I can't believe it's already Monday! Is it just me or is this month just flying by. Make. It. Stop. January might not be everyone's favorite (it's mine), and ok maybe I get it when you're dealing with below zero temps but out here in sunshiny LA, there's no reason to call it anything other than fabulous. And if you're not in LA and maybe somewhere a little colder, sorry (!!), I'm totally not trying to rub that in your face that you're not in the land of eternal sunshine. In fact, I'm willing to be that there were a good many Angelenos complaining this weekend and having little mini tantrums because we finally got a little rain and boy did people look grouchy about it. And that's just silly because it was still around 70°F, wonderful, and just a teeny, tiny bit wet. What I'm trying to say is that, ok, maybe January isn't most people's favorite month but as you heard me say last week, it is mine and I want it to move a little slower.
My dad celebrated another birthday this past Saturday as did my gorgeous friend, Jackie, who was also born on the tenth (yay January birthday twins!!). From what I hear, my dad had a wonderful couple of birthday parties. In typical Dad fashion, he has already had two, and I know for a fact he's due for at least one more. Thanks Dad for teaching me that birthday months exist; I haven't started celebrating yet but maybe I should, as mine is only a few weeks away. Let's just get it on the record now, I won't start celebrating till Saturday with a triple birthday dinner with my parents on MAUI (!!!!!!!!). That means my birthday month ends February 17th, right? Ok, now that that's out of the way, let's get back to the birthday we celebrated on Saturday.
One of our newest friends was kind enough to invite us to help her celebrate along with all her lovely friends and it was insanely fun. This lovely lady is someone who inspires love and admiration everywhere she goes and it was such a privilege to be invited to toast someone as wonderful as Jackie. And oh did we toast. Our side of the birthday dinner table did a lot of toasting. I'm actually surprised we didn't give a toast to toasting. Basically, it was an incredible night filled with a lot of love, toasts, and a few speeches. And SHUFFLEBOARD. That happened too and then the night went a little longer than I think any of us anticipated (we're getting older) and 1:00 am rolled around and we all dipped into the birthday cake I made earlier that day but didn't really dig into it as much as we might have earlier on in the evening. So it became the morning after cake, because it wasn't truly enjoyed until the morning after (not to be confused with a pill with a similar name). It was a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and topped with cute little marzipan succulents inspired by the ever talented Molly Yeh's succulent cake for her Egg Mama's birthday. I promise I'll share a similar recipe with you later, as I am practicing my chocolate cakes for a very special third birthday party that's coming up next weekend!!
In the meantime, please allow me to share these white chocolate dipped cuties with you. Matcha is all kinds of awesome for oh so many reasons. They say it's a cancer-fighter, fat-burner, and packed with tons of antioxidants (even more than blueberries or pomegranates). And then on top of all of that, it's insanely flavorful. It's rich, almost vegetal, and has slightly sweet after taste. I love whisking it up and drinking a cup on a rainy day or indulging in a matcha latte every now and then. Basically, it's fantastic and I can't get enough of it. Serve these with a cup of tea, or along side your morning up of coffee. However you choose to enjoy them, that you will--ENJOY! Cheers to a lovely week.
White Chocolate Dipped Matcha Shortbread Cookies
Makes 6 1/2 dozen pineapple cookies
- 1 c. (16 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened and chopped
- 1/2 c. powdered (confectioners) sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. matcha powder (I used Sugimoto America's organic matcha)
- 8 oz. white chocolate, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. shortening
- Optional: sprinkles, lemon zest, gold flakes, sprinkles, sesame seeds
- Baking sheets
- Silpat mat or parchment paper + parchment paper for rolling out dough and setting white chocolate
- Stand mixer
- Silicone spatula
- Microwave safe bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Rolling pin
- Pineapple cookie cutter
- Wire cooling rack
- In the bowl of stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, at least 3-5 minutes. Add almond extract and beat until well combined. Add flour, salt, and matcha powder and beat on low until just combined. Turn out dough onto a sheet of parchment and form dough into a ball. Cover with another sheet of parchment and roll out until 1/4" thick. Stamp out cookies and place on parchment or silpat mat lined cookie sheet, leaving at least 1/2" between each cookie. Repeat until all the dough has been used. Transfer sheets to fridge and refrigerate for one hour.
- 15 minutes before you're ready to back cookies, adjust oven racks to upper and lower third and preheat oven 350°F.
- Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until edges barely start to brown. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
In microwave safe bowl, melt the white chocolate with the shortening in 30 second increments, stirring after each time until smooth (I heated mine for 1:30 total). Dip half of each pineapple into white chocolate and top with sprinkles, as pictured. Allow the chocolate to set completely before serving or storing.
Serve and enjoy.
Note: Cookies will keep for up to 7 days stored at room temperature in an airtight container.