Matcha White Chocolate Shortbread

I was on a bit of a cookie-baking kick yesterday. Since the oven was already on and I had to wait for the sugar cookies to cool before decorating, I decided to make up a batch of matcha green tea shortbread using the matcha I received from Mighty Leaf.


The classic buttery shortbread flavor gets a twist from the earthy taste of the tea. If you aren’t a fan of matcha, you may want to decrease the amount of tea to 2 T instead of 3. But definitely leave at least some of it in if you have it, because it adds a depth of flavor when combined with the white chocolate.


Matcha White Chocolate Shortbread



  • 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons matcha green tea
  • 1/2 - 2/3 cups white chocolate chips or chunks for decorating


  1. Beat the sugar into the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the flour and mix until it is all worked into the dough.
  2. Beat in the vanilla, salt and green tea just until there are no more green streaks in the dough. Put the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper, and roll out to about 1/4" thick. Refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Savvy Tip: The matcha will give the cookies a green color, but if you'd like a more vibrant green, mix in some food coloring when you add the vanilla.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  5. Peel back the top sheet of waxed paper, and cut your shortbread into shapes. You can use cookie cutters for this, or simply slice the dough into rectangles. Since I was experimenting with recipes for my holiday baking, I chose to use an evergreen tree cookie cutter. Space the cookies 1" apart on greased cookie sheets.
  6. Bake the cookies at 350F for 12-15 minutes, until the edges just start to brown. Allow to cool for about 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack.
  7. Savvy Tip: Allow the cookies to cool completely before moving on to the decorating step. Otherwise, the chocolate will get runny and smeary on the cookies.
  8. When your cookies are completely cool, pour the chocolate into a microwave safe bowl. Heat the chocolate in the microwave on high in 15 second increments until mostly melted. Stir until it is completely melted.
  9. Savvy Tip: Yes, you could melt the chocolate in a double boiler on the stove top. However, I chose to use the microwave for convenience and speed. Either will work!
  10. Use a spatula to spread about 1 1/2-2 tsp of white chocolate on the top half of your tree (or other cookie shape). Using a knife or toothpick, draw waves and swirls in the chocolate to give it some texture. Set aside to cool, and repeat with the remaining cookies.
  11. Savvy Tip: If the chocolate starts to get hard before you are done decorating, stick the bowl back in the microwave on high for 8-10 seconds.

Make Ahead and Storage


What is your favorite holiday cookie?

While I love this recipe, the maple sugar cookies definitely win out over these shortbread. But my all-time favorite? Peanut butter blossoms!


  1. says

    I LOVE baking with matcha! I am making matcha cupcakes TODAY for a friend’s birthday… I figure it is the least I could do since I got her addicted to matcha lattes!

    just funny, I was checking my gotcha matcha to make sure I had enough, then I saw this! πŸ˜‰

    your trees look fabulous – I love the way you frosted them!

  2. Caitlin says

    Oh my goodness! I can’t wait to try and make these πŸ™‚ My favorite holiday cookies are good old gingerbread. I love to make and decorate them with my niece and nephews!

  3. says

    That’s so funny because my fav holiday cookies probably more for my girls sake because they love them so much if the peanut butter blossoms! I will be making them this week for the holiday fair at school! Yum!!

  4. Lesley says

    Favorite Holiday cookie is a classic: Sugar cookie with buttercream icing. Of course, fun cookie cutters must be used!

  5. says

    my favorite holiday cookie? i’d say it’s the same as my favorite flavor of ice cream — my next one! =) i don’t know that i have a specific have-to-have it holiday cookie, but i always loved the ones that resulted from piling all the cousins (i’m #2 of 9, from 27 to 6 years old) and most of the aunts into my grandparents’ kitchen and just going nuts. =)

  6. Kathy Bernard says

    The Matcha cookies do sound different and worth a try but I do not have luck rolling out sugar cookies πŸ™‚ Do you have a simple cookie recipe that is gluten free and possibly no dairy? There is someone I would like to make a treat for but eats gluten free but I am not totally sure on the dairy yet.

  7. says

    I don’t know if it counts as a “holiday” cookie, but my favorite cookies are either No Bake cookies (chocolate, peanut butter, oats, etc…) or the flourless peanut butter cookies from PB Fingers.

  8. Jennie says

    peanut butter kisses! They aren’t really a holiday treat but we always make them around the holidays. πŸ™‚

  9. Shelby says

    My favorite holiday cookie would have to be sugar cookies with hershey kisses!!! YUMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Cynthia says

    My favorite fall cookie is one that my grandmother makes. She only makes them ONCE a year, at Christmas. They are like the wedding cookies you buy at the store. It’s shortbread covered in powdered sugar and they also have nuts in them. They are little balls of deliciousness.

  11. Dawn says

    These green tea cookies sound amazing! I grew up in St. Louis, and my favorite holiday cookie would be my aunt’s take on a St. Louis specialty… My fave are Gooey Butter Cookies.

  12. Katie in DC says

    My favorite holiday cookie are the Mexican Wedding Cookies/Russian Tea Cookies my neighbor makes every year, delicious!

  13. says

    Favorite holiday cookie to make: sugar cookies because I get to decorate them.
    Favorite holiday cookie to eat: chocolate crinkles


  14. says

    My favorite holiday cookie is the fruitcake-like ones that my grandmother made. They had candied fruit and lots of nuts. I’m not sure why I liked them so much, but I distinctly remember eating them out of her freezer.

  15. Ibu says

    I really do not have any favorite holiday cookie because I wasn’t born in the States and cookies were not part of the holiday tradition. I just want to win some cookies..:)

  16. says

    My favorite holiday cookie has to be the chocolate macaroons that my husbands grandma makes..They are sooo yummy I have to control myself because the first time i tried them I made myself sick to my stomach I ate so many.. πŸ™‚

  17. sara says

    My favorite holiday cookie would be the basic cut out cookies. They remind me of when I was little helping my mom cut out and ice them in colorful icing that I’m sure was more on my face(and in my mouth..) then on the actual cookies! =)

  18. says

    I’m glad you asked about favorite HOLIDAY cookie, rather than just favorite cookie. THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE!

    My mom makes peppermint pinwheel cookies and they are SO GOOD. They are my favorite, and I ONLY eat them near Christmas. They are one of the cookies that I dont think I could ever recreate on my own, so I just wait until I arrive at my parents’ to indulge – I may need to step out of my comfort zone and try making them on my own this year. EEK! (please hold my hand, through the internets, during this experiement)

  19. Laura says

    I’ve never had matcha, so perhaps these cookies are something that I need to try. They sound pretty tasty!

    I have a two-way tie for my favorite holiday cookies. In my family we get together the day after thanksgiving and bake 2-3 batches of 8 cookies for the family. I really enjoy the spritz cookies as they seem to melt in your mouth, as well as dark molasses cookies (especially when they are creatively frosted). It’s just not the holiday season without them!

  20. Cellabella says

    My favorite holiday cookie is probably the traditional sugar cookie, with red and green balls of sugar on top πŸ˜‰

  21. says

    I voted for your on OpenSky girly πŸ™‚

    I love this Matcha flavored cookie, I just bought new match powder and this might be the first recipe I’m going to make πŸ™‚ I need to buy pretty cookie cutters like yours, I don’t own any yet.

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Thank you, and let me know how you like them!

      And if you don’t have cookie cutters, you can just cut the dough into rectangles!