Illustration for article titled Chocolate meets its match(a) in these perfect chewy, crispy cookies
Photo: Eileen W. Cho

During the 55 days of lockdown in France, I didn’t accomplish much other than worrying excessively, trying to deep clean and create order in my tiny Parisian kitchen, and developing this perfect matcha chocolate chunk cookie recipe.

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The kitchen organizing actually resulted in the obsessive recipe developing and testing. I mean, what else am I supposed to do if I find two canisters of prized Osulloc Matcha Tea Powder that I’d purchased last summer as souvenirs from a trip to South Korea’s tea haven, Jeju Island, hiding deep in the back of my pantry?

My kitchen might only be about 90% clean now, but the matcha chocolate chunk cookie is perfect. Matcha desserts have become more readily available in recent years, but what I’ve found is that with abundance comes a loss of balance. Matcha is a delicate flavor, charming and delicious when properly prepared. It’s truly a waste of matcha when too much sweetness in the dessert overpowers its subtle sweet, savory, and umami notes. Therefore, in this recipe I’ve made sure to let matcha truly shine, allowing its bitterness to work with the sweetness of the chocolate.

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I personally like my cookies warm from the oven, crispy on the outside and chewy in the center. The trick of letting them sit in the oven requires patience but, boy, the reward is worth it. These cookies store well in an airtight container, but if you have a sweet tooth I don’t think they will be around for very long. Luckily, it’s easy to whip up more as long as you have matcha powder.

These cookies are nostalgia-inducing for me, taking me back to the coffee shops of Seoul where matcha cookies are plentiful, and I hope they bring you comfort, even if it’s fleeting, during these strange times.


Matcha Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes 8 large cookies

A note about matcha powder: There are many types of matcha powders out there but they fall under three major groups: universal grade, ceremonial grade, and culinary grade. Since we are baking at home, I personally think culinary grade, the cheapest, works just fine. The major differences are that it’s slightly more brown in color and more bitter in flavor (but we save it with chocolate). For home bakers who really want a nice, bright green color, I would recommend the ceremonial grade.

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Matcha powders, no matter the grade, don’t have the longest shelf life, so it’s best if you purchase it in small quantities and store properly in an airtight, dark-colored container in a dark and cool place. Matcha powder can be found at most Asian grocers (just make sure you don’t get one with added sugars) or ordered online. I suggest the Maeda-en brand matcha powders, as they are widely available in the U.S.

  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. and 2 tsp. (10 g) matcha powder
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup (100 g) semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped into chunks

In a medium sized bowl, use a spatula or a mixer to combine the melted butter with the white and brown sugars. Cream the mixture until there are no lumps. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well until fully incorporated.

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Sift in salt, baking soda, matcha, and flour, and mix slowly until everything is incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Cover the dough and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a spoon and the palm of your hand, roll 2½ tablespoons of dough into balls (they will be about half the size of your palm) and place them a few inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. The centers should look slightly undercooked. Turn off the oven and let the cookies sit in there for 3 minutes. After three minutes, gently transfer immediately to the cooling rack. Enjoy them warm if you can!

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Eileen W. Cho is a Korean American journalist, photographer, and cook based in Paris, France. She's on Twitter but more active on Instagram (@yo_cho).

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