March. It’s finally here! The days are noticeably longer and the shrubbery outside our apartment is full of small unopened flower buds. Right now, it’s about 40 degrees and clear skies and sunny!
I generally like winter and don’t mind when Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, but for some reason, this year I can’t wait for the weather to get warmer.
I mean, I did enjoy it when it snowed a couple of times in January and just a few days ago, but I’m just ready for a change.
(Also, maybe it’s more the political climate of this country that has gotten me down and needs to change. I remember a similar feeling back in the early 00s with Bush, but this current administration is infinitely worse. I did not like Bush, but still considered him to be President. I’ve never been ashamed to be an American, but today I am. I’ll stop because this is supposed to be a baking blog.)
What makes you think of Spring? For me, it’s Jordan Almonds. Possibly because they seem to be at almost all events and celebrations that happen during Springtime–weddings, baby showers, graduations, Easter, etc.
For me, anything Matcha also reminds me of Spring. The chartreuse color is such a fresh color, and the distinctive flavor reminds me of fresh cut grass, in a good way.
Aside from being topped with Jordan Almonds, these cookies also have blanched almonds that are toasted and coarsely chopped/diced and added to the dough before being baked. Only a teaspoon of powdered Matcha in the dough, which is just the right amount, I think. Just enough to complement the almond flavor, and to add color.
A quick note about this cookie. It’s not a crumbly cookie, but because the Jordan Almond is much harder than the cookie, it basically crumbles if you bite down on the Jordan Almond part. You almost have to bite around the almond.
At first, this sort of bummed me out.
(I mean, as much as a cookie recipe can bum me out, which is not much, considering all the other things in life that can and do really bum me out, like having a stupid, lying, egotistical, xenophobic, narcissistic, misogynist, homo and transphobic, bigoted, racist a$$hole in the White House, plus his garbage cabinet appointees. But I digress…).
But the more I ate them, the more I came to accept just how the cookie crumbles. Literally.
If you think this cookie crumbling business might bother you, there are a few things that might make the cookie harder/less prone to crumbling: use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour, use less butter, and maybe work an egg into the dough.
(Keep in mind this is all conjecture. Because I haven’t tried any of that. Plus, it might make the cookie harder, but still not hard enough to solve the problem. If that is the case, either consider using another recipe for the cookie part, or topping it with softer candy eggs or jelly beans, which would be another common Springtime confection. That would definitely make them more Easter-y, especially if put three of them, which makes it looks like an egg nest!)
Or you can just accept that this is a marriage of hard and soft in a cookie. This is how the cookie crumbles!
Happy Impending Spring! We are almost there!
Jordan Almond Matcha Cookies (modified from HERE, which in turn was from HERE)
makes 20 cookies
4 ounces (115 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (50 grams) confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon Matcha fine green tea powder
1 and 1/2 cup (180 grams) cake flour, sifted twice
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons (60 grams) blanched almonds, coarsely diced and baked at 320 degrees for about 5-6 minutes until slightly toasted and cooled
20 Jordan Almonds, assorted pastel spring colors–white, blue, purple, green, and yellow
Heat oven to 320 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, cream the sugar and butter with a hand held mixer until fluffy and blended. Scrape the sides of the bowl towards the bottom. Sift the Matcha green tea powder over the creamed butter mixture and mix or stir with a rubber spatula until the matcha evenly colors the butter/sugar mixer. Scrape bottom again to ensure the matcha has mixed in and colored the butter mixture evenly.
Fold in the toasted almonds with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
Sift the flour once or twice and sift again in thirds, above the butter mixture, folding with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, after each addition, until a dough forms. There should be no dry flour.
With a small spoon (I used a small ice cream scoop that was the same volume as a Tablespoon), scoop unto the parchment-lined baking sheet, 1 to 2 cm apart from each other. They will look like small round scoops of ice cream. If there are large cracks on top, press down gently to smooth it out. You should have about 20 cookies.
Bake for 20 minutes at 320 degrees F.
While baking, get 20 Jordan almonds ready.
Take out from oven and place on a wire rack. Immediately place one almond on top of each cookie and press down. The cookie might crack a little as you press down, but the cookie will harden and keep the almond in place. Cool until room temperature. Store in airtight container.