Celebrating Food! Celebrating Life!

Simple Eats – Macha Sablé

Baking Macha Sablé, a french cookie from Northern France infused with an oriental touch by using macha aka Japanese green tea.

Macha Sablé

Sablés (sah-blay) get their name from the characteristic grainy texture they have. They are similar to shortbreads but differ from their Scottish counterparts with in the inclusion of egg yolks. Simply delish!

Orginal recipe comes from “Okashi Treats” by Keiko Ishida, published by Marshall Cavendish


240 g pastry flour, chilled

15 g macha green tea powder

150 g unsalted butter, room temp

130 g icing sugar

pinch of salt

2 egg yolks

granulated sugar, for coating

1 egg white

green tea leaves or powder for decor, optional


1. Sift flour and macha powder together twice. Set aside.

2. Beat butter, icing sugar and salt together until soft & creamy. Add egg yolks and mix well. add flour & macha powder mixture and fold in with spatula. Transfer dough to cling wrap and chill for 15 mins.

3.Divide dough in two portions and shape into logs about 3.5 cm in diameter. Refrigerate until firm then slice into 7 mm thick rounds.

4. coat sides with sugar and brush the top with egg white and top with leaves or powder, if using. Place rounds at least 1/2 inch apart from each other on baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake in a preheated oven of 150°C for 25 mins. Leave to cool completely before storing in airtight container.

I did not follow the recipe to its entirety but instead made trial-and-error modifications and omissions along the way.

Macha Sablé

Mixing and sifting the flour and macha powder. Recipe called for pastry flour which has 8 – 9 % protein content. However, pastry flour is not an easily obtainable commodity unlike the usual all-purpose or self-raising flours. I’ll replaced it with cake flour with has slightly lower 5 – 8 % protein content. Also, I increased the amount of macha powder invariably for a stronger aroma, in the same vein as tripling the amount of vanilla essence stated in any recipe for a more robust flavour! I also omitted the addition of salt. I reckon that only fleur de sel is good enough to be added and since I don’t have it, no other salt should be added! The dry ingredients mixture is sifted twice before chilling.

Macha Sablé

Creaming the wet ingredients – butter, icing sugar and 2 egg yolks, in that order. The size of the eggs ain’t that important as the size of yolks remain fairly consistent despite the difference in eggs. Its the whites that vary in volume significantly.

Macha Sablé

Macha Sablé

A new gadget I got recently from phoon huat for my cranky oven which I’d using for about 10 years! The timer dial is spoilt and temperature needs to be recalibrated.

Macha Sablé

Test baked a batch of 6 and made them smaller. They started tanning on the surface and tasted a bit burnt from probably the charred macha. Probably too high oven temperature. It could also be the egg white wash. I added some sesame seeds on the top for decor but that turned out to be a big mistake. The intense aroma released from the seeds as they are being crushed in the mouth totally overran and musked the much more delicate macha flavour. So much for being “kay kiang”!

Macha Sablé

One of the “guinea pigs”. Brown on the outside, green on the inside. Aromatic from the sesame and macha combo yes, but not quite what I had in mind.

Macha Sablé

I adjusted the oven temperature, convinced that the heat is the problem. This is a proper batch with the rims cartwheeled over castor sugar.But the second batch still brown! Argh…seems like temperature is not the issue.

Macha Sablé

Beautiful tanned look… But just not the right colour.

Macha Sablé

Braced myself up for the 3rd try. Adjusted the temperature lower and shortened the baking time slightly. I told myself to give it an additional 2 minutes after the initial whiff of macha. Not very helpful I know but it works fo me!

Macha Sablé

Just before sending into the oven. Ishida-san’s book in the background where this wonderful recipe came from. I won this book from a sent-in entry contest on “Food & Travel”. Lucky!

Macha Sablé

Success at last! Yay! Nice and crisp with a strong aroma of macha without the bitterness!

Macha Sablé

Packed in tupperware  for storage. The colour of the tupperware matches the cookies! 🙂

4 responses

  1. Pingback: Simple Eats – Macha Sablé II « travellingfoodies

  2. I also madde this recipe, and they came out perfectly green, after many tries as well and adjusting temperatures! Great job!

    November 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      good for you! I used this recipe several times as well and the effects are quite good. I love the crumbly textures of the cookies and the aroma they exude. Glad to know someone who likes them too!

      November 27, 2011 at 10:34 am

  3. Thanks, Alan: you may see my version of green tea cookies (with arrowroot) here (in spanish):
    I love everything with matcha. Saludos desde México.

    November 30, 2011 at 12:59 pm

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