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Beet and Matcha Shortbread Cookies

Update your shortbread cookies with a marbleized pattern made from all-natural pink and green food coloring.

December 20, 2016
Update your shortbread cookies with a marbleized pattern made from all-natural pink and green food coloring. It's something no one will expect, but everyone will like. Beet powder makes a vibrant pink and matcha makes the green — perfect for the holidays, springtime or any time of year when you wish it were spring! 
Do they taste like beets or green tea? Not so much: beet is naturally sweet and matcha adds a slight vegetable taste, yet the flavors are very subtle when baked and combined with vanilla. 
For cooking with matcha, buy the least expensive option (for drinking matcha you should always buy the good stuff). Beet powder can be hard to find, but one reliable Seattle shop is mentioned in the recipe below. You can also make beet powder at home by drying and grinding your own beets. For a more common flavor and color combination, try this recipe with cocoa powder and just the plain vanilla shortbread for the marbled effect.
Beet and Matcha Marbled Shortbread Recipe 
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoons matcha powder (powdered Japanese green tea)
  • 2 teaspoons beet powder (can be hard to find, but always available at World Spice Merchants in Seattle, near Pike Place Market.)
1) Sift flour and salt into a bowl and set aside.
2) Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3) Add vanilla and mix. Slowly add flour, and beat till just combined.
4) Divide the dough in two bowls. In one half, mix in beet powder, and in the second, mix in matcha powder until doughs are evenly colored.
5) Roll both doughs into logs. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for half an hour. Dough will stay in fridge for a few days.
6) When ready to bake, heat oven to 325 F.
7) Take about a tablespoon of each dough and roll them together into a ball, so they combine unevenly.
8) Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet leaving about an inch of space in between.
9) Press them down to 1/4” thick with a flat cup or spatula. Chill for about 20-30 minutes.
10) Bake at 325 F for about 14-15 minutes, until just firm or the edges start getting slightly dark, rotating the tray half-way through. Keep an eye on the cookies, don't let them brown!
11) Once done, take them off the tray to cool completely on a wire rack, before storing them in air tight containers, for up to a couple of weeks.
Yield: Two dozen shortbread cookies


Mohini Patel Glanz

Mohini Patel Glanz is a freelance photographer and creator of where she shares stories of food and culture. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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