matcha, red bean, and almond rainbow cookies

I was a total blob this weekend as I came down off of this month of filming! I made snickerdoodles and then ate snickerdoodles, watched the UND hockey team score a million goals against Wisconsin, baked an extra buttery loaf of Alexandra’s bread, and discovered the brilliance that is Cynthia’s ginger chicken and dumplings. If you need proof that magic exists, just boil some chicken with tons of scallions and ginger, that’s it. Omg, it’s the best thing in my chicken life since Melissa Clark’s salt and pepper chicken. And then add a double batch of chewy dumplings and eat it while binging Three Wives, One Husband, and when those episodes run out (there were only four?!), embark on the holiday spirit.

I really can’t say that I’m glad that filming is over, because having the crew in my house and cooking all of my favorite winter foods rocked, but I can say that sitting on the couch and not thinking about anything except for snickerdoods and dumplings for a good few hours was deeply clutch.

Now that that’s out of my system though I’m beginning to think about Chrismukkah cookies and all of the cute boxes of them that I’m going to assemble over the coming season for various reasons (parties and gifts) and non-reasons (they look cute and are fun to make). Rainbow cookies are always a hit because they’re not only fiercely almondy and tasty but they also have a nice shelf life because of how moist they are. And I especially love them because, well, they’re actually cake.

I’m starting to exhaust variations on them (cake, gelato sandwiches), but wanted to drop these into the Chrismukkah lineup because they’re extra special! The green layer is actually matcha (an a+ pairing with the almond base), and the red layer has red bean paste (nutty and slightly fruity, also great with almond). I worked these up when I was developing a Chinese Jewish menu for an event next week in Baltimore. While matcha is typically thought of as a Japanese tea, it actually originated in China! And red bean paste is something that I grew up eating at dim sum in the center of Jian Dui, or fried sesame balls. I was afraid of it until Stoop told me that it tasted like peanut butter, so then I liked it. Classic rainbow cookies have Italian roots, but Jews love em. They end up on lots of our holiday dessert tables and I’m totally obsessed with their colorful, soft almondiness. This version doesn’t look too far off from the traditional but the added matcha and red bean paste add unexpected dimension and beautiful natural color. They are a perfect addition to any holiday cookie box!

Rainbow Cookies

Makes 16 cookies


3 large eggs, separated

2 tb (13g) sugar + 1/2 c (100g) sugar

1 c (226g) unsalted butter, softened

6 oz (173g) almond paste, chopped

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 1/3 c (174g) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp matcha powder

1/4 c (68g) fine red bean paste

Red food coloring

3 tb (64g) apricot or raspberry jam

4 oz (114g) dark chocolate


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease three 8” by 4” loaf pans and line them with parchment paper that comes at least 2” up the sides of the pan (these little wings will help you lift the cookie out of the pan). If you don’t have 3 loaf pans, you can bake the layers in batches. 

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites to soft peaks, and then with the mixer running on medium, gradually add the 2 tablespoons sugar. Increase the speed to medium high and beat to stiff peaks. Set them aside.

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, almond paste, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the yolks, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in the lemon juice and almond extract, and then reduce the speed to medium low and gradually add the flour. Mix to combine. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the whites. Transfer a third of the mixture to one of the loaf pans and use a small offset spatula to spread it out evenly. Transfer another third of the mixture to a separate bowl and fold in the matcha powder. Fold the red bean paste and a couple of drops of red food coloring into the remaining third. Transfer these into the remaining 2 loaf pans, spread them out evenly and then bake until the tops are just set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 12 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes and then lift them out and place on a wire rack to cool completely. 

Stack them up with 1 1/2 tablespoons jam between the layers. Wrap the loaf firmly in plastic wrap, weight it down with a couple of heavy cookbooks, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. 

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or by microwaving it for 30 second increments, stirring after each, until it’s smooth. Remove it from heat and stir continuously until it is no longer hot. Spread it over the top and sides of the cookie cake loaf and stick it in the refrigerator to firm up for about 15 minutes. Cut width-wise into 1” slices and then cut each of those slices in half to make 16 cookies.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container. 


p.s. Watch the season premiere of Girl Meets Farm this Sunday at 11am/10 central!!! We’re making goulash, chocolate hazelnut donuts, hawaij apple pie, and brussels sprouts!!

black and matcha cookies

we took the quickest ever little trip down to arizona this weekend! phoenix is one of the very few places where you can fly directly to from grand forks so even though we jumped one time zone there and two on the way back (arizona can’t be bothered to take part in daylight savings time), it felt like we were just visiting the neighbors. very, very hot neighbors because it was 90 million degrees and ok i am done talking about the weather. i kind of missed having my customary little layover at the minneapolis airport since i’ve gotten into the routine of buying moon cheese and a short green tea latte at the starbucks by the mall, but it was also a delightful flashback to my chicago and new york days when direct flights were the complete norm. 

other delightful things about this trip included a sunny hike fueled by cracklins and these tasty pb and j bite things i just discovered, happy hour with eggaunt, and stumbling upon our new hands-down-would-totally-fly-back-to-airzona-just-eat-them favorite breakfast burritos at the los favoritos in apache junction on the way from mesa to tucson. they were hot eggy loaves of glee, cheesy but not greasy, and wrapped in the softest chewiest flour tortilla i’ve ever met. the only thing that would have made mine better would have been if i had mustered up the nerve to ask for ketchup with mine. **i know, i know** but i think i have a ketchup addiction.

when we arrived in tucson, i made hotdish and cake at the tucson festival of books! it was such a huge festival, i couldn’t believe my eyes, and it was right on the university of arizona campus which made me want to go back to college. the demo was in a great big tent filled with a lot of midwesterners because i am learning that arizona is mostly made of midwesterners, and it was such a great time even though i was a little bit nervous making hotdish for midwesterners. and one of my homeslices from junior high came! afterwards we ate salad and cookies at time market, 10/10 would recommend. 

that night we drove into the tucson hills for a taco party where we got to hang out by a pool with julia and naomi and a bunch of other folks involved with the festival. everyone was so sweet!!!! it made me want to stay longer, but alas there was only like one flight option home and it was on sunday morning. 

so now i am back and gearing up for a week of green food because of st. patrick’s day! one reason i am extra excited this year is because i am officially over my great matcha overdose of 2015 and matcha makes the prettiest natural food coloring. these cookies are miniature versions of the black and matcha cookies from adrianna’s book a cozy coloring cookbook and i have to be careful not to eat too many of them late at night otherwise the caffeine will keep me awake. it’s so hard to though because they’re so tasty! and i love their soft chewy texture. the other green foods i plan on making this week are salad, salad pizza, and the avocado dressing from a cozy coloring cookbook because avocados were on sale. but most importantly, if you like fun and crafts and cooking, you need adrianna’s coloring book!! it’s got super cute quirky recipes that you can color and cook! at the same time. if you’re an octopus. 

black and matcha cookies

makes 50 mini cookies or 11 large cookies

from adrianna adarme's a cozy coloring book


for the cookies:

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour

1/4 c cornstarch

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c granulated sugar

1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 large eggs

3/4 c milk

1 tsp vanilla extract


for the matcha glaze:

1 c confectioners' sugar

1 tsp matcha powder

1-2 tb hot water

1 tsp brown rice syrup or light corn syrup


for the chocolate glaze:

4 oz semisweet chocolate chips

2 tb unsalted butter

2 tsp brown rice syrup or light corn syrup

pinch of salt


to make the cookies: preheat the oven to 350ºf. line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.

in another large bowl, combine the granulated sugar and butter. with an electric mixer on high speed, beat the mixture until it's pale yellow. Next, add the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mix just until combined. add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

for large cookies: using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop, drop scoops of batter onto the baking sheets, gently flattening them. bake for 15 minutes, or until slightly risen. repeat with the remaining batter. for mini cookies: use a piping bag to pipe out 1 1/2" plops of batter onto the baking sheets and begin checking for doneness at about 10 minutes.

to make the matcha glaze: in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, matcha, water, and syrup until smooth.

to make the chocolate glaze: in a small microwaveable bowl, combine the chocolate chips and butter. Microwave on high power for 1 minute, stirring once, or until melted. mix in the syrup and salt.

decorate the cookies by adding the matcha glaze to one side of the cookie and the chocolate glaze to the other half. repeat until you've glazed all of your cookies.


matcha white chocolate ganache

gravity feels a little bit strong this morning. the gravitational pull back to my bed, under a pile of blankets, and back into that dream where i think i was eating a babka. maybe it has something to do with the snow on the ground and the mountain of cheesy pickles that i demolished late last night with some brunch club ladies and the long hours of vibraphoning that i'm subjecting my fingers and toes to every evening when they think they're going to get a break from doing dishes and tweezering sprinkles on cakes. it's ok though, i'm drinking a huge mug of french press and wearing this fluffy sweater dress that i recently converted to pajamas. (don't smell me.)

and there's an entire package of danny macaroons sitting a few inches to my left. are you my breakfast? 

at some point later today i'm going to do one of two things, or maybe two of two things: eat this matzo brei breakfast sandwich with a carnegie deli-sized stack of salami, and/or further educate myself on the tater tots that are leftover in our deep freeze from last week's brisket hotdish. 

what did i walk in here for though? ganache? ganache. pouring ganache stresses me out, it's a reminder that i need to do more yoga. i don't like that you only get one shot to pour it and that you can't sit there and play with it all day like you could a buttercream. but when it works, it has such a pleasingly fudgey texture and it looks all nickelodeon-like so it truly is worth impulse buying a yoga studio membership. (see also: katherine sabbath's cakes. they are so happy and colorful!) 

in true gak-fashion, this ganache is green. green from matcha, which sings when it's paired with white chocolate. it's as if the matcha begins the sentence and then as it trails off, white chocolate picks up to carry you through to whatever chocolate cake mess is lying beneath it. you don't have to put this ganache on a cake though, you can put it on anything: a sundae, a cookie, your face.

matcha white chocolate ganache


4 oz white chocolate, finely chopped

1 tsp aiya cooking grade matcha

1/4 c heavy cream



place the white chocolate in a heat safe bowl and set it aside, but not too far aside.

sift the matcha into a saucepan and whisk in 1 tablespoon of the cream. whisk whisk whisk until no lumps remain. whisk in the remaining heavy cream and then heat it gently over medium heat, stirring often, until it just begins to boil. remove it from the heat, and then pour it over the white chocolate.

let it sit for a few seconds, and then stir it all together until the chocolate melts. 

if you're pouring this over a cake, let the ganache cool slightly (stirring often), and then pour it over! if the cake is frosted, it helps to have it chilled so that the ganache hardens and doesn't melt the frosting. 


this post is sponsored by aiya matcha! all opinions are my own.

matcha oreos

ways my younger self enjoyed oreos:

1. drop one into a glass of skim milk so that it's fully submerged, divert attention for a few moments, probably look up to watch a few scenes of arthur, use a spoon to fish it out of the milk and eat the soggy remains in one bite. repeat until belly ache.

2. put one on our front stoop, divert attention for a few moments, probably go inside to watch a few scenes of arthur, return outside and meet all of the millions of ants that would be swarming about the oreo.

3. carefully twist one open, carefully twist another one open, carefully extract the filling of one and place it on top of the filling of the other, reassemble that one, and enjoy an o.g. double stuffed oreo. and when double stuffed came out, make one quadruple stuffed. 

i didn't like the whole act of "twisting" with someone else. so much pressure, what if you don't get the filling? what if the filling breaks and you only get half? ugggh, i couldn't take it. 

it's so silly how one cookie can cause so much joy and stress and fascination and... ants. oh and dog names, so many dogs are called oreo

here are some oreos that would be fit for any st. patrick's day celebration! (or any other celebration???) the chocolate shortbread cookies are dainty and crispy and sandwiched with sweet buttercream that has just a hint of matcha. they are perfect with your afternoon coffee or anytime coffee, and they keep well in the fridge, so go ahead and make a double batch.

matcha oreos

makes about 18 sandwich cookies



2 c all-purpose flour

1 c unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting*

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1 1/4 c unsalted butter, softened

3/4 c brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract 

*dusting your work surface with cocoa powder will yield a beautiful, dark, chocolatey aesthetic, but using a lot of it could make the cookies taste a little bit bitter on their own since the cocoa powder is unsweetened. when they're paired with the super sweet buttercream, i love it. but if you know you'll prefer a sweeter cookie, dust your work surface with powdered sugar or a mixture of powdered sugar and cocoa powder. 


3/4 c unsalted butter, softened

1 3/4 c powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp aiya cooking grade matcha

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

a pinch of kosher salt


make the cookies:

preheat oven to 325. line two baking sheets with parchment and set them aside.

in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.

in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. mix in the extracts. slowly add the dry ingredient mixture and beat until just combined. it will still be a bit crumbly.

pour the mixture out onto your work surface and give it a few kneads to bring it all together. if needed, dust your surface with cocoa powder and/or powdered sugar, and working swiftly and carefully, roll out your dough and cut out 2-inch circles. transfer them to your baking sheet, about an inch apart (using a small offset spatula really helps with this step). re-roll scraps and cut out remaining circles.

this is a super delicate dough, so try not to handle it more than you need to, and if it gets too soft, stick it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to firm up.

bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are no longer shiny. let them cool.

make the filling:

beat together all ingredients. taste and add a bit more matcha, if you'd like.


fill a piping bag with the filling and pipe a blob onto the center of half the cookies. top them with the rest of the cookies to make little sandwiches. place them in the fridge for a few minutes to allow the filling to firm up before serving. store in the fridge.



this post is sponsored by aiya matcha! all opinions are my own.