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This one clever cookie dough can be adapted to make four different Korean-style cookies: Black Sesame, Ginger, Matcha Green Tea and Almond.

Plus this dough freezes well, so it’s ideal for celebrations and parties. You can make the basic dough ahead, add flavours and freeze it. On the day you need to bake the cookies, just thaw the dough in the fridge. 

To get smooth cookies with sharp edges you must chill the dough for at least an hour in the fridge – even better, chill it overnight. Then roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper. It will soften and get sticky fast in the hot and humid weather we have in Singapore, but it will still stay flat and sharp. 

Psst, they’re great to snack on while you binge-watch the latest K-dramas. Every time there’s a coffee shop scene, you can eat a cookie – it’s K-drama bingo! 

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Dough Base

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup Butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (see tip 1 below)
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp hot water

Black Sesame Cookies

  • 1 cup black sesame dessert powder
  • 2 tbsps black sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds

Almond Cookies

  • 1 cup ground almonds or almond meal
  • 2 tbsps almonds, flaked or chopped

Matcha Moon Cookies

  • 1 cup Matcha green tea almond butter (see tip 2 below)

Ginger Star Cookies

  • 1 tbsp glace or crystalised ginger, chopped
  • 4-cm fresh young ginger root, grated finely (optional)

Preheat oven to 160 C. Line 1-2 cookie sheets with non-stick baking paper.


Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar together for a few minutes – it’s ready when it turns a paler whitish colour.


Add eggs and beat well. Add baking soda, hot water and vanilla extract.


Add flour and mix ingredients well to make a stiff dough. Cut dough into 4 sections, and set aside 3 sections. 


To 1 part of the dough, add your chosen flavour, and mix. 


Roll flavoured dough into a “log”. Wrap in foil and plastic wrap. Chill for an hour in the fridge, or overnight. You can even freeze the dough, for later use, if you prefer.

To bake cookies


Preheat oven to 160C. Line 1-2 cookie sheets with non-stick baking paper.


To prevent dough sticking when you roll it  – place it between 2 sheets of baking paper. Roll it to ¼ – ½ cm thickness.


Cut dough into shapes and place on cookie sheet about 1 cm apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool before you decorate with icing. 

Perfect for gifting, too!

Note: Prep time excludes 1 hour of chilling in the fridge.

Tip 1: Use all white or all brown sugar, or a mix of both. Brown sugar makes these cookies slightly softer and more chewy.

Tip 2: If the almond butter makes the dough too wet to roll out, add approx 1 Tbs flour to make it firm again.

Text, recipe and images by Tara Barker. 

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