Hong Kong & Green Tea Shortbread Cookies

(Hong Kong Island and Victoria Harbor from Kowloon)

Three weeks ago I took a direct flight from Newark, New Jersey over the North Pole to Hong Kong. It was my first time in Asia, so despite being tired from 15 hours in the air, I couldn’t wait to start exploring!

With only one weekend in Hong Kong, my travel buddy and I wanted to do and see as much as possible. We rode the Star Ferry, took the tram to The Peak (highest point in Hong Kong) and hiked,
stopped by the oldest temple in the city,
(Man Mo Temple)
and visited many of the markets. Whether it was the Temple Street Night Market, the flower, bird, or jade market, stalls were buzzing with bargain hunters negotiating deals. 
(Ladies Market)
We fueled our sightseeing with different styles of Chinese cuisine. One memorable morning we ate dim sum at Tim Ho Wan, the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, where the line begins long before the doors open. Small in square footage, but big on flavor, it was well worth the wait!
Throughout our stay, I was on the lookout for remnants of British life on the island. From a postbox, 
to road signs, 
to friendly reminders to “mind the gap” when exiting the subway car, it was clear that British rule had left some lasting legacies. 
One of the most delicious legacies was afternoon tea at the Peninsula Hotel. Listening to the string quartet, sipping tea, and daintily eating goodies in the famous lobby was a welcome break from the heat and humidity. 
Last weekend, back in Philadelphia, I met some friends for dim sum in Chinatown and a quick trip to the underground Asian market. I was immediately taken back to my time in Hong Kong and couldn’t wait to bake something inspired by the trip. An homage to the fascinating blend of the U.K. and China I experienced in Hong Kong…Green Tea Shortbread Cookies.

The recipe adds a tablespoon of vanilla to Martha Stewart’s and follows (most of) the directions of The Food Channel’s
Yield: 2 dozen
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons matcha powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • Sparkling sugar

Sift flour, tea powder, and salt into a small bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter on medium speed until fluffy (3-5 minutes). Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on medium until light and fluffy (2 minutes). In three parts, add flour mixture, mixing on low and scraping the bowl in between additions, until the flour is incorporated. Dough will be sticky.
Form mixture into a dough ball and place on a piece of parchment paper dusted with flour. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until firm.
Using a cookie cutter, cut cookies and place onto parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar and refrigerate for another 30 minutes. 
Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Edges should be light golden brown. After 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. 
Enjoy with a cup of tea or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 


%d bloggers like this: