The holidays are a great time to play around with teas while you bake. Inviting friends to gather and bring a few batches of cookies to share over a pot of tea is a great way to celebrate. And, if you think about it, tea has become quite popular in baking. Part of that has to do with social media. Platforms like Pinterest help streamline baking with tea into a mass cultural frame of mind. Anytime I see tea cookies on a menu, I’m intrigued and tend to try them. I’ve eaten a lot of tea cookies and the one thing I’m left with is the notion that there is not enough tea flavor in the cookies—this is true with chai and matcha. Perhaps that’s a lack of understanding how to make the tea flavor strong in baking without taking it too far? Here are a few ways I like to bake cookies with tea.
Matcha Powdered Sugar
Matcha has also become more accessible to people. For a long time, many Americans didn’t know what it was outside of a ceremonial tea or tea used behind the barista bar. One thing that makes Matcha such a natural ingredient to use in baking is it being in powder form, which makes it easy to add to recipes for baked goods. One time, I made Mexican wedding cookies dusted with a matcha-laced powdered sugar. I liked the light flavor and color the green tea added.
Tea Frosted Cookies
Another idea for infusing some tea flavor into your holiday cookies is to stir in Matcha into frosting. That telltale bright green color is festive especially when icing Christmas tree cookies.
Tea Cookie Dough
You can also pulverize the tea leaves and add them to the cookie dough for a bit of color, flavor, and texture that’s fun too.
Now that we’ve talked about a few ways to include tea in your cookies, Here are my suggestions for which teas would work well folded into cookie recipes. If you make tea cookies, share your favorite tea cookie in the comments. Oatmeal raisin cookies or gingersnaps would be excellent with chai—the spiciness of the tea would play well with the flavors typically in those styles of cookies. Organic African Nectar would be great incorporated into a sugar cookie as it would add a vanilla and floral note to the cookie. Orange Dulce would be marvelous whipped into a frosting for pumpkin spice cookies, letting the citrus and vanilla come through. I like Chamomile Citrus with thumbprint cookies because it adds a creamy, vanilla and citrus flavor with the earthier notes of chamomile. Earl Grey baked into a shortbread cookie would add a nice citrusy note. You could drink the tea featured in the cookie to continue to tease out the tea flavor too.