Matcha Checkerboard Cookies

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These Matcha Checkerboard Cookies are made of buttery vanilla and matcha flavored shortbread. They’re crumbly, delicious and not too sweet!

Matcha Checkerboard Cookies on a plate

These Matcha Checkerboard Cookies are so fun to look at and make a super impressive holiday cookie! These shortbread cookies are made with just one dough that gets divided in half before being flavored with matcha powder. They’re buttery, crisp and so delicious! If you like matcha try my Matcha Neapolitan Cookies, Matcha White Chocolate Chip Cookies or Matcha Shortbread Cookies!

Ingredient Breakdown

All-purpose flour – this gives the cookies structure.

Butter – provides flavor and structure. I always recommend using unsalted butter but salted butter works if that’s all you have on hand, just be sure to omit the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Do not use cold or melted butter.

Granulated sugar – sweetens cookies.

Matcha Powder – gives the cookies their matcha flavor and green color. Be sure to use culinary grade matcha powder. If you don’t want the matcha flavor to be as strong you can decrease it to 1 tbsp.

Vanilla extract and salt – enhances flavor. Always use pure vanilla extract instead of imitation for best flavor.

Matcha Checkerboard Cookies on a plate

How To Make Matcha Checkerboard Cookies

1. In a small bowl whisk all-purpose flour and salt. Set aside.

2. Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to cream the softened butter, granulated sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.

3. Add the dry ingredients all at once then mix on low speed until just combined.

4. Divide dough in half then add 1 1/2 tbsp matcha powder to one half and combine. Form each half of dough into a 6×2 inch log then tightly wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.

5. Cut each log into thirds lengthwise then turn it over and cut into thirds lengthwise again. You will have 18 strips of dough total (9 from each log).

6. Place a strip of matcha dough, a strip of vanilla dough and another strip of matcha dough next to each other. Top the strips with 3 more alternating flavors of dough then repeat so you have 3 layers total. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough starting with the vanilla. Tightly wrap each log with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

7. Cut chilled logs into 1/4 inch thick slices then place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Store Matcha Checkerboard Cookies in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature.

Matcha Checkerboard Cookies on a baking sheet

Pro Tips For Matcha Checkerboard Cookies

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
  • Don’t over mix the dough! Only mix until the dry ingredients are just combined. Over mixing = more gluten development which means tough cookies. We don’t want any tough cookies here!
  • Bake one tray at a time on the middle oven rack. This ensures that there is even heat circulation.
  • Keep the shortbread cookie dough cold! If you put warm cookies in the oven they will spread so I recommend freezing the cookies for a few minutes before baking them.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is Matcha?

Matcha is a Japanese powder made from ground green tea leaves. It can be used for making tea, lattes or various baked goods. It has a very unique taste that is earthy and slightly bitter. When baking with matcha it’s best to use culinary grade matcha powder.

Can You Make Shortbread Cookie Dough In Advance?

Yes! Once you make this shortbread cookie dough you can either refrigerate it for up to 3 days wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or freeze it for up to 3 months wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in a zip-top bag.

Why Is Shortbread called Shortbread?

Shortbread gets its name from its crumbly texture which is a result of the dough’s high fat content. The traditional ratio for shortbread is 1:2:3 (one part sugar to two parts butter to three parts flour).

What’s the difference between sugar cookies And Shortbread?

Unlike sugar cookies, shortbread is made without eggs or any leavening agents. Shortbread also has a more crumbly texture as a result of the dough’s high fat content. If you’re looking for sugar cookie recipes try my Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies or Sugar Cookies with Hershey Kisses.

My Favorite Cookie Tools

Matcha Checkerboard Cookies on a plate

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

Matcha Checkerboard Cookies

Maria Azzarelli
These Matcha Checkerboard Cookies are made of buttery vanilla and matcha flavored shortbread. They're crumbly, delicious and not too sweet!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Refrigeration Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 18 cookies
Calories 176 kcal

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Baking sheets
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients
  

  • 226 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp matcha powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 g (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl whisk all-purpose flour and salt. Set aside.
  • Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to cream the softened butter, granulated sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
  • Add the dry ingredients all at once then mix on low speed until just combined.
  • Divide dough in half then add 1 1/2 tbsp matcha powder to one half and combine. Form each half of dough into a 6×2 inch log then tightly wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
  • Cut each log into thirds lengthwise then turn it over and cut into thirds lengthwise again. You will have 18 strips of dough total (9 from each log).
  • Place a strip of matcha dough, a strip of vanilla dough and another strip of matcha dough next to each other. Top the strips with 3 more alternating flavors of dough then repeat so you have 3 layers total. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough starting with the vanilla. Tightly wrap each log with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Cut chilled logs into 1/4 inch thick slices then place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
 
 
  • Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter. You can use salted butter, just be sure to omit the 1/2 tsp salt.
 
 
 
  • Store Matcha Checkerboard Cookies in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature. 
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.
Calories: 176kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 66mgPotassium: 21mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 377IUCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
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