Matcha x Houjicha Swirled Cookies

Crisp, buttery and crumbly cookies that balance perfectly with the slight bitterness of matcha and houjicha! 

Chinese New Year is approaching (less than a week away)! Been having flu lately so didn't really find the mood for baking (though I did bake a batch of delicious honey almond and chia seed granola today :D). The inspiration for these cookies came from Jenny's Bakery cookies from Hong Kong- those buttery, melt in the mouth cookies that come in round tins printed with a teddy bear on top. I thought I should make my own similar version, with a special twist, so I've swirled mine with matcha and houjicha. 

Houjicha is roasted green tea- to incorporate it into my cookies, I buy the tea leaves and grind them up finely in the food processer, then sift it to get a coarse powder that I add directly to the cookie dough. The flavour is quite subtle, and you can definetly leave it out wth you like, but I do like the texture and balance it gives to these cookies! If you'd rather leave matcha and houjicha out, feel free to experiment with your favourite flavour combinations. Try some lemon/ orange/ lime zest, vanilla bean paste, almond extract, ground spices, or even some pandan paste! The sky's your limit- just be sure not to add too much dry or wet additions, or it might be a little difficult to pipe the cookies. A tablespoon or two should be fine. Happy baking! 

Matcha x Houjicha Swirled Cookies 
Loosely adapted from Miss Tam Chiak 

200g butter, at room temperature* 
50g icing sugar,sifted 
50g plain flour 
100g wheat starch or top flour 
50g cornflour 
1 1/2 tsp matcha powder 
1 1/2 tsp houjicha powder 

In a large bowl, cream together butter and icing sugar till light and fluffy. Sift in the flours, fold till combined. 
Divide the batter into two bowls, add the matcha and houjicha powder separately to each bowl. 
Place a large star tip into a piping bag, use a spatula to place the matcha and houjicha cookie batters on each inner side of the piping bag, being careful not to overlap(one on the left, the other on the right). Snip off the tip of the bag, pipe cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. 
Freeze the cookies on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes, or till firm. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 
Bake for 15-20 minutes till lightly golden on the edges. Let cool completely on a wire rack. 

*Note: Many sources suggest using Golden Churn Butter, but I've used regular decent quality butter and my cookies have still turned out good- melt in the mouth and very buttery and delicious! 

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