burnt butter + gold tea cookies

burnt butter + gold tea cookies

This time last year, we couldn’t afford to buy butter.

I became a stupid-smart shopper, able to build a week’s worth of healthy meals – for two – for cheap. I mean ridiculously cheap, insanely cheap, mistaken-for-a-bygone-war-torn-era sort of cheap. I remember cringing one week when my total bill cost $24. Twenty four bucks.

Those were the dark days, though they were also filled with sparkles and light, since I spent a good deal of my time petting my kitty and creating recipes, albeit recipes that I couldn’t make because I couldn’t buy the ingredients.

Things have changed.

We financed a truck, bought a sweet-ass bike, and are saving up for the next big thing (whatever that may be). Having two incomes sure makes a difference, and I am thankful for our recent tide of relative prosperity every day.

gold tea

One thing I have always made room for in my budget is quality tea. Tea time is the best time, and if you are a tea drinker like myself, you will surely agree. There are a lot of great teas out there, and each has their place. Darjeeling and jasmine are old standbys, oolong, rooibos, yerba maté, and Irish breakfast are enjoyable, and silver needle and puerh, while relatively new to me, have become fast favorites.

But there is one amazing tea that stands out from the rest, and I literally cannot get enough of it. TeaSource Gold, sold by Minnesota tea store TeaSource, is so flipping incredible it makes me want to do cartwheels. If you know me IRL, chances are you’ve seen me drinking a cup or two hundred of this at some point. Black congou tea leaves are balanced by orange blossoms, red sandalwood, elderberry, passionfruit, and other mystery ingredients. While it smells floral and fruity, it isn’t a pansy cup of tea – it’s quite hearty and black. A fascinating contradiction…. like tea, like tea drinker?

My mum and I discovered the tea by chance and I latched on like a vulture after my first cup. Every few days, I go without tea just to make sure that it is the taste, and not the caffeine, that I am addicted to. My affection for this damn tea is so strong, it makes me feel effusively maudlin.

So enjoyable
Gift from the gods of Tea Time
Gold be still my heart

Your hue is gentle
Dark mystery with hints of
deliciousness, yes

I love to drink you
Dregs but an invite for more
More more more more now.

That was nice, no? There is a reason I don’t share my poetry here…. and that reason would be that I don’t write poetry. Except for that gem.

gold tea

Despite a love so strong that I keep this tea everywhere (in my lunchbox, in my truck, in my pockets), I had never baked with Gold until now. Uff da, these cookies are good. All icebox cookies are, true, but these are quite enjoyable. Perfect for tea time.

In honor of those times when I couldn’t afford butter, how about a recipe starring the stuff? I chose to lightly burn the butter (or brown, for the pretentious among us), to give it an extra deep nutty taste. As if butter needs help to be tastier, but as I always say, there’s nothing wrong with an extra ounce of tasty.

If you’re curious, and would like to try TeaSource Gold before buying, I would be happy to send you a little sachet of it, provided you don’t mind any germs my grubby cookie hands might have. Anything I can do to spread the tea love in the world, you guys.

Burnt Butter + Gold Tea Cookies

Original recipe || Makes 24-28 small cookies


1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tbsp + 2 tsp TeaSource Gold tea
Heaping 1/4 tsp salt
1 c. flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar


In a saucepan or sauté pan, heat the butter over medium heat until it begins to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and stir – the butter should darken an additional amount before cooling. [Unless the solids from the butter are seriously burnt, do not strain them out, as they will add extra flavor]

With a mortar and pestle (or small grinder), crush the tea leaves until fine. Add salt, and combine. Pour tea mixture into butter, and let steep / cool for five to ten minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and sugar. Mix in the tea butter, and stir until combined. Place dough on a rectangle of wax paper or parchment paper, and work the dough so that it become a thin log – roughly 1″ in diameter, or slightly greater. Wrap with the paper, and freeze for 30 minutes or more.

Heat oven to 350F. With a sharp knife, cut cookie slices that are between 1/4″ and 1/3″ in thickness. Place them on a baking stone or a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 14-16 minutes, until edges have begun to turn a light golden and the cookies have puffed slightly. Let cool on the pan, to allow cookies to harden up.

Serve with tea, duh.

burnt butter + gold tea cookies

And to end, an out-of-focus picture of my cat licking a sock.




15 thoughts on “burnt butter + gold tea cookies

  1. I spent Christmas 2005 in France. Isa-the-French-Mermaid served me some mint thyme tea while I was there. I was hooked. Obsessed. And then spent the next several years searching for it in Canada. It doesn’t exist here. I searched every tea section of every store I happened upon. Always hopeful, always disappointed. (It was very sad.) Imagine my delight when – after years of frustration – a package arrived from France packed with boxes of mint thyme tea. Easily one of the best moments of my life…

  2. can i just add here that i wouldn’t take away our lean years for anything. those years taught me a lot. and there are a lot of young people who haven’t experienced that and I think it’s a shame. Not that I wish hard luck on young people, but they dont’ know that life can include hardships.
    great looking cookies!

  3. Uffda! Those look like lovely cookies! And hooray for prosperity! I may hit you up for made cheap grocery shopping tips, though now that we mostly cook/eat separately, we’re spending far less on food than we used to. I am a novice tea drinker. I have yet to develop full appreciation for loose teas, but I am very open to the idea. There’s an overwhelming variety, and I don’t know where to start! This Gold stuff might be the perfect introduction :) And I could find it when I’m home next month!

  4. Tea is something I only discovered recently. My grandmother was a big tea drinker, but only herbal teas (home grown). But where I grew up, we only drank tea when we were sick. And then again, herbal teas.
    Now I enjoy a cup of tea in the evening (I can sleep anyway).

  5. Oh, the penny-pinching life. I am having to be extremely mindful that way myself of late, though your less-than-$24-for-two grocery bills put my “budgeting” to shame. Oops.

    You make that tea sound so exquisite that I momentarily forget that I will always take coffee over caffeinated tea (herbal tea, however, I do enjoy).

    Could you bring me a basket of these cookies, please, darling? I’ll take you to David’s Tea and Tealish, and let you go wild. xoxo

  6. Emma, I’m not sure what I like most about this post… your poetic ode to tea, those tasty looking cookies, your gratitude for more prosperous times, or the photo of your cat licking a sock. So much goodness here, my friend.

  7. i don’t even NEED to try before i buy: your description alone and all the wonderfulness which goes into that tea means it would be a winner in this house. I love it when i find tea i really adore, and this sounds like i would love it. also, these cookies. because i can’t even understand all the crazy flavor they must have.
    i remember this time last year, for you; i think i remember you mentioning that you couldn’t buy butter. such a difference this year! so happy for all the good this past year has brought you, for serious. it makes me smile. :)

  8. So glad you guys are in a different place this year than last year, Emma! These cookies sound delicious and I bet if I can’t find that tea, I could try making them with another tea variety. Hahahaha, that pic of your kitty cracked me up…Nate is always putting things on my cat’s back and I always yell at him :)

And now I'd like to pass the mic / So you c'mon and do anything you like ...aka, Leave your reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s