Grain-free Matcha Orange Blossom Shortbread with Black Sesame Seeds

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Grain-free Matcha Orange Blossom Shortbread with Black Sesame Seeds

Grain-free Matcha Orange Blossom Shortbread with Black Sesame Seeds

Green has always been one of my very favorite colors. I have always been intuitively drawn to it, as long as I can remember. After I grew out of the typical pale pink phase that most little girls go through, I wanted everything to be green in my childhood bedroom. I am drawn to green food and I find comfort in lush green environments. From an energetic standpoint the color green represents the heart chakra, Anahata. Our center of love and compassion.

I think when we hear the word love, often we think of our relationships, our spouses and partners, our family and our closest friends. We are all taken by this feeling of being drawn together and connected in unity. But, lately I have very much reminded how just as important that same love and compassion is, when it comes to ourselves.

Grain-free Matcha Orange Blossom Shortbread with Black Sesame Seeds

It is so very easy to get caught up in life, to forget our own needs and to be so available to those that we love that we can forget to care for ourselves. After struggling with this at the end of last year and as I continue to explore the idea of helping others on a deeper level, I am constantly reminded how vital self care, self love and self compassion are to me being able to bring my best self to others. I struggle with my ego trying to convince me to believe this self care is selfish, the balance is delicate and often that line is greyed, for some people.

Grain-free Matcha Orange Blossom Shortbread with Black Sesame Seeds

This need for self-love has been most apparent to me as I have tackled my own healing journey this past year and I would say the same could be said for anyone going through any of their own healing. Whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual. To heal is to make whole. If our heart center is the catalyst to unification, then it too becomes the center of healing. Indeed, love stands to be the ultimate healing force.

Grain-free Matcha Orange Blossom Shortbread with Black Sesame Seeds

Grain-free Matcha Orange Blossom Shortbread with Black Sesame Seeds

Often I talk about this in the yoga classes I teach, centered around heart-opening. That self-care that is necessary to our practice is also so vital to our everyday life. The same compassion and love we would extend towards others, it’s so very important that we extend it first, to ourselves. Before you speak ill of yourself, imagine saying those same words to someone whom you love. Most times, you wouldn’t. We must find patience and kindness for our path and the bumps we may encounter along the way and stay open to giving ourselves whatever we may need to be whole and to heal. I have heard before “There is no greater way to invite love than to offer it first” but I think building upon that idea, we have to first offer that love to the self – so that we may be the very best version of ourselves to offer out into the world in return.

Grain-free Matcha Orange Blossom Shortbread with Black Sesame Seeds

Grain-free Matcha Orange Blossom Shortbread with Black Sesame Seeds

I am excited that in just two weeks I am partnering with my friend Brook to host Sacred Me, an event centered around this precise idea. Honoring your Sacred Self. While the event is sold out already, I am certain this is something we will continue explore again in the future, so stay tuned for more.

While this recipe seems to feel very inspired by Valentine’s Day, ironically it actually  was originally inspired by St. Patrick’s Day. The color green. But as I sat to reflect on this holiday that I have no feelings or memories attached to, all that kept coming up was LOVE and I love these cookies! Full of beautiful, layers of unique flavors. From the buttery shortbread flavored with the beautiful, vibrant anti-oxidant rich matcha (whole green tea powder) to the fragrant and subtle orange blossom water, a smell that is filling the air here in California currently, finished with the stark, boldly-colored nutty black sesame seeds on top.

Grain-free Matcha Orange Blossom Shortbread with Black Sesame Seeds

[print_this]Grain-free Matcha Orange Blossom Shortbread with Black Sesame Seeds {Gluten-free, Paleo with Vegan Options}
makes approximately 36 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted grass fed butter, softened (you can also try ghee or coconut oil)
  • 5 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 6 tablespoons arrowroot starch, plus more for rolling out
  • 3 teaspoons ceremonial grade organic matcha green tea powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Instructions:
Put the softened butter and honey into a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, and gradually work it into a soft paste. This could also be done by hand.

Sift the almond flour, arrowroot starch and matcha powder into the creamed butter and honey mixture. Add in the orange blossom water and sea salt.  Gently mix again on low, until a crumbly, soft dough forms.. Using your hands, knead the dough together to form a ball, then flatten into a disc and place between two sheets of parchment paper or in plastic wrap and place into the fridge. Chill until the dough is more firm, at least 30 minutes, up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 300ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the disc of dough between two sheets of parchment paper lightly sprinkled with arrowroot starch sprinkling a little on top of the dough,as well. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to around 1/4-inch thick. Lightly dust the cookie cutter you plan to use (I used a 2-inch fluted circle) with a little arrowroot starch as well. Remove the top parchment paper and begin cutting out the cookies. You could also cut them into bars.

Carefully transfer the cookies to the parchment lined baking sheet, about 1 to 1 1/2-inches apart. I find using a metal spatula dusted with a little arrowroots, to transfer, to be easiest. Sprinkle a pinch of black sesame seeds on each cookie and give them a very gentle press. Reroll dough scraps to 1/4-inch thickness and cut out additional cookies. You may need a couple baking sheets. Bake for 15-18 minutes until ever so slightly golden brown. Watch them carefully so they don’t brown too much.

Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the pan, before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. These can be stored either at room temperature or in the fridge, in a sealed container. Enjoy.

RECIPE NOTES:

  • The dough can keep in the refrigerator up to 2 days ahead.
  • You can also roll the dough into a 2-3 inch log before refrigerating and simply slice the log into 1/4-inch thick discs, instead of rolling it out.
  • Baking time can vary slightly depending on how powerful your oven is, so keep a watchful eye on your cookies, you want them ever so golden, definitely not browned.
  • You can also try non-hydrogenated sustainably-sourced palm-oil shortening (I believe this brand qualifies)
  • To make vegan opt for maple syrup and coconut oil or palm oil shortening
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Grain-free Matcha Orange Blossom Shortbread with Black Sesame Seeds

One Response

  1. These are just gorgeous, Beth!

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