Monday, January 6, 2014

Meringue cookie sandwich bites (green tea with red bean filling)

I believe that my new baking obsession is now meringue. Before I had my Kitchenaid mixer, I would shy away from recipes that required extensive whipping or beating. At the time, I only had my little six dollar hand mixer to use for mixing, so things like meringue seemed rather daunting. Now, I just throw everything into a bowl and let the Kitchenaid work its magic while I go do something else. People weren't kidding when they said that this mixer was going to change my life.

That includes meringues, which are so much easier to make now with the Kitchenaid. Meringue has always been my favorite part of lemon meringue pie (which is on the to-bake-one-day list), and after I made baked meringue for the first time in my chocolate clouds recipe, I fell in love with that kind of chewy airy texture as well.

One thing that those chocolate clouds reminded me of were macarons (also on the to-bake list) - both have similar crisp-on-the-outside but chewy-on-the-inside texture. From what I have gathered, macarons are notoriously difficult to make, but those chocolate clouds were quite easy to make. That got me thinking - what if I used the recipe base from the clouds to make macaron-like cookies?

Inspired, I whipped up another batch of the chocolate clouds, but this time, instead of adding cocoa, I added green tea matcha powder instead. I also piped them onto the baking sheet in smaller circles and made a batch of red bean buttercream for the filling.

They turned out decent - a little drier than I had imagined, but in a good way. Now they had a more melt-in-your-mouth rather than a chewy kind of texture. Also, I don't  know if it was because they were smaller than my initial clouds or because they were baked a little longer than I intended, but these green tea shells were much more fragile than the chocolate clouds. The clouds I could pull off the cookie sheet easily and drop without shattering, but the green tea meringues required a more delicate hand. One or two broke when I tried getting them off the cookie sheet and I dropped another one, which promptly shatter. A few more broke when I was assembling them.

Luckily, I didn't lose too many (and I still think these are easier than actual macarons), and ended up with a dozen pretty green and red meringue cookie sandwiches. I also didn't pipe them on in a proper macaron-style disc, so the shells turned out more like Hershey kisses than flat cookies. That wasn't a big deal though - it just meant I had to lie them on their sides. Perfect with a pot of actual green tea! :)

Green tea meringue sandwich cookies with red bean filling (makes 12-15 sandwiches)
Recipe adapted from my previous recipe

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/16 tsp of lemon juice (just a few drops)
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp green tea matcha powder
  • Green food coloring (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. Beat egg white (with lemon juice) in a stand mixer at high speed. 
  3. When soft peaks form, add the sugar, followed by the vanilla. 
  4. Beat until stiff peaks form. 
  5. Fold in the matcha powder, followed by the green food coloring (optional).
  6. Pipe 3 cm discs onto parchment paper on a baking sheet. 
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until the outsides of the cookies feel dry to the touch. 
  8. Assemble with red bean buttercream (recipe below). 
Red bean buttercream
Recipe adapted Thirsty For Tea

  • 1/6 cup (2 tbsp+2 tsp) unsalted butter (at room temp)
  • 1/6 cup (2 tbsp+2 tsp) of powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp red bean paste
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla extract
  • Red food coloring (optional)
  1. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy with stand mixer at medium speed. 
  2. Mix in red bean paste and vanilla extract.
  3. If desired, adjust color with red food coloring. If frosting is not wet enough, use milk (1 tbsp at a time) to adjust consistency. 
  4. To assemble sandwiches, gently spread red bean filling onto flat side of one green tea cookie. Sandwich with a second cookie (of similar size/shape). Don't press down too hard or it will break!
  5. Enjoy!

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