Wednesday, 16 December 2015

White Chocolate and Cranberry Matcha Tea Trees for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Despite the lack of activity this year I knew I wasn't going to miss out on the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  I had so much fun doing it last year that as soon as applications opened, I signed up. The fact it is for charity is just a bonus really.

"The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next year’s cookie swap. Rinse and repeat.

This year we are again excited to be partnering with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against paediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease. By participating in this cookie swap you are not only contributing to the food blogger community, but also supporting a great cause."

If you are interested in taking part next year you can sign up to be notified when next year's cookie swap opens.

Now (some of) you know me: I like to get inventive for this.  I also like to get festive.  Hence why last year was a take on a classic Christmas flavour (gingerbread) mixed with a little extra of what reminded me of the start of the season (cola).  This year was going to be no different.  I wanted something different from the usual chocolate chip, shortbread or gingerbread (not that I would complain if I received any of those myself).  I cannot remember what got me on to looking at matcha tea as an ingredient but once I had it I wondered about adding more Christmassy ingredients to it, namely cranberries and white chocolate (a popular combination with the Hubby).  And since matcha is green, I thought it would be so cute to make them look like Christmas trees!

The main research for this went into finding a recipe that used matcha and produced a cookie that would hold it's shape by baking.  Of course, I started early in case this bizarre idea turned out to be a disaster.  I required the Hubby's approval and was really unsure if I would get it with these.  Matcha is a bit out there.  I made up a small batch of the recipe I found and conveniently it made exactly one dozen cookies.  I used the tree cutter I had at the time but ended up buying a new one specially for the final ones because the shape looked too much like a holly leaf.  I tentatively offered one to the Hubby, saying I wouldn't be offended if he didn't like it.  As you've probably guessed though, he did like it.  In fact, he loved it and scoffed my whole batch!

I needed to be prompt with getting my cookies done and sent.  December is a busy time at school, even if I'm only working part-time.  I had to prepare my dough on a Sunday, cut and bake 3 dozen on the Monday after I got in from work and then finally photograph and package them on Tuesday, ready for the Hubby to take to the Post Office on Wednesday.  I really had to be strict with myself.  There were several moments where I wanted to just curl up on the couch and sleep.  I also annoyed my cats by shutting them in the hall so I could do my photography.  It is a bit of a problem living in a small flat with two nosy kittens who want to climb on your equipment.  Even more so when there are pretty ribbons all over the place!

Worth it though! I loved how my cookies turned out and I'm really hoping Claire (Clairey Fairy's Cooking), Alicia (Beef and Brioche) and Laura (Foodie Laura) enjoyed them!

I know I have been enjoying what arrived for me not long after: 
Soft Ricotta Cookies with Almond Icing from Iris at Whatever Gets You Through The Day
Chocolate and Candycane Cookies from Karen at Yankee Doodle PaddyMint Chocolate Snowball Cookies from Marsha of Marsha's Baking Addiction

The Hubby and I have been steadily scoffing our way through all these delicious bakes from three lovely ladies.  We also took some to share when we went to dinner at the in-laws and they very much appreciated it.  The Hubby says the cookie swap makes this the best time of year!

Recipe - adapted from Just One Cookbook
Makes 36 cookies
  • 360g/12.5oz plain flour
  • 22.5g/0.8oz matcha tea powder (green tea powder)
  • 225g/8oz unsalted butter
  • 195g/7oz icing sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 150g/5.5oz white chocolate chips
  • 100g/3.5oz dried cranberries
  1. Sift the plain flour and matcha into a bowl.
  2. Cream the butter, icing sugar and salt together until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg yolks and beat in well.
  4. Add the flour and matcha mix gradually to the butter.  Beat mixture until a soft dough forms.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips and cranberries.
  6. Shape the dough into 3 equal rounds and wrap in clingfilm.  Chill in the fridge overnight.
  7. Line a few baking trays with baking parchment.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 7mm/0.25inches and cut into Christmas tree shapes using a cutter.  Place the cookies on the tray.
  9. Put the cookies in the fridge while you preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2.
  10. Bake for about 20-25 minutes.  Allow them to rest on the tray for a couple of minutes after removing from the oven before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.


  1. They were delicious thank you and such an unusual ingredient! X

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed them! I always worry a little that I'll send something people won't like, so I'm happy these came out so well. X

  2. Matcha and white chocolate? Where do I sign? It sounds like a wonderful combination, well done on coming up with it...I'll be sure to pin your recipe for later :)

    1. Thanks Iris. It was a fun recipe to put together ^^

  3. Awesome food recipe. Thanks for sharing.