The holiday baking season is in full swing. While some holiday traditions have gone by the wayside, when we think of Christmas, cookies and tea still reign supreme. But have you ever thought about tea in your cookies or other holiday dishes?
Tea is a great way to put a new twist on some old favorites. Infusing your recipes with tea is easier than you may have imagined, but ditch the tea bags and use loose leaf tea. Not only is the quality better, so are the flavors that it imparts to your favorite recipes. Although you can add tea leaves directly to your recipes, you can substitute brewed tea for any liquid in your recipe. Infusing tea into your melted butter is also a great way to add flavor to your recipes, and it's easy as well.
Just follow these 5 easy steps:
1. Add butter and loose leaf tea in a small saucepan and heat until melted.
2. Heat the mixture on a low temperature for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Let mixture stand for about 5 minutes or until it visibly tinted by the tea leaves.
4. Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the tea leaves to extract all the flavor you can.
5. Let it cool and use as you would regular butter in your recipe.
Which Tea to choose?
You want to choose teas that you know will enhance the flavors of your baked goods. For example, Chai is a particular favorite for baking. With warm spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and anise, it's hard to go wrong adding it to your favorite chocolate or snickerdoodle recipe. Citrus flavored black teas also lend themselves well to baking, as well as green teas, such as matcha.
What should I make with tea?
Well we can help you with that. Just break out those aprons and cookie sheets and let's get started! We have a few recipes to share with you!
Chocolate-Mint Tea Crinkle Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Loose leaf Peppermint tea
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
1. In a small bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
2. Follow instructions for infusing the melted butter with tea leaves.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat cocoa and butter mixture until combined. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Chill dough for at least 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and toss in the powder sugar to coat the entire ball. Place the balls on the baking sheet and bake until cookies are cracked slightly but soft in the middle if pressed lightly, about 10 minutes.
6. Let them stand for 10 minutes. Carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
For a printable version of this recipe, click HERE.
- 7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. matcha powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
For the frosting:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- Fresh strawberries, optional for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 325° F, and line the bottom of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. Then, lightly spray the exposed sides of the lined pan with cooking spray.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 - 2 minutes.
3. Add the eggs, matcha powder and vanilla, beat until just combined.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
5. Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stir to combine.
6. Add in all of the buttermilk, and stir to combine.
7. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain, but be careful not to overmix the batter.
8. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake on the middle rack for 30-33 minutes. Toothpick inserted should come out clean.
9. Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes, you should see it pulling away from the edge of the pan. Place on wire rack and cool completely.
10. To make the frosting: combine all frosting ingredients in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
11. Slice the cake in half (to form 2 rectangles), spread some buttercream frosting on the top of one half. Place other piece of cake on top and finish icing with the buttercream frosting.
12. Dust the cake with some powdered sugar and fresh strawberries. Slice into 5 or 6 triangle slices and serve.
For a printable version of this recipe, click HERE.
Earl Grey Snowball Cookies
Makes 2 dozen
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. Earl Grey Tea loose leaf tea leaves
- pinch salt
- 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line 2 cookie sheet pans with parchment paper.
2. Mix butter, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a stand mixer until fluffy.
3. Add flour, tea leaves and salt and mix until well incorporated. Fold in the nuts.
4. Scoop the dough and form into 1" balls. Place on prepared cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms are slightly brown. While baking, fill a small bowl with the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
6. Remove cookies from the oven and cool for 1 minute. Roll each cookie in the powdered sugar until well coated, then place on wire rack to cool completely.
7. The first powdered sugar layer sometimes melts a little, so once the cookies are completely cooled, you may want to re-roll them in the powdered sugar.
For a printable version of this recipe, click HERE