Greening Up the Holidays With Grey Salt, White Chocolate Matcha Blondies
With twinkling, decorated-to-the-hilt trees everywhere at this time of year, why not add a bit of that festive green to your cookie plate, too?
“Grey Salt, White Chocolate Matcha Blondies” will do the job deliciously.
These bar cookies get their hue, of course, from Japanese powdered ceremonial green tea. The matcha also adds a nice grassy astringency from its natural tannins to balance out the sweetness of the white chocolate chunks.
This cookie recipe is from “Love Is A Pink Cake” (W.W. Norton), of which I received a review copy.
It’s by Claire Ptak, a Californian who moved to London to open her Violet Bakery. Of course, you may also know her as a former pastry chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Or you may recognize her as the baker commissioned in 2018 to make the wedding cake for none other than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Yes, the name of the cookie includes “grey salt,” which gets sprinkled on before baking. But don’t fret if you don’t have that fancy stuff. I used pink salt that I happened to have on hand. But truly, white sea salt would work just fine, too.
The recipe calls for baking the bar cookies in a 12-by-8-inch pan. I used a 9-by13-inch one instead without a hitch.
You don’t even need an electric mixer. Just melt butter (the recipe said to do so on the stovetop, but I did it in the microwave), mix with sugar, vanilla, and eggs, then fold in flour, baking powder, salt, and matcha. Finally, stir in white chocolate pieces, before spreading into the pan and sprinkling with salt.
The blondies bake up with crispy edges and a soft-chewy interior. And they make for a dazzling addition to any holiday cookie exchange.
Grey Salt, White Chocolate Matcha Blondies
(Makes 12 blondies)
250 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
300 grams (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar (super-fine granulated sugar)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
240 grams (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon matcha powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
200 grams (7 ounces) white chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon grey salt, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and line a 12-by-8-inch (30-by-20-centimeter) cake tin with baking paper.
Gently melt butter in a small pan and set aside to cool slightly. (Or melt in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl.) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar and vanilla until frothy, then whisk in the melted butter.
Whisk together the flour, matcha powder, baking powder and salt before adding to the wet ingredients along with the white chocolate pieces. Mix until just combined.
Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and smooth the top, then sprinkle with the grey salt and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. The center should be puffed and set but still a little gooey. Let cool, then cut into bars to serve.
Adapted from “Love Is A Pink Cake” by Claire Ptak
More Claire Ptak Recipes to Enjoy: Ras El Hanout Snickerdoodles
And: Ginger Molasses Cake