Genmaicha Madness: Genmaicha Shortbread Cookies

I was more than excited to find these teacup and teapot-shaped cookie cutters at my local kitchen store.  They were perfect for the tea recipes that I’ve been working on!

Genmaicha (玄米茶) is by far my favorite Japanese tea. Genmaicha is a green tea that contains pieces of roasted rice.  To my eye, it looks like someone mixed Rice Krispie cereal into the tea leaves, although each puff is a slightly deeper brown color.

When I attended a Japanese high school in Yoshikawa, I brought a thermos of genmaicha to school with me every day during the winter months.  It has a nutty, rich flavor that warmed me up after biking seven miles to school in my uniform that included a skirt and knee socks.  (There was a specific day in November when we were allowed to switch from knee socks to tights… this strict date was unfathomable to me at the time, but I soon grew used to the cold!)

This shortbread recipe offers a balance of the light tea flavor and salty shortbread cookie.  It reminds me of those bracing bike commutes that I made as an eighteen year old.  These cookies allow me to look back fondly on days that sometimes took all of my determination and strength.



280 grams flour, 71 grams ground genmaicha, 3/4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1 stick unsalted butter (softened), 198 grams sugar, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon whole milk


  1. Combine flour with genamaicha powder, baking powder, and salt
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Gradually add in the egg and milk.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare two baking sheets.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out cookie dough and place on greased baking sheets.  Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.  Let cool.