These are actually easier to make than it might seem. The process is similar to forming the Checkerboard cookies , only here the core is a matcha-colored cylinder which is subsequently wrapped into striped dough (alternating chocolate and matcha strips), then followed by a layer of chocolate dough.
Obviously, the cookies can be turned into chocolate-vanilla, chocolate-coffee, or any other variety you can think of.
Makes about 44 cookies
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 12 oz (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup Dutch cocoa powder, sifted (to be added to a larger (2/3rd) portion of dough)
- 3 tbsp matcha powder (to be added to a smaller (1/3rd) portion of dough)
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and egg yolk, one at a time, then vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and mix to combine. Finish the mixing with your hands or a wooden spoon.
Divide the dough in two 1/3rd and 2/3rd portions (it’s better to weigh than eyeball). Knead ½ cup of cocoa into the larger portion of the dough, and the matcha powder into another-smaller portion.
Divide the chocolate and matcha dough in half. Form each of total four portions into a rectangle, wrap individually in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to a day.
First, remove one matcha dough portion from the refrigerator and roll it into a thin and long (11-inch) cylinder. If the dough is too firm after spending too much time in the fridge, let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes to soften slightly. Wrap the formed cylinder into plastic wrap, slide into a cardboard paper cylinder (from the paper towel roll) and refrigerate until firm.
Take one portion of the chocolate and the remaining (second) portion of the matcha dough and let them sit on the counter for about 15-20 minutes to soften slightly.
On parchment paper (preferred) or a lightly floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll one each portion of dough (separately, of course) into about ½ -inch thick rectangles. Using a pizza wheel (such a wonderful tool for this job) cut out six ½ -inch wide and 11-inch long strips from each dough (12 strips total). Working on the parchment and handling the strips delicately, alternate chocolate and matcha strips, pressing them to each other gently with a ruler, to form the striped rectangle of dough. Do not refrigerate the striped dough unless it’s absolutely necessary, otherwise it won’t adhere to the matcha core. Remove the chilled and firm matcha cylinder from the fridge and place it onto the striped dough along the stripes. With a help of the parchment, bring the striped dough up and around the matcha cylinder to enclose it completely. Roll gently to make sure there’re no gaps between the core and the striped dough. Wrap this enlarged cylinder into plastic and refrigerate again until firm.
When ready to continue, on the parchment paper roll the remaining chocolate dough into a rectangle about 1/3-inch thick and about 12 inches long. Place the firmed chocolate-matcha cylinder into the center, long sides parallel, and with the aid of the parchment, wrap the dough around the cylinder, pressing firmly to adhere. Roll the finished log to smooth it up and ensure the adhesion. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate well. It would be the best to leave the formed cookie log in the refrigerator overnight. Don’t rush if you are after the uniform shape of the cookies.
When ready to bake, center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Using a very sharp knife, slice the cookie-dough log into ¼-inch thick slices, giving the log about quarter roll after each slice. Place on the prepared baking sheet leaving about 1 inch all way around them. Bake the cookies, in batches, for about 12 minutes until firm and golden brown on the bottom. Don’t let them bake for too long, or the color contrast between the chocolate and matcha dough will be lost. Cool on the baking sheet on a rack for 15 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to the rack and cool completely.