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Hinamatsuri Girl's Day Tricolor Tea Cookies

March 03, 2021

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Around early March, the cold weather starts to get warmer, the sun shines longer,  birds start chirping in the early morning, the hibernating trees start waking, the daffodil buds start to pop-up & the deer start coming back out.  This is just about the time Hinamatsuri or Girl's Day is celebrated every year on March 3rd in Japan.  Any day dedicated to celebrating girls is a special day, although at Key To Teas, we celebrate women and girls all year long.  Hinamatsuri (which can be translated to Doll's Celebration) is one of five seasonal festivals throughout the year.  

The primary way to celebrate is to put an Empress and Emperor Doll on a pedestal adorned with auspicious red cloth and surrounded by other dolls representing ladies of the court during the Heian period (794-1185) as well as musicians, attendants and all the glory of a celebratory wedding.  

Traditional foods enjoyed at this time are multi-colored rice crackers in green, pink & white as well as sushi, rice cakes and clam soup.  At Key To Teas, we're celebrating by sharing a Tri-color Tea Cookie recipe using you guessed it, Matcha, Vanilla & Freeze Dried Berries for the classic green, white & pink colors!

The base recipe is a classic 1-2-3 shortbread recipe from Bouchon Bakery in Napa, CA, where we've modified by adding tea & fruits.  

Ingredients (Makes about 30 1.5" petal-shaped cookies of each flavor)

  • 90 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 180 grams (1 3/4 stick) butter softened to room temperature
  • 270 grams ( 2cups) 1/2 cake flour + 1/2 all-purpose flour *I like to use cake flour for lighter, flakier texture
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 grams fine salt *I like fine salt vs. kosher salt where there won't be pockets of salt in the dough
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar for dusting
  • ½ tsp Organic Ceremonial Grade Matcha Sai
  • 7 grams (20 pieces) of freeze-dried strawberries & raspberries medley
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1. In a food processing blender (or mixer with paddle attachment) blend all the sugar, butter, flour, vanilla and salt.  The dough will not fully form a ball - remains slightly sandy in texture.

2. Divide the dough in three.  If you weigh it, each dough will be about 180g each.

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3. Set one dough aside, form into a slab in between plastic wrap and set in fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

4. To another dough, add ground freeze-dried berries, form a slab in between plastic wrap and set in fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

5. For the remaining dough, add 1/2 teaspoon Key To Teas Organic Ceremonial Grade Matcha, form a slab in between plastic wrap and set in fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

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6. Preheat oven to 350F.  If using convection oven, preheat to 340F. 

7. After all the dough has rested in the fridge, roll out to 1/4" thickness and cut with a flower-shaped cookie cutter.

8. Place shaped cookies on non-stick sheet pan and bake for about 12-15 minutes.  With a convection oven setting, eye on the cookies getting baked a little faster by 2-3 minutes.  The cookies are done when the edges are slightly golden brown.

9. Cool on baking rack and enjoy!  Cookies will last in air-tight container for 3-4 days or otherwise can be frozen for up to a month.

10.  Enjoy with your favorite cup of tea!

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