chai tea shortbread cookies with lemon zest frosting
Recipe makes 40 cookies
When it comes to baking, there are many ways to incorporate tea for a fun twist. We've enjoyed steeping tea leaves in butter or water to get a concentrated flavor. We've also incorporated dry leaves into the dough, which we believe allows the most tea flavor to come through!
We recommend grinding the loose tea leaves as fine as you can or using the contents of a tea bag; there will be a crunchier texture if you leave the leaves larger.
For our Chai Tea Shortbread Cookies, we've combined the spicy flavor of the shortbread with a slightly tart and sweet lemon frosting. Enjoy with a hot cup of black tea!
10 level teaspoons loose leaf Holiday Chai or your choice of chai tea
1-2/3 cups all purpose flour + 1/4 cup
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces plain cream cheese, at room temperature
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Lemon juice, as needed
Your choice of topping or decoration
Preheat oven to 350°F. Measure out your chai tea into a medium saucepan and toast over medium heat. Make sure to stir frequently. When the tea has become fragrant, use a mortar and pestle or blender to grind the leaves into very small pieces.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ground tea, salt, and baking powder.
Put the butter and sugar in a separate large bowl; beat the ingredients until you reach a creamy consistency. Add egg and vanilla extract, and stir until it is well combined.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Beat at medium speed until just combined.
Transfer your dough to a lightly floured work surface. Use your hands to form it into a flat disc. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
On your lightly floured surface, roll out the cookie dough until it is 1/8 inch thick. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut out your shapes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake your cookies for 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Make the Frosting
Place the room temperature cream cheese into a large bowl. Slowly add in half a cup of powdered sugar at a time, stirring each time until smooth. Once all the sugar has been mixed in, add lemon zest and stir. If the frosting is too thick, squeeze a teaspoon of lemon juice in at a time until it makes the consistency spreadable.
Spread the frosting over the top of the cookies and decorate.