Chai Shortbread | The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

by Melissa on December 12, 2011

chai shortbread I have been wanting to try tea-infused baking for a while. Just something about adding the flavors of a tea to the sweetness of a baked good intrigued me.

When I found out about the 1st Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen, I thought to myself that this would be the perfect opportunity to bake some tea infused cookies. We were given the names, addresses and URLs of three fellow food bloggers and then we were to bake a dozen cookies to ship to each one. And in return we would receive three packages of a dozen cookies each. How fun!

After pondering more complicated recipes including peppermint tea cookies and lemon camomile cookies, I settled on chai shortbread because of how simple (baking 3 dozen cookies, packing and shipping them were quite the task!), yet delicious they are – or at least I crossed my fingers and hoped that they would be!

After figuring out how to infuse the butter for the cookies and baking off about 4 dozen cookies – some had to be taste tested, of course – I just had to design a little somethin’ somethin’ to package the sweet cookies in. Above is the label with the cookie information. I wanted to make sure to put the ingredients on the label since I was placed in a smaller group of bloggers with peanut allergies.

Below is the final packaging, complete with ribbons!

And the best part about a cookie swap?

Receiving 3 dozen cookies in the mail!

Pinwheel cookies from Marilyn:

S’more cookies from Thao:

Birds Nests and Wreath butter cookies from Stephanie:

A great big thank you to Lindsay and Julie for hosting the 1st Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! And although it was quite the task to bake, pack and ship 3 dozen cookies I think it was all well worth it. Aside from receiving three sweet packages in the mail, this was a wonderful opportunity for me to learn a new skill (infusing butter with tea) and learn all about packing and shipping food.

Hope everyone had a great time baking cookies as well!


Chai Shortbread (makes 3 dozen cookies)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
10 tablespoons chai-infused butter, at room temperature (see below for recipe)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cold water

Let’s Bake:
With a hand mixer or electric hand mixer, whip together the powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract until well combined and creamy in texture. In another mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt with a whisk to break up clumps and mix until combined.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating at low speed until combined into a flaky/crumbly dough. Sprinkle the dough with the cold water.

Divide the dough into thirds, and shape into logs (2 inch in diameter). Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least an hour up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Unwrap the dough logs, slice into 12 pieces each about 1/4″ to 1/3″ thick. Place the dough about 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined cookie sheets, and bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until the sides of the cookies are slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes, then remove cookies and let completely cool on wire racks.

Chai-Infused Butter (from the Cupcake Project)
chai tea leaves
unsalted butter

Notes:
First, you will need more butter than your recipe calls for, since some of the butter will stick to the tea leaves. I found that the ratio is about 4:5, so if you need to end up with 8 tablespoons of infused butter, you should start infusing with 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter.

And as for the tea leaves, you will need about  1 1/2 teaspoons loose leaf tea for 1 tablespoon of butter.

Let’s Cook:
Melt the butter in a saucepan until just liquid. Then add the tea leaves and continue heating the mixture over low heat for 5 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from heat and let the mixture stand for another 5 minutes.

Pour the mixture through a sieve, make sure to press hard on the tea leaves to get the most of the infused butter out. Discard the tea leaves and let the melted butter come to room temperature. I also placed it in the fridge to let the butter firm up a bit.

Then use the butter as you would use plain butter in any recipe.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heidi @ Food Doodles December 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Mmm, those look delicious. I’ve always want to try making tea flavored cookies but never really knew how to do it. Thanks for sharing, I’m so curious to try now :D

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2 Melissa December 13, 2011 at 9:28 am

Thanks Heidi! Let me know how your tea flavored baked goodies turn out :)

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3 Marilyn, Forkful.net December 12, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Chai-infused butter sounds exotic! I’m thinking of a chai latté I’ve had before but buttery and in a cookie. I’m liking this recipe already! My next new cookie project will definitely be infusing butter for a recipe like this — I can pictured these tasty little shortbreads pairing swimmingly with a hot cup of coffee or cocoa. Thank you for the tips. :D

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4 Melissa December 13, 2011 at 9:29 am

Yup! Chai latte in a buttery cookie form is exactly it :)

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5 Stephanie December 13, 2011 at 12:26 am

your pictures are beautiful, and your recipe looks amazing! we devoured the cookies so fast each day that we arrived, i completely forgot about photographing them. :p happy cookie exchange!

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6 Melissa December 13, 2011 at 9:36 am

Haha! I had to remember to photograph the cookies I received as soon as I opened the packages :) They were gone very quickly too!

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7 Thao@Snapshotsofhappiness December 13, 2011 at 10:41 am

Thanks for making my cookies look good ;D. I looooooooooove chai! This is going on my must try list!

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8 Maris (In Good Taste) December 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Hi Melissa! These were totally delicious and amazing. THANK YOU! I served them at a holiday party and they were a huge hit. Happy Holidays! xoxo

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9 Kristen December 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm

What if you used a tea caddy to infuse the butter? Would it work? It would keep the leaves out of the butter, though maybe not the butter out of the tea leaves. Still, it’s a thought. The shortbread looks wonderful. The cookie swap was an amazing example of the generous community of food blogging.

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10 Lawyer Loves Lunch December 9, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Love the idea of a tea-infused butter! Bookmarked these cookies for an upcoming blogger cookie swap I’m attending because they look absolutely lovely :)

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