A Touch of Zen: Matcha Shortbread


Transport your tea time to the serene world of the Japanese tea ceremony with these melt-in-your-mouth matcha shortbread cookies. The earthy matcha powder adds intrigue to the buttery richness of classic shortbread.

As a long-time matcha fan, I find these cookies make the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot matcha tea. Much like the discipline required to master the Japanese tea ceremony, carefully following the shortbread recipe results in a sublime treat for the senses. The intermingling flavors are like a trip to Kyoto without leaving your kitchen!

While standard shortbread calls for only flour, sugar and butter, the addition of matcha lends its characteristic green tint and subtle bitterness. Matcha is shade-grown green tea leaves stone-ground into a fine powder, prized for its bold flavor and antioxidant properties. The powder beautifully colors and lightly perfumes the buttery cookie dough. Baked to a delicate golden brown with visible flakes of rice flour, the shortbread crumbles softly on the tongue, carrying notes of toasted rice and grassy green tea. These sublime but simple cookies let the matcha flavor shine.

Enjoy the shortbread on its own, or dip them into a cup of freshly whisked matcha. Sipping the rich green tea between nibbles of shortbread allows you to fully appreciate how the complementary flavors mingle on your palate. For total tranquility, enjoy this ritual of matcha cookies and tea outdoors while listening to the wind rustle through trees. Let thoughts of work and digital distractions fade away, as you simply sit and savor imbuing all your senses.

Matcha Green Tea Shortbread Cookies Makes 2 dozen cookies


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1⁄2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 tbsp matcha powder, sifted
  • 1⁄4 tsp sea salt


  1. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until just combined. Mix in vanilla.
  2. Sift in remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed until a dough forms.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead together by hand. Form dough into a disk.
  4. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment.
  6. Roll chilled dough to 1⁄4” thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters.
  7. Arrange shapes 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden at edges.
  8. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Savor with matcha for a sublime tea time treat! Dip cookies or enjoy mini sips between nibbles.