10. Do you think I can use a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer? Thank you!!

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    1. oh of course! cant wait to see your cookies!

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  11. Hello! If I wanted to try other flavours, maybe chocolate or something, would swapping the 3tbsp of strawberries directly for cocoa powder work?

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    1. i haven't tried it myself, but i think that would be fine! i've seen other people on instagram try this recipe with a direct 1:1 sub for cocoa powder and their cookies look great!

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    2. I can confirm they are delicious with cocoa powder 1:1 swap 😊

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  12. Do you need to chill the dough before baking?

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    1. Hi Edith! I just made these cookies and didn't chill my dough but they turned out great! Hope that helps!

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  13. These cookies were perfect with crunchy edges and soft, chewy centers. I switched up the flavors based on what I had and made oolong, blueberry, and vanilla cookies but they were soooo tasty! I can’t wait to try the original matcha, strawberry vanilla flavor next!

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    1. Hi, I'd love to hear about how you made this with oolong! Did you grind up the tea leaves into a fine powder? I'm thinking of using earl grey as a base. Thanks!

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  14. can i make these in smaller size? will it change the baking time ?

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  15. What brand of matcha did you use to get this vibrant green?

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  16. Absolutely love this recipe! Thank you! I've made the orignal and I've also tried a blueberry/earl grey version that was a big hit! The one thing I noticed both times though is that my cookies didn't flatten and get the nice crunchy outer and chewy inner that yours have. Mine were puffier and soft all around. Still delicious, but I like the look of yours. Any ideas what I could change?

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    Replies
    1. Hi! Curious how you added early grey flavor to your cookies? Sounds delicious!

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  17. Such a smart idea to use matcha in cookies! I love spumoni and traditional neapolitan, so I should definitely give this a try :)
    Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? Life of an Earth Muffin

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  18. I noticed that mixing in the strawberry and matcha powders at the end put the dough at risk of being overmixed. Would you recommend splitting all the ingredients before making the dough? That way the powders can be mixed in with the dry ingredients. Cheers!

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