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Tea Cookies

A friend and I recently went to check out Amai Tea & Bake House, because we like having tea together and I am big on supporting food bloggers in their endeavors (Amai is run by the blogger behind Lovescool).

We really enjoyed the tea sweets there, and when I got home I found Amai’s recipe for matcha (green tea) cookies.

Green tea is nice and all, but in my pantry I have some wonderful oolongs, not to mention my coconut vanilla tea, herbal masala chai, strawberry rose tea, homemade peach mace vanilla tea, and more. I wanted to create a variety of tea cookies with all of my wonderful teas!

So I ground up some oolong tea to a powder in a clean coffee grinder, and gave it a go.


The tea flavor is subtle but unmistakably present. The cookies have the slight crumbliness of butter cookies, but are more tender than most, and are particularly satisfying when eaten with a sip of tea between each bite.

I posted this to Gothamist for Valentine’s Day, and I’m reposting it here to make another confession: Dave and I have actually started wedding planning. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you may remember how he proposed last April. Since then, New York courts have begun recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages. We talked to a lot of people and between ourselves about it and came to the decision that that, especially right after a couple of women we know decided to get married, was good enough for us.

We’re thinking August 2009, so we have plenty of time to plan.

Funny how that feels like such a short schedule!

Tea Cookies
(adapted with very minor variations from Lovescool/Amai Tea & Bake House)
3/4 C (2.25 oz) confectioners sugar
5 oz unsalted butter (5/8 C, or 1 and 1/4 stick), straight from the fridge, cut into 1 tbsp slices
1 3/4 C (8.5 oz) all-purpose flour
3 large egg yolks (save the whites to make tuiles or macarons)
1 1/2 tbsp ground tea of your choosing
1 C granulated sugar (for coating)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the sugar and ground tea together. Add the butter and continue mixing until smooth and pale.

Add the flour and mix until well combined.

Add the egg yolks and mix just until the eggs are fully incorporated and a mass forms.

Form the dough into a disk and chill in the refrigerator until firm – the original recipe calls for at least 30 minutes, but with my fridge I prefer to let dough chill for at least a couple of hours before rolling it out.

Which is what you’re doing next, of course – rolling it out. To about 1/2″ thick, which will feel surprisingly thick to those of us more used to rolling out pie crusts.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cut the dough with small cookie cutters of whatever shape you like. Mine were about 1″ diameter.

Toss each cut cookie in a bowl of granulated sugar to coat.

Place the sugar-coated cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheets, about 1″ apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating from top to bottom and back to front halfway through the baking time. When they are done, they will be slightly golden around the edges.

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10 Responses to “Tea Cookies”

  1. MissGinsu says:

    Those look lovely… so simple! It seems like green tea is everywhere these days. It’s nice to have the option to use other varieties. Good luck with your planning!

  2. bonnie says:

    those look delicious, and easy!

  3. jubilant cerise says:

    I’m often glued to my desk at work but those cookies with tea look like the perfect way to start a new break routine.

    And of course, congratulations on setting a date for your wedding! I know I don’t comment often but how could I not with such great news? :)

  4. Katie says:

    Your little hearts are so cute. They look wonderfuly buttery and crumbly and the tea flavour would be a nice surprise.

  5. Jessica says:

    Man! I went out on a limb and replaced the tea with 1 tsp instant espresso powder and 1/2 tsp cinnamon, plus a few shakes of salt. Totally awesome. I’ll be making them the proper way soon too – thanks in the meantime for a wonderful starting point!

  6. Gabi says:

    Love your tea cookies! Sounds like you are as much of a tea nut as I.
    I am so happy you are planning a celebration. Can’t wait to hear whatever details you choose to share. I’ve been ecstatically married for almost 11 years now to my best friend and I highly recommend it with the caveat of “to the right person.” It certainly seems as though you and Dave are each other’s right person.
    Bridal bouquets of happiness to you!
    x x x

  7. These lovely tea cookies look too good to eat! I really heart these masterpieces! I also love your beautiful blog and stunning photography!

  8. Danielle says:

    MissGinsu, jubilant cerise, Katie – Thanks!

    bonnie – They are!

    Jessica – That’s a spectacular idea. I’m going to try them your way next time.

    Gabi – If I can keep my mouth shut about planning for the next year and a half… well, suffice to say, it’d take a miracle. You’ll hear all about it, I’m sure. And thank you!

    White on Rice Couple – Thank you! And thank you even moreso for commenting and thus introducing me to your blog. I can’t believe I never came across it before – it’s fantastic!

  9. Julie says:

    Danielle — not only do the cookies look delicious, but it’s great that you’re sharing your happiness and planning with all of us. G and I got engaged in January, and married in April — so from my perspective, you actually have lots of time for planning! I have a feeling that you and Dave are in for a lifetime of glorious exploration and spectacular happiness, just like all us other pairs who were simply meant to be…

  10. Jessica says:

    Hi again, same Jessica as above. Just about to make these for the nth time, and have just noticed you’ve got an errant extra “preheat” instruction at the top
    here. thanks again!

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