Matcha-gjetost cookies

So I technically made these cookies when I was trying to use up leftover French buttercream. French buttercream is made by emulsifying egg yolks with simple syrup and butter to create this luxurious mousse-like cream. I usually use it in macarons as a filling, but I found that it could be re-purposed into shortbread dough as well! Shortbread usually is made with egg yolks, butter, sugar, and flour anyways, and this my leftover matcha French buttercream had all of that(plus a little water from the emulsified simple syrup), I knew it would work! For this specific recipe, I modified it so that you don’t have to make a French buttercream to make the cookies themselves, as that was just a way for me to repurpose a leftover ingredient, and it would be weird to have you make something just to make another completely different item.

For the filling, I went with a take on cajeta, which I’m calling “faux”-jeta. Cajeta is a Oaxacan goat milk caramel that is scented with cinnamon, similar to a dulce de leche. I had gjetost cheese, which is a cheese made with caramelized goat’s milk, and I knew I could make a sort of jam-type of thing out of that with some brown sugar and cinnamon, and that would taste exactly like cajeta – spoilers, it totally does and if you wanted to use it in place of cajeta, you totally can and nobody would be the wiser about it! These cookies remind me of Peruvian alfajores, which are shortbreads sandwiching dulce de leche, as they are quite similar, just using matcha in the cookie dough, my “faux”-jeta as the filling, and omitting the powdered sugar since I just did not want these to be sickly sweet.

For the matcha shortbreads:
1 egg yolk
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tspn matcha powder
1 cup all-purpose flour

Mix together all of the ingredients except for the flour first. Fold the flour into the mixture to form a dough. Refrigerate the dough for at least 10 minutes. Roll out on a floured surface to about 1/8th an inch thickness and cut out 1-inch circles. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and keeping the cookies about 2-inches apart, bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Cool down completely before attempting to fill or remove from the baking sheet.

For the gjetost “faux”-jeta:
3oz gjetost cheese, grated or chopped finely
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cinnamon

In a pot, reduce everything on low heat until thickened to the consistency of fudge sauce – make sure it is 100% lump-free! Cool down to room temperature before spooning 1 tspn of the filling between 2 cookies.

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