matcha and white chocolate chip shortbread

prep 50 mins (includes chilling)        cook 50 mins        makes 35 small squares

375 g (3 3/4 cups) plain or all purpose flour (remove a generous tablespoon and replace with equal amount of cornflour)

125 ((3/4 cup) fine sugar

3 level tsp matcha (I used bakeable matcha that retains its colour and flavour after baking)

Generous pinch salt (optional)

250 g (1 2/3 cups) cold firm butter, cubed then chilled again until firm if it's a warm day

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)

80 g (2/3 cup) mini white chocolate chips

Line base and sides of a rectangular baking tray (measurements) with parchment paper.

Combine flour, sugar, matcha and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly.

Add butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles fine, very damp crumbs.

Add vanilla and chocolate chips and toss lightly until vanilla and chips and well distributed. There shouldn't be any dark, damp patches of vanilla. Do not knead mixture at all.

Transfer the crumbly mixture to the tin and press down quickly and firmly until it looks like a dough. Chill for 15 minutes then press down again until even and compact. Chill a further 20 minutes and preheat oven at 145 C (290 F).

Deeply score dough almost to the bottom, into as many squares or rectangles as you like and prick each piece right through to the base of the tray, with a fork. Bake for 50 minutes or until you can smell a toasty, buttery aroma. Shortbread should be slightly puffed and very lightly coloured on top.

Remove from oven and wait 20 minutes before cutting into pieces along the score lines. Leave in tin until just warm before transfering to a cooling rack. If you remove them while hot, they may crumble. Once cold, store in an airtight container and eat within 5 days. Serve these buttery squares with milky black tea, hojicha (Japanese roasted green tea) or vanilla ice cream for dessert.