These chewy matcha cookies speckled with sweet white chocolate plus fragrant and tart freeze-dried strawberries are a delight.
Three things I learned from my journey in appreciating white chocolate so far: First, good white chocolate makes a WORLD of difference in your desserts. Second, white chocolate almost always goes well with matcha. Third, white chocolate desserts almost always have these long names that get you tongue-tied. And clearly, this one is no different!
I can’t actually imagine naming this any other way. It’s not quite a white chocolate chip cookie for me even though that’s how it’s originally called. I am more comfortable calling this green-hued cookie a matcha cookie, because that is the dominant flavor and appearance. Adding the words “brown butter” also feels important, because it’s a very intentional step you take to make this cookie taste better. The nuttiness of the browned butter kind of ups the matcha-ness somehow.
And then there’s the strawberry element, which really makes this cookie more interesting. Most similar recipes stop at earthy matcha cookies plus specks of sweet milk white chocolate, but in this case, the strawberries add this tart element. It’s not just for decor. (Though these are some pretty cookies!)
I did go out of my way to purchase different kinds of freeze-dried strawberries because I wanted to make these cookies, and I have to say I don’t regret it. The only thing I regret is adding too much white chocolate chips, because it pushed the matcha cookies a little on the sweet spectrum. I already adjusted the measurements below, although if you aren’t a fan of white chocolate you can totally swap them out for dark chocolate chips.
But like I said before, there are very few times I’m willing to indulge in white chocolate, and one of those is when matcha is involved. These Brown Butter Strawberry White Chocolate Chip Matcha Cookies are a good application of this flavor combo. Not to mention, it’s hard to resist a good chewy cookie.
- TAKE THE TIME TO BROWN YOUR BUTTER. Although you can skip this process and use normal butter if you’re pressed for time, taking the extra step to browning your butter will add a lot of flavor to your baked good. The nutty, extra fragrant browned butter adds a deep richness to the cookies that brings out the matcha flavor more. I highly advise you not to skip. To brown the butter, simply allow it to cook in a pan, stirring or swirling often, until it turns a deep brownish hue. It’ll be easier to monitor in a light colored pan. If it sizzles and froths, that’s normal. Just be careful to keep the heat controlled so you don’t burn the butter. It’ll develop some browned bits at the bottom. Those are milk solids. They have lots of flavor so go ahead and use them in the dough.
- FREEZE-DRIED STRAWBERRIES ARE A GREAT ADDITION. I bought my freeze-dried strawberries from Shopee, and I bought them in two forms: sliced (for topping) and chopped into pieces (to add into the cookie). They really add a nice tart flavor and lovely strawberry fragrance to the cookies.
- DON’T GO OVERBOARD WITH THE WHITE CHOCOLATE. White chocolate is naturally sweet, and since we want these cookies to have a more balanced flavor profile, I do not recommend adding more than 1/2 cup of white chocolate. Make sure to use good quality white chocolate. The one I used here is Hershey’s Premiere Whites. It has a nice milky taste to it, but it is quite sweet. Next time I’ll use Auro white chocolate buttons and chop them into chunks instead. If you really do not like white chocolate, feel free to use dark chocolate chips instead.
- REFRIGERATION IS KEY. The cookie dough this recipe produces is quite soft. You will need to refrigerate or freeze the dough before use. You want to bake these cookies while the dough is still cold so you don’t get too much spreading and are left with a nice chunky cookie. Make sure to return the unused cookie dough into the fridge between batches. Baking room temp dough will produce a flatter cookie, and when you don’t have anything to bite into you lose the experience of the chewy texture in the middle. This recipe produces your typical firm on the edges and chewy-moist in the center cookie.
- STICK ON THOSE EXTRA TOPPINGS. As a rule of thumb, it’s always good to add pieces of choco chips on top of your cookie to make them pretty after baking. Place them far apart around the center so that when the cookie spreads, they spread along with it rather than clump at the center. I added extra freeze-dried strawberries too.
- ENJOY WITH MILK. These cookies, with its matcha-ness and white chocolatey tones, pair really well with milk. Eating them together reminds me a little bit of drinking white chocolate matcha latte.
Brown Butter Strawberry White Chocolate Chip Matcha Cookies
Makes 16 cookies using a 3-Tablespoon scoop, or about 24 cookies using a smaller scoop
- 1 cup 227 grams unsalted butter
- ½ cup 100 grams white sugar
- 1 cup 210 grams brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups 240 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon 6 grams unsweetened culinary-grade matcha powder
- ¾ cup 60 grams freeze-dried strawberries, chopped to size of chocolate chips
- ½ cup 85 grams white chocolate chips (or use semisweet if you prefer)
- Brown the butter in a saucepan and immediately transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool completely.*
- Once butter has cooled, beat in the two sugars until well combined. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and beat the mixture for about 1 minutes until it looks light and creamy.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and matcha powder. Gradually fold the dry mixture into the butter mixture using a spatula. Once the last of the dry mixture has been added in, fold just until combined and some streaks of flour remain.
- Add in the chocolate chips and strawberry bits, then fold just until distributed into the cookie dough. The dough will be quite soft so refrigerate for 1 hour before use.
- 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350 F (180C). Place oven rack in the middle, then line baking sheets with parchment.
- Using your scoop of choice, portion out the chilled dough onto your baking sheet, spacing at least 2 inches apart. If desired, press more strawberries or choco chips on top to make it pretty, but make sure to work quickly. These cookies must be baked cold or else they won’t retain a nice shape.
- Bake cookies in preheated oven, about 10 to 11 minutes if using a 3-Tablespoon scoop, or about 8 to 9 minutes using a smaller scoop. The cookies are done once they look set around the edges. Bake one sheet at a time and make sure to return the rest of the cookie dough into the fridge as they await their turn in the oven.
- Cool cookies on sheets for 10 minutes, then use a spatula to carefully move the cookies onto a cooling rack to cool completely. They will firm up once cool but will retain a chewy center.
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