Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Year of the Horse, Olympics

I certainly had my fill of dumplings and buns at the Mandarin. I also Shrimp dumplingshad a green tea cookie and a special custard tart for New Years as well. Everything was delicious as usual. Our waiter wasn’t terribly good though unfortunately, but not enough to spoil things. Some old boy (like we aren’t old) at the next table walked past and started chatting to us. He was quite funny. He told us he and his wife were in the iron and steel business, I got it straight away, she irons he steals. When we left he told my friend and I to look after the kids we’d brought with us. He was a cheerful soul. I had bought Matt a pair of driving gloves which we had to return because they were too small, they came back today just as we were going out. Good timing. I meant to take a camera, but guess what? I forgot. This is just one type of dumpling, shrimp I think, there are many types of course and I tried as many as I could.

Just caught a news brief about the Sochi Olympics costing $50 billion and therefore being the most expensive winter Olympics ever. The article goes on about widespread stench of corruption and says the Olympics is a costly distraction. Don’t know about that, but with all the threats and suicide bombing, I am glad I am not going to be there in any capacity whatsoever. I didn’t know where Sochi was so I googled the other day and see it is on the Black Sea. Somewhat European venue it seems.

Here is a recipe for green tea cookies. They are flavoured with matcha which is apparently a green tea powder which can be obtained on line – it is very expensive I am told, but you only need a small amount. The ones I ate were not shaped like leaves, just little round cookies. They have a shortbread texture and I enjoyed them.

Green Tea Cookies

Caroline Russock

Green Tea Cookies
[Photograph: Tara Straino]

Matcha lends these vibrantly green cookies both color and delicate green tea flavour.

2 dozen cookies

This recipe appears in:
Bake the Book: Green Tea Cookies


  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure matcha powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter,at room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • Sugar, for dusting (optional)


  1. Mix together the powdered sugar and matcha powder. Add in the butter and beat it all together until smooth and spinach green. Add the egg yolks and beat until mostly incorporated, scraping down the green, sticky stuff off the side of the bowl, as needed.
  2. Pour in the flour and pinch of salt, half at a time, and beat to combine. It will take a minute for the flour to absorb into the dough, so don’t rush it. Once all the flour is in, use your hands to check for particularly gooey or dry sections of the dough (it will still look very crumby); if you find any, keep mixing.
  3. Use the warmth of your hands to pull the dough together into a ball. Lay out the ball onto a piece of plastic wrap, seal it up, and form the ball into a flattened disk. Chill it until firm enough to roll, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven 350°F.
  5. When you're ready to bake, roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out cookies using a leaf-shaped cookie cutter, or any other shape you'd like. Drop the cookies in the sugar, if using, and flip them to coat both sides. Set them on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes, until barely starting to turn golden. Cool on wire racks.
Have a great day


  1. I want to eat Chinese so badly now. (Maybe try some Chinese virgin snacks)
    Thank you for telling me where Sochi is. I didn't have idea. When do the games start?

    1. Starts on the 7th Al, or Friday. Ends on the 23rd. Just have to keep our fingers crossed that nothing happens.

      Chinese virgin snacks eh, guess you would have to go to China for those.

  2. Between your blog title and the picture, I wondered if those were horse dumplings.
    I still enjoy the Olympics, especially the winter one.

    1. Funny.

      I love the Winter Olympics.

  3. 50 Billion? Sheesh. I'd let them do the Olympics at my place for half that much. They'd have a tough time fitting it all in in my backyard, but, you get what you pay for I guess.

    Iron and steel. Funny.

    1. It is a lot of money isn't it?

      I liked that too.