Green Tea Shortbread Cookies

Green Tea Shortbread Cookies with Maple Vanilla Glaze


Today, the South froze, even all the way out here on the South Carolina coast…which never happens.  I mean, a couple days ago, I was wearing shorts when taking my pup for a walk outside! Snow is a reason to celebrate and cancel everything since everyone knows there is chaos on the roads when southerners are forced to drive in snow. Unfortunately for many of my friends, snow days don’t apply to nurses, but as for me, I was not scheduled to work the following night and was able to celebrate the slushy ‘Snow day’ with trying out a new recipe and snuggles with the family.


Snuggling was necessary since 1–It was really cold and yucky outside and 2– I had worked the night before, 7pm-7am. Whew.

 Once I had a few hours of sleep under my belt, I went to work on the recipe I’d been scheming up for the past week.  You see, Scott and I are obsessed with tea. Several types of green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong, pu erh tea, blooming tea.  The list  goes on. Everyday we drink tea… why not bring some of those delicious flavors to food?! I once ate a green tea macaroon, and it was pretty good, so I thought I would bring the green tea flavor to another cookie.  This tea experiment turned out ridiculously yummy so you can bet many more tea recipes are in store for this blog. This time, I specifically choose a short bread cookie so the green tea flavor could shine without being overpowered by sugar.  Then, with a little maple syrup glaze and green tea powder on top, a really complex yet delicately flavored cookie was created. Oh yum. I think I ate a dozen. Maybe more.

IMG_1678If you love tea, or even if you kinda like tea, these cookies are for you.

Looking at a recipe I made a decade ago combined with quick google search of shortbread recipes, made me immediately think, ‘WOAH, that is way too much butter,’ so this recipe cut back on the butter and the sugar, and I made up for the losses with a little almond milk and a little vanilla to make the dough workable.  So a little healthier, right? :)


This dough turned out a lightly colored green, but the green tea flavor is unmistakeable.  To flavor the dough I used a green tea called Matcha, a powdered green tea, and simply mixed it in. The dough turned out to be very easy to work with, no flour mess needed to roll it out, and no need to grease the cookie sheet before baking.


Green Tea Shortbread Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A green tea flavored shortbread cookie with a maple vanilla glaze. Makes 6 dozen 1x1 inch square cookies.
  • For the Dough:
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp Matcha (powdered green tea)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 tbls milk (I used original almond milk)
  • ¾ cup butter (I used smart balance butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • For the Glaze:
  • 2 tbls maple syrup
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream butter with sugar.
  3. Mix in milk, vanilla, salt, and Matcha
  4. Add flour and knead until consistent.
  5. Roll out dough on cutting board until about 1 cm thick and cut into 1x1 inch squares
  6. Transfer squares to ungreased cookie sheet. The cookies don't spread out much so 1cm minimum between each cookie,
  7. Bake each batch for 15 minutes
  8. While cookies cool, mix maple syrup, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract for the glaze.
  9. Spread a little glaze on the center of each cookie and let it set a couple minutes before stacking.
Since smart balance is a little less solid than regular butter, you may have to add a tadd more milk to make the dough less stiff if you use regular butter.

For an extra kick of green tea flavor, try sprinkling a tiny bit of matcha powder on the glaze before sets. Try this on one cookie and taste it before doing this on them all. The powder in raw form is an intense flavor.



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