Japanese Tea Ceremony, Green Tea 'n Chocolate Cookies

“Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty.”

(James Norwood Pratt, author of Tea Lover’s Treasury and Tea Dictionary)

Perhaps the quote explains why students of sado, the Japanese tea ceremony, dedicate themselves to the discipline of perfecting the art of offering tea. Sado is a discipline.

Clad in a spring pastel kimono,
green tea is offered to guests with a gracious smile.

Thanks to dear friends, I’ve been allowed to observe Japanese sado tea ceremony classes. Gentle corrections and comments from the teacher are constant. Even to the most dedicated and diligent students. Every motion of the whisk, every motion in the tearoom has meaning. Seasons also dictate the scrolls, cups, the utensils and type of tea chosen for the ceremony.

From left to right: Preparing tea, Mt. Fuji in a teacup,
master tea ceremony teachers at a party honoring a colleague.

From ancient times, the Japanese tea ceremony was designed to evoke serenity. Part of the practice required samurai warriors to leave their swords outside the tearoom. In fact, to enter the sacred space, all were required to scooch through a small portal. The design was deliberate. Samurai forfeited their egos and the outside world as they crawled into the sacred space of the tea ceremony.

With today’s offering of Green Tea 'n Chocolate Cookies, I also surrender vanity and the illusion of perfection. 

Green Tea 'n Chocolate Cookies:
Matcha green tea cookies studded with semi-sweet chocolate chips
& white chocolate centers

Allow me to explain: In the tea ceremony, a sweet is always presented alongside the bitter matcha. (Symbolic of the balances in life and nature.) Inspired by the tea ceremony and love of the taste of matcha green tea and chocolate, I vamped on a recipe for cake batter cookies. Rave reviews greeted my green tea chocolate cookies...from my American friends. However, my Japanese tea connoisseur friend declared, “The chocolate overpowers the green tea.” He was right. 

A subtle hint of matcha plays with bold chocolate flavors in my
Green Tea 'n Chocolate Cookies.

The recipe below is perfect for those who like only a hint of matcha and a blast of chocolate. If you prefer the lovely bitter bite of matcha green tea, the how-to will be flawed and imperfect and will need more matcha powder.  Keeping in mind another aesthetic of Japanese art – the perfection of imperfection – I am embracing this opportunity to share my recipe for Green Tea 'n Chocolate Cookies. Love to hear how you define perfection.

Green Tea 'n Chocolate Cookies

These green tea ‘n chocolate cookies are copycat versions of an Asian fusion Oreo and Chips Ahoy. Green tea cookies are speckled with semi-sweet chocolate chips and filled with white chocolate. If you are a fan of matcha green tea, add a tablespoon or more of matcha powder.

This recipe is easy to make and was adapted from a
PureWow recipeThe recipe for the white chocolate ganache centers is here.

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 3 ½ tablespoons of green tea matcha powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk

Whisk together the cake mix, matcha, vanilla, baking powder and mini chocolate chips. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolk and canola oil. Introduce the wet mixture to the dry one. Mix well.

With a mini ice cream scoop or tablespoon, place mounds of the cookie mix onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Flatten the mounds with the bottom of a small glass. (A bit of water on the glass helps.)

Freeze overnight.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. The edges should be slightly golden and the tops crackly.

Cool and fill the middles with the white chocolate ganache. The recipe is found here.

Wishing you serenity.

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.



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