Matcha Butter Cookies for Little Chinese New Year

I’ve had an intention to create a trio of cookies using culinary matcha after I discovered a taste for, first, green tea Frappucino at Starbucks and second, Fred Meyer’s Private Selection Matcha Ice Cream. Last week I bought some culinary matcha and on Saturday did the first experimental matcha cookie in two forms, a butter cookie without the customary sparkling sugar for my Chinese friends who prefer less sugar and a few with the sparking sugar for me and others to sample.

For those who have not been introduced to matcha even if they drink green tea (which has health benefits), I’ve been comparing its taste in its mildest form to the flavor at the soft tip of a stalk of tall grass pulled from its home in the yard or field and chewed. Matcha is earthy and grassy because it is made of very finely powderized young green tea leaves which have not been contaminated by fertilizer. Matcha is the type of tea used in making Japanese ceremonial tea by geishas, seen in many movies (and, if you’re in Seattle, whisked at the Seattle Art Museum in a demonstration at an exhibit there.) It is also highly favored in China.

Red and yellow accents for Chinese New Year. Chinese writing by me.

This past weekend is known as Little Chinese New Year, Xiao Nian, which is the week before the Chinese New Year begins on January 22nd and the celebration thereof which lasts for 15 days, ending on February 6th. I made the Matcha Butter Cookies to honor the tradition with my Chinese lady friends at Sunday afternoon Mahjongg. Two of them were born in the Year of the Cow/Ox, but 12 years apart. 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit for the Chinese and the Year of the Cat for the Vietnamese.

Hey, little rabbit. It’s your year.

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