Gluten-free Matcha Shortbread Cookies


Gluten-free Matcha Shortbread Cookies

I consumed 1/4 pound of matcha in less than 3 months. That’s about 450 of these gluten-free matcha shortbread cookies, 150 matcha cupcakes, or 30 matcha lattes. Well when you put it that way, that’s totally reasonable. My waistline disagrees. You might be thinking three matcha recipes in a row is a tad overkill, but it’s my birthday tomorrow and matcha is my spirit food. And since I’m turning 30 (!!!), that means I can hoard all 30 cookies to myself, right?

Matcha Shortbread Cookies with Pumpkin Seed Flour

I’ll dip them one at a time in a matcha latte made with the fancy shmancy ceremonial grade (birthday) matcha Alyssa and Carla boxed up for me straight from Tokyo with strict instructions not to “waste” it in cookies (I didn’t – I promise! For that I used the 1/4lb of extra special organic baking matcha Alanna gave me – swoooooon!). Don’t judge – this is a normal amount of matcha mania. And that’s definitely not an oxymoron.

Pumpkin Seed Matcha Shortbread Cookies

Phi sweet talked me into co-hosting an Alternative Flours Feastly meal for 14 people last month. While she was over there deep frying a whole celery root (iknowright?!) and whipping up sous vide pine nut pudding like NBD, I signed up for the flours/grains – wild rice & black sesame crackers, hand-cut chestnut pasta, adzuki red bean flour tofu, and candied black sesame and kinako puffed millet crumble. Plus a crapload of pickled things. Perhaps a little too ambitiously, I was like “yeah, no sweat.”

Only I was totally sweating, guys. Bullets. And then I nearly pooped my pants when the pressure of having only a week to develop four new recipes with grains/flours I’d never met before hit. Recipes worthy of people’s money. This was my cooking anthem that week. So I did what any normal person under pressure would do.

Gluten-free Matcha Shortbread

I volunteered another new recipe. After exchanging mile-long to-do list texts with Phi the day before, I added, “and if I’m feeling up to it, I was thinking of testing out pumpkin seed matcha cookies” before my brain could tell my fingers that was a bad idea. When inspiration comes, there’s sometimes no choice but to lean into it with a hearty yes and a spoonful of powdered sugar.

Matcha ShortbreadGluten-free Matcha Shortbread CookiesMatcha Shortbread Cookies

These snappy little bites were born from last-minute midnight cravings and served alongside a mug of toasted rice genmaicha as a night-cap to our feast. We’ll come back to the dinner when I share some of those recipes and photos next week.

For now: Dessert first.

With strong vegetal notes, these morsels are not meant for matcha newbies. The nutty ground up pumpkin seeds highlight matcha’s earthiness, and with just a hint of sweetness, they are the perfect palate cleanser at the end of a meal to top off dessert with something calm. Plus pumpkin seeds are filled with zinc, magnesium, vitamin E, and compounds that can potentially ward off cancer. So basically, these cookies fight cancer. Eat 30.

Matcha Shortbread Cookies with Pepita Flour

In honor of Matcha March (it’s a thing, go with it), here are some other Snixy Kitchen matcha recipes:

And other matcha recipes I’m drooling over right now:

Gluten-free Matcha Shortbread Cookies
Yields: 30 1½-inch cookies
  • ½ cup gluten-free oat flour*
  • ½ cup finely ground pepitas/pumpkin seeds**
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons matcha powder (available on Amazon)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (I use Rodelle Organics)
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoon sanding sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the oat flour, ground pepitas, xanthan gum, baking powder, and matcha powder. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat on low until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and beat until fully combined. Scrape the sides and beat again for about 30 seconds.
  4. Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until it is about ⅛-inch thick. Set the flattened dough, with the parchment paper on a medium baking sheet and freeze it while you preheat the oven, or about 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  6. Remove the dough from the freezer and peel off the top layer of parchment paper. Lift the parchment paper onto a cutting board and cut out the cookies using your favorite cookie cutter (anything between 1 and 2-inches will work!). Transfer the cutout cookies to a piece of parchment paper on the cold cookie sheet as you go.
  7. Optional: sprinkle the cookies with sanding sugar (you can even press the cookies into the sanding sugar if you want!).
  8. Bake cookies for 12-13 minutes, removing them earlier if you see the edges start to turn light brown (the color of your baking sheet may vary the cooking time).
  9. Transfer the cookies with a spatula to a wire rack to cool and repeat until you've used up all the dough.
*I grind my own oat flour by pulsing gluten-free oats in the blender or food processor until fine, then sifting out any large pieces.
**Raw unsalted pepitas are available on Amazon. I grind the pepitas/pumpkin seeds in the blender or food processor by pulsing, scraping the sides, and pulsing again until fine. Be careful not to run it too long or you'll end up building up heat and moisture. Sift out any large pieces and grind them again.

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  1. I love that first photo Sarah!! I still can’t believe you and Phi did that whole dinner. That menu was cray-cray/awesome. I’m off to go look up adzuki. These cookies are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day today!! :)

  2. These are fabulous and perfect for today!

  3. GURL!!!! Happiest of Happy Birthday’s to you. Gosh. I totally hope we can celebrate in person some day. You are a total gem. These cookies = gorgeous. Let’s put matcha in ALL THE THINGS!

  4. These cookies are fabulous, Sarah! Happy Birthday!

  5. Ugh, why am I JUST discovering you blog? Matcha love forever. These look amazing. Beautiful styling and photography!

  6. Sarah! I have been hoping you’d share about your Feastly meal, it sounds amazing!! You are really a genius with matcha, and these cookies look so so perfect. I’m hoping that coconut oil might work in place of the butter, I think it should be okay considering the dough goes into the freezer after it’s rolled out for a bit?

    Also, totally okay to eat 30, birthday girl!! Hope you have the most wonderful celebration!

    • I’ve never tried coconut oil, but I just came across this recipe from The Cake Merchant that uses coconut oil, so I bet it’d work great! After you cut them out and put them on the tray, I’d pop them back in the freezer for another 5-10 minutes just to help keep them from spreading while baking.

      Thank you so much for the birthday wishes!

  7. These cookies look incredible!! I love how pretty they look with the sanding sugar!!! Perfect for today and your birthday! Happy happy birthday tomorrow!

  8. I love matcha! And happy birthday to you, Sarah!! We need to plan an EAST BAY blogger meet-up soon. :)

    • Duuuude – 100x yes!! I’m THIS CLOSE to freedom from my dissertation. Until then…I’m still replying to comments 2+ weeks late….oops;) Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  9. 30 tomorrow?! #woot!!! Welcome to the club! It feels no different than 29, I promise. Happy Birthday!!!

  10. The good news is these cookies sound amazing, and I’m probably going to make a few batches and eat them all myself. The bad news is all my “extra” matcha is going into making all these cookies! Worth it.

    Advance happy birthday! I’ll send you some pie…once I can figure out how to send pie…

  11. Happy Birthday! You definitely deserve 30 cookies, especially since they are practically healthy!

  12. That dinner sounds like a ride to crazy town! A delicious, delicious ride to crazy town! I can’t wait to see the photos :)
    I love the sound of these cookies. Although I am a matcha newbie (I just found out that our local spice market man sells it!) I love a little not-so-sweet at the end of the day next to a sweet cup of tea.

    • Thanks, Amy! You should definitely pick up a bag from the spice man – but you might need more because it’s addicting (as evidenced by my matcha mania of late…)

  13. Alyssa says:

    LOL!! I didn’t mean “waste” like that!! Just that it should be special matcha ;)

    xoxo, Happy (early) Birthday!

  14. Amanda Paa says:

    happy birthday to you! i’m glad you’re celebrating with your favorite ingredient, and hope the furry friends and your man are giving you all the love. these cookies look just perfect, and i love that you used ground up pepitas, they should be used more! i have to say, the bohemian girl in me has never had a matcha cookie, or anything actually so you will have to change that for me :) lots of hugs! xo

    • Thank you! My birthday was filled with way too many desserts and lots of good food, so I’d say I was well loved:) I’ll have lots of matcha waiting for you when you get here!

  15. I just discovered how much I love matcha.. and have been using it in a lot of baking recently. These matcha shortbread cookies are ideal for me to make – and I love how they are gluten free especially.

  16. mira says:

    Happy B-Day!!!
    These cookies look awesome Sarah! Love your Matcha recipes and really need to start baking with it. Great inspiration :) Pinned!

  17. Happy Birthday young lady! Awwwhh a milestone birthday… how are ya feelin? Such a delicious and healthy way to celebrate… btw, thank you for healthy cookies! These are beautiful, Sarah, and I love the fluted edges with the finished sanding sugar. The overhead shot with a bite taken out… and the contrasting black and green, just beautiful! What’s with that Feastly event?! How cool is that! You’re amazing! PS. My matcha trip was thwarted, so NOW, I’ll be ordering from Amazon : / . I’ll get there! PPS. I have guar gum and arrowroot on hand; no xantham gum. Would either do the trick in this recipe? xo

    • Thank you so much! Aww – I actually get mine on Amazon anyway – it’s much cheaper I think;) I’ve never tried substituting guar gum for xanthan gum, but my guess is that would be the best substitute of the two. The other thing I’ve seen people do in baking is replace the xanthan gum with ground up chia seeds! I’ll ask around a bit and see what I dig up:)

  18. Happy 30th, Sarah!!! Hope you enjoy your birthday week! I really love how you used pumpkin seeds in these cookies. I need to get my matcha game on!

  19. Julia says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I hope you have a marvelous time celebrating your bog 3-0!! Eat all dem matcha cookies, girl! I love that you’re into matcha – I have yet to bake with it, and it’s been on the to-do list for quite some time. Can’t beat a good ol’ detox cookie and antioxidant infusion. Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. Indeed, you are quite crazy to offer yet another recipe, but it’s crazily WONDERFUL, my dear friend. Your photos are gorgeous, and it’s getting better & better in every post. LOVE LOVE LOVE

    Happy Birthday, the sweetest Sarah. May you have a great year ahead of you :)

    • Pang! I never told you how much I loved your birthday surprise in the mail! It was such a sweet surprise and totally made my day. Thank you for being such an amazingly supportive blog friend:)

  21. Sarah, you are cracking me up with this macha madness! Your cookies look awesome and I hope you have a fabulous birthday!

  22. Happy Birthday!!! I love celebrating birthdays with cookies, and with so much matcha, what’s not to love :D

  23. you’re a genius sarah. that’s all.

  24. Happy HAPPY Birthday Sarah! I hope you are having the most amazing day! These cookies are nothing short of amazing themselves and yes, eat 30 of them for sure!!

  25. Happy birthday!!
    I love both shortbread AND matcha. This looks like the dessert of my dream!

  26. Happy belated birthday! These cookies look tender and divine and your photography is stunning :) Pinning!

  27. Happy birthday! Uhh, don’t stop with the matcha. I’m loving everything! I gotta go get myself some… Hope you had fabulous celebrations!

  28. I keep coming back to that first picture!!!! First of all, the contrast is perfect and so clean…and the cookies look heavenly!!!! I always welcome as many GF cookie recipes as possible because it doesn’t hurt to learn the different methods. I actually haven’t thought of sifting out the oat flour bits even though I’m used to baking with it. Genius.

  29. Wow, that’s alotta matcha! ;) These shortbread cookies look spectacular!

  30. I can see I missed your birthday – so Happy Belated Birthday! But, don’t feel bad…I am late for everything lately because life is crazy. These cookies look amazing though – even though I’m late to the party! xoxo

  31. I have never used matcha, but these cookies look so so amazing! I adore that they’re made with pumpkin seeds…so cool. Pinned!

  32. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!! I know it’s, like, almost a week later, but… I haven’t forgotten about our sushi celebration plans! :) And I totally know what you mean about volunteering yet another recipe. I last-minute decided to add another handful to the cookbook — what was I thinking?? (Other than “ILOVECOOKIESTHEYMUSTGOIN” of course.) I still haven’t worked with matcha before, so we need to add this to the list of our recipe adventures! Pinned!

    • You were thinking about how much you LOVE your readers, obviously;) Also more cookies, always. You should totally make a matcha cookie for the book! A healthy matcha cookie?! YUM!

  33. Ooh, these are gorgeous cookies, Sarah! I have recently discovered matcha but have not cooked with it yet. I’m going to Japan in October and am hoping to consume as much matcha as possible there :) I love how you have paired matcha with the classic flavor of shortbread – so creative. And a very happy belated birthday to you!

  34. Sarah, these are gorgeous!!! I love matcha powder anything! and am going to check out the Matcha Oreos now! wow!!!

  35. Carla says:

    You matcha me happy with these cookies! Mmmmm.

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