It’s almost autumn in the United States, and the weather has started to cool down at night. This season starts my craving for warm cups of tea, blankets, books… and cookies.
All I’m missing is a fire pit to warm me up at night. Unfortunately, my landlord would never allow that. Instead I created that fiery flavor in my cookies using Lapsang Souchong tea leaves. Lapsang Souchong tea is warm, smoky, and full of woody notes. The taste reminds me of having a campfire in my mouth.
Not that I’ve ever had fire in my mouth… but I can imagine that this is what it tastes like.
Lapsang Souchong is a black tea from the forested areas of the Wuyi Mountains in the Fujian Province of China. The finished leaves are picked and laid over a fire of burning pinewood. The wood’s aroma and flavor soaks into the leaves as they dry, adding extra complexity to the ordinary black tea.
Lapsang Souchong is one of my favorite teas for this reason, so I had to try baking with it. The results were fantastic! Now it’s your turn to get out your blanket, open your favorite book, and bake some delicious campfire tea cookies.
For the cookies: 1 stick salted butter (softened), 1 cup dark brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground ginger, ¼ tsp ground allspice, ¼ tsp ground clove, ½ to 1 tsp orange zest, 1 ½ Tbsp Lapsang Souchong tea leaves
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two to three big baking sheets. Place parchment paper on top of the pans.
You will see from my pictures that I didn’t use parchment paper while I was baking my cookies. You will absolutely need it. I thought I would be alright without it, and I was wrong. A lot of my cookies got stuck to the pans.
Add the butter, sugar and vanilla to a food processor, blender, or stand mixer. Slowly pulse the ingredients until the butter and sugar are creamed together.
Mix the eggs into the batter, but only stir the batter until the eggs have become fully incorporated. Add the flour, ½ cup at a time, until it’s completely combined.
Stir the spices and zest into the cookies. Finally, add the tea leaves. Beware- the batter is extremely sticky.
Place small teaspoonfuls of batter evenly onto the baking sheets.
Please remember to use parchment paper! I ran out of this item, and it wound up being a serious necessity. Also, I didn’t realize how much the batter was going to spread. The cookies in the picture on the left are too close together. Use small spoonfuls and lots of space!
Place the pans in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until they start to brown on the edges.
Put the cookies onto a cooling rack. Luckily, they only take about 5 to 10 minutes to cool, because they are hard to resist. These tea cookies will give you a hint of smoke, a hint of spice, and a hint of everything nice. Make your favorite tea, grab a blanket and a book, and eat up!