These beauties are toasted black sesame shortbread with a matcha chocolate dip. And let me tell you, they’re gorgeous (if I do say so myself).
The sesame shortbread biscuits are nicely buttery and flavoursome due to the tahini and have a nice thin snap. A matcha chocolate dip adds a complimentary taste and delicious extra sweetness.
These green tea matcha shortbread cookies would go great with a cup of coffee or tea. They also go down a treat at a bake sale, as gifts for friends and family, and are great for an exotic twist as part of an afternoon tea.
✏️ Making a tasty and easy recipe
I was inspired by tahini cookies to make something with that gorgeous sesame flavour, but I wanted something a bit more fun. I’m a huge matcha fan, especially when it comes to matcha chocolate.
This recipe for black sesame shortbread is taken to the next level by adding a matcha chocolate dip. This combination of flavours really reminds me of my travels to China, where black sesame is hugely popular and using matcha in desserts is on the up too.
Oddly enough, one of my favourite things about this recipe is that these biscuits aren’t too sweet. The natural bitterness of matcha green tea and tahini still shines through, giving these a delicious mix of sweet and strong flavours. Sounds strange, but trust me, they’re so moreish!
🥘 Ingredients notes
- Always sieve your flour. I used to be a bit lazy and skip this part, but it really makes such a difference to get you a lump-free mixture.
- It's also vital that you sieve your matcha green tea powder before adding it to the white chocolate as it’s naturally such a lumpy powder.
- Not all matcha powder is created equal! I’d strongly advise that you splash out and get a ceremonial or baking grade matcha powder, preferably from a good brand. Cheap matcha powder will make your matcha chocolate bitter and more brown than vibrant green. I like to use the Matchaeologist matcha powder or Pure Chimp matcha powder (affiliate links - both are great quality).
- Chocolate can be a fussy miss to work with. I like to use baking chocolate or couverture chocolate (fancy baking chocolate) when I bake. My all-time favourite brand is Callebaut for chocolate. Their white chocolate is perfect for melting and using in this recipe. It’s so creamy and melts smoothly.
- To really improve the flavour of your shortbread, I’d definitely recommend toasting your sesame seeds before using them. This allows their natural flavour to develop. See step 1 in the recipe for help on how to do this.
- When measuring your ingredients, I always recommend using weights rather than cups where possible for greater accuracy. Accuracy is important for the amount of flour used.
🔪 Equipment notes
- I like to use digital scales for weighing my ingredients as it's easier and more accurate than other scales. I'm a fan of these KitchenAid or Salter ones!
- Use measuring spoons for your teaspoon and tablespoon amounts where possible. Be sure to level off the heaped ingredients in your scoops before adding them to your mix.
You can store your shortbread cookies in an airtight container. They should keep for up to 4 days stored at room temperature.
💭 Top tips for success
- It’s easiest to start with room temperature butter for this recipe, but if your butter is too warm your dough might be sticky and hard to work with. If so, one of my top tips is to chill the dough for 30mins before rolling it out.
- Another tip for difficult shortbread dough is to roll it between two sheets of greaseproof paper (baking parchment) and flour your cookie cutter between each cut.
- You might not have enough baking trays or oven space to bake all your dough in one go. You can use this to your advantage by assessing whether anything needs to be tweaked after your first batch. For example, do you need to space your biscuits further apart? Or are they spreading too much? If so, chill your sesame shortbread dough for longer before baking.
- Melt your chocolate slowly. I’m pretty lazy, so I like to melt mine in the microwave. Don’t rush this! Melt your chocolate for no more 20 secs at a time, stirring between each round, until fully melted. It can be very easy to burn chocolate or get streaky chocolate that sets weird.
If you’ve got any specific questions on making these exotic black sesame matcha shortbread cookies, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to help out!
♻️ Alternatives and substitutions
If you can’t find black sesame seeds in your local stores, it’s perfectly acceptable to swap these for white sesame seeds instead. Black sesame tends to have a stronger nuttier taste, and I think they look pretty in the biscuits, but white sesame will still taste delicious.
Just like with the seeds, there are different types of tahini paste (also called sesame seed paste or sesame butter). I prefer to use the hulled light tahini for this recipe, such as this organic light hulled tahini by Pepperwood Organics or Meridian.
In general, most people consider hulled tahini paste to be tastier, as it doesn’t have the slight bitterness of unhulled tahini. However, you can easily swap the hulled tahini here for the slightly darker unhulled tahini. If doing this, add an extra tablespoon of sugar to help offset the bitterness.
As an alternative to rolling out your dough and cutting circles with a cookie cutter, you can roll your shortbread dough into a log. Wrap this in cling film and chill it in the fridge for 30mins. Then slice off ½ cm (¼ inch) thick rounds to bake. You can even try rolling your log in demerara sugar first. This will add a delicious sugar crunch around your shortbread biscuits.
If you’re not as crazy about matcha as I am or aren’t a fan of strong flavours, then reduce the matcha powder in the recipe to 7g to skim some of the green tea taste off.
🧁 Other goodies
So, I definitely recommend that you whip up a batch of these easy black sesame matcha shortbread cookies! But as an avid home baker, I’m sure you’re asking yourself “what next?”.
Well, if you’re into matcha, check out my matcha white chocolate cookies – they’re so moreish and divine! Or if you love an exotic shortbread, my gluten-free lemon almond shortbread is bound to go down a treat.
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Black Sesame Matcha Shortbread
Rate this recipe here:
- Rolling Pin
- 170 g (¾ cups) unsalted butter
- 70 g (⅓ cups) golden caster sugar
- 40 g (3 tablespoon) tahini (light, hulled)
- 250 g (2 cups) plain/all-purpose flour
- 40 g (⅓ cups) cornstarch (cornflour in the UK)
- 30 g (⅕ cups) black sesame seeds
- To toast the sesame seeds, put them in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat and stir every 30 seconds for 4 minutes. Tip these onto a large plate to cool.
- Pre-heat oven: 195°C / 175°C (fan) / Gas Mark 5 ½ / 385°F
- Cream together the butter, sugar and tahini until you get a smooth mixture.
- Sieve in the flours, mixing until a dough starts to form.
- Mix in the toasted sesame seeds until spread evenly throughout.
- Briefly knead the dough together with your hands until your dough is smooth. Refrigerate for 15mins if it seems sticky.
- Spread a little flour onto a clean work surface and your rolling pin, then roll out the dough until roughly ½ cm (¼ inch) thick.
- Using a 3cm cookie cutter cut out as many biscuits as you can, re-rolling the trimmings and cutting again as necessary.
- Place the biscuits on a baking sheet and poke 3-4 sets of holes using a fork into each biscuit, before baking for 8-10mins until lightly golden.
- Allow the biscuits to cool on the tray for 10mins before transferring to a cooling rack, as they will be fragile when first leaving the oven.
Matcha chocolate dip:
- Once the shortbread has cooled (roughly 15mins after baking), make the matcha chocolate dip. In a microwave (20 secs at a time) or over a double boiler, slowly melt the white chocolate in a bowl, stirring until smooth.
- Sieve in the matcha powder and stir until smooth.
- Dip one side of each shortbread into the liquid matcha chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off into the bowl before placing them on greaseproof paper on a flat surface.
- Place the dipped biscuits into the fridge for the chocolate to set for 15mins.
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator, actual values may vary.