It’s been a while, and a lot has happened. I kept telling myself I’d get back to blogging in a day, a week, whatever, and then I was kind of like, isn’t everyone just on Instagram anyway? But after this weekend, I wanted to post. I’ll catch you up on my life soon enough, but all that really matters right now is what’s going on in Virginia. I feel disgusted and sickened and ashamed. What we all witnessed this weekend was terrorism, plain and simple. It’s right here, at home, happening to people who showed up to protest against straight-up Nazis. There are Nazis, in America, right in front of us, and the president doesn’t seem to care (not that we didn’t already know this, Steve Bannon). He’s condemning “many sides,” when there is only one side. It makes me nauseous. If you are a supporter of this monster and his administration, take a look at how he’s handling this situation. It’s despicable. These people incite violence and spread hatred. They blame immigrants, people of color, people of other religions, and literally anyone else they can think of for things or policies they don’t like, and then offer up no solutions or remedies. As long as they can keep people filled with hate, they can continue to distract from the fact that they’re not going to fix anything or help anyone. Their supporters don’t realize that this country is made up of and built upon different people from different backgrounds with different experiences unlike their own. And you look at all of this and feel so helpless. You can post on Facebook, you can have conversations with your friends and family, you can educate yourself and do what you can to educate others, but at the end of the day, people are still dead. It feels insane. Whenever there’s a tragedy like this one, and unfortunately there are many, all I can think of is an article from earlier this year: I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People. How do you convince people who literally do. not. care. about. other. people. that they should do that very thing? I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that you can keep talking about it, keep donating, keep calling your representatives and demand that they condemn these acts (and make sure your friends are calling, too). And really, the best way that I know of to help right now is to put your money where your mouth is, if you can afford to. I’ve got small monthly donations in place for the ACLU, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, CAIR, and Amnesty International. Yesterday, I set up another monthly donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Not everyone has the ability to donate, but if you can spare $5 a month to one of these organizations, please consider setting up a monthly donation so that they can provide outreach and legal services to those who need it, especially right now.
There’s no better recipe to share along with a post about our current political climate than these matcha shortbread cookies, because I know the owners of the matcha brand that I used would be proud. My friends Joel and Lily run Lovely Day, and they sent me this matcha literally a million years ago. I feel like I made these cookies about that long ago, too, but as I mentioned, things have been a little nuts as of late. Despite that, this matcha is the good stuff! And I swear, they aren’t paying me to say this, they just happen to be pals that make some delicious matcha. They even sent me a proper whisk, so I’ve been whisking it up like a pro at home and drinking it in the late afternoons instead of a fourth cup of coffee. It makes me feel very fancy. In addition to tea, I felt compelled to bake something with the matcha, so here are these chocolate dipped, buttery little matcha shortbread delights (topped with sprinkles from Molly Yeh’s book release party that I found before I moved). These cookies truly taste like matcha, they’re not just green. One of my friends did not like them because of that, but if you are a matcha fan, then you’re going to fall in love with these. They dissolve on your tongue with each bite, like a good shortbread should, in my opinion, and the chocolate helps round everything out. Plus, aren’t they cute? Up your cookie game and try something a little different – but make sure to donate $5 (or more!) to one of the above organizations first, if you please.
Getting it all together.
The dough might crack a bit while you’re rolling it out–that’s fine.
Cut the dough out into disks and chill for a bit before baking. Side note: These Amazon Silpat-style mats work just as well as the other brand and are like, $20 cheaper. 10/10 do recommend.
Let cool before dipping in chocolate.
Then sprinkle with some sprinkles or sea salt, if you like.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon culinary grade matcha powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1½ cups dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or you can just use chocolate chips)
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- sprinkles, if desired
- Whisk together your flour, 2 tablespoons of matcha powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually add in the flour mixer and mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the dough out into a floured surface. If you're making the cookies in the summer, you'll have to wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for 30 minutes or so in the fridge before you roll it out. I made these in April, so I didn't bother doing this (but don't say I didn't warn you).
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. When the dough is chilled (if you needed to chill it), roll it out on a floured surface to about ¼-inch thickness. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats and cut the cookies out into 2-inch rounds, spacing them on your sheet about 1½-inches apart. Place the baking sheets in your freezer for 5 minutes or so to make sure that the cookies have firmed up. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set but not too golden. I like my shortbread on the softer side, so I baked mine for just over 10 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool completely before you dip them in chocolate. Once ready, place your chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in 30-second intervals, mixing after each time is up. Mix in the canola oil until fully combined.
- Dip the half of each cookie in the chocolate, then place on parchment to dry. Add a few sprinkles or maybe even some sea salt for garnish, if desired. Place the cookies in the fridge to firm up for about half an hour or so, then place in an airtight container and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days (again, if it's summer, just keep them in the fridge).