Hi, I’m Jess, and I’m a 28 year old nanna. I bake, I knit, I drink tea, I read books in my big, comfy reading couch under a blanket, snuggled up with my dog. Whatever, I have no shame, it’s awesome.
These cookies came to fruition last night, after going to my favourite tea shop, T2 Tea at lunch time to stock up on my two favourite blends – Melbourne Breakfast Tea, and Madagascan Vanilla (told you I’m a premature nanna). I was thinking to myself, “I probably already drink too much tea (around 3 cups/mugs a day)… but I reaaaaalllly love the flavour… what else can I do with it…?”
I’m gonna be honest – I’m not really a recipe person, even when it comes to sweets. I know my basics, and I usually improvise off that. Here’s my made-it-up-as-I-went-along recipe for Melbourne Breakfast Tea cookies (I’m sure you could really use any loose leaf tea, and in fact I plan to experiment with French Earl Grey and coconut & pineapple green tea next!)!
Ingredients (made 50 small cookies, a little bigger than an Australian 50c coin)
– 100g butter, chopped and softened
– 100g caster sugar
– 1 egg
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (should have used more!!)
– 200g plain flour
– 2 tbsp loose leaf tea of choice, finely ground (I used my mortar and pestle and it worked perfectly).
1. Beat the softened butter (soft, NOT melted!) and the caster sugar on medium/high speed with an electric mixer for around 3 – 5min, or until really smooth, lighter in colour and creamy.
2. Add in the egg and vanilla, and keep beating until totally combined and smooth (another minute or so).
3. Sift in the flour and add the ground tea leaves, mix them in with a spoon until a thick dough comes together (you may want to use your hands to really bring it together) – roll that big clump of dough into a ball, wrap it in cling wrap, and sit it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 170˚C and line a big baking tray (or 2 smaller ones) with non-stick paper.
5. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a floured board to a thickness you’re happy with (they’re your cookies so make them as thick or thin as you like! Thinner cookies will have a bit more of a crunch to them, thicker ones will have a bit of a softer “bite” which is what I prefer!).
6. Cut cookies out of whatever shape or size you want – I used a shot glass to get little round ones, but obviously you can go with whatever you want.
7. Lay them on the tray (they won’t expand so you can put them fairly close together), and bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until they are just getting a light golden edge.
8. Let them cool for a few minutes on the tray, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
***Update 22nd April: I emailed the lovely people from T2 Tea, and the very friendly Jacinda emailed me back to thank me for the great feedback and link to my recipe; she also shared a baking tip – said she likes to use tea-infused butter to frost her cupcakes. I thought it might be worth trying this recipe again, this time using the tea to infuse the butter first before putting the cookies together. Basically, I just melted the butter, mixed in the crushed tea leaves, and put in it the fridge for 20 minutes. Then, I just followed the recipe as above!
And holy moly, it worked even better – the flavour was may more intense, it was brilliant!!! Highly recommend trying it this way if you enjoy a strong tea flavour like I do!!!