Yuzu Black Tea Cookies

yuzu cookiesI generally don’t like citrus flavor in cookies, but the exception is yuzu. If you get a chance to try yuzu, definitely go for it! It’s hard to describe, but really tasty in both sweet and savory dishes. I adapted a black tea cookie recipe to make these. You will need a whole fresh yuzu, which are commonly available in Japan in the winter, but I’m not sure about the U.S.

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp black tea leaves (about 1 teabag)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
113g (1/2 cup) butter
1 medium yuzu (for juice and zest)
6 tbsp powdered sugar

Instructions

First, zest the yuzu, then squeeze out the juice (use a strainer – they have a large number of seeds). My medium-sized yuzu produced about 1-1/2 tsp zest and 1 tbsp juice. For this recipe we will use 2-1/2 tsp juice and 1-1/2 tsp zest.

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugars, tea leaves, and salt. Pulse to combine.

Add the vanilla, butter, and 1 tsp yuzu juice, and pulse several times to combine.

Remove the dough from the food processor and place onto plastic wrap. Form into a log shape and wrap up in the plastic. Let chill in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

Slice into 1/4 inch slices and place on a baking sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes until light brown around the edges.

While the cookies cool, make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar, 1-1/2 tsp yuzu juice, and 1 tsp yuzu zest.

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Almond Thumbprints


These cookies are very delicate and have a great almond flavor. You can use any flavor of jam for the middle. My favorite is raspberry, but raspberry jam is hard to find in Japan, so I have used blueberry, mixed berry, and cassis with success.

Ingredients
227g (1 cup) butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
1/3 cup jam (raspberry or other – see notes)

1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tsp water
1-1/2 tsp almond extract

Instructions

Cream butter and sugar. Add almond extract and mix well. Finally, add flour and mix until combined.

If dough is soft, refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm.

Roll dough into 1″ (2.5cm) balls and use your thumb or the back of a spoon to make a hole in the center of each. Fill the holes with a small amount of jam.

Bake cookies for 14-18 minutes at 180C/350F.

Let cookies cool completely before glazing. Mix the powdered sugar, water, and almond extract and drizzle over cookies. Let sit for 30 minutes or so until the glaze sets.

Chocolate Crinkles

chocolate crinklesThese soft, fudgy chocolate cookies are really great for Christmas. They are best eaten on the same day they’re made.

Ingredients
4 tbsp (56g) butter
8oz (230g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
powdered sugar for rolling

Instructions

Melt butter and chocolate together.

Beat eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer until pale, thick, and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add the vanilla. Combine with the chocolate.

Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to chocolate mixture and mix until combined.

Chill for several hours or overnight until it hardens into a dough.

Form balls of about 1 tbsp, roll in powdered sugar (make sure to cover the chocolate dough completely), and place on baking sheets. Bake at 325F (165C) for 8-10 minutes.