You cannot avoid green tea when you are traveling through Japan. It is the favorite non-alcoholic drink of the Japanese and is served everywhere. In restaurants a little steaming bowl will be put in front of you without asking. During my trip through Japan this hot summer, green tea matcha ice cream was my favorite way of cooling down. The slightly bitter tea taste made a dripping cone even more refreshing. Matcha is finely ground green tea powder that has been used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony for centuries. Now you will find it in many sweet treats like cookies, cake, mochi -the sticky rice sweets- and ice cream. Matcha has a very strong taste so be careful when you measure it out. Just a little bit of powder gives this crunchy sweet green tea pretzel – my variation of the palmier cookie from France – its distinct tea taste and its beautiful green color.
Green tea pretzels
for about 15 cookies
350 grams of puff pastry (frozen)
½ teaspoon green tea powder (matcha)
50 grams sugar
pinch of salt
Defrost the puff pastry and cut into 4 pieces. Rub the top of the pieces of dough with a pinch of matcha and stack into a pile.
Roll out the dough into a sheet of 8×8 inches (20×20 cm). Cut into strips of 1½ cm/⅔ inches wide. Preheat the oven to 360°F/180°C.
Roll the strips into ropes and form into a pretzel.
Mix the sugar with the salt and the rest of the matcha.
Put the cookies on a cookie sheet covered with baking paper. Leave some room for the cookies to spread.
Bake the cookies for about 20 min. in the oven until they are just done. Take them out of the oven.
Put the sugar-matcha mix into a small saucepan and add ¼ teaspoon of water. Bring to the boil while stirring. Keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Brush the cookies with the hot matcha syrup and leave to cool.
This post is also available in: Dutch