cardamom tea leaf cookies

Made these absolutely addictive cardamom tea leaf cookies with Numi organic cardamom pu-erh tea. Yes, you really do add the tea leaves to the dough. And yes, you will need to join tea-drinkers anonymous once you’ve tried these!

A close up of a column of cardamom tea leaf cookies. The cookies are hedgehog shaped. Each Hedge hog faces to the right and has a mini chocolate chip eye. The golden brown cookies have tiny dark brown flecks of tea.

About a month ago I went to see the new Black Panther movie with a friend. We loved it. The cinematography was amazing and I loved the story and strong female characters.

After the movie we had coffee and wondered through a few of the shops in the mall where the theater is. I found a cute cookie cutter set with a hedgehog and cat for $2. I couldn’t resist.

A tea cup and saucer viewed from above. The cup is filled with tea and the top of the tea bag is just visible in the liquid. The tag on the teabag says "Numi organic tea." There is a spoon on the saucer to the right of the cup and two small golden brown hedgehog shaped cookies to the left of the cup. The hedgehog cookies are golden brown and flecked with dark brown specks. Each cookie has a mini chocolate chip eye.

My little hedgehog cookie cutter sat unused until this weekend. I had company coming and wanted to make something special. Butter cookies are easy and always a hit but I wanted a bit more flavor.

In Myanmar, people eat tea. I mean eat it. Tea leaves are brewed for tea and served as a vegetable. It makes sense I guess. They are leaves.

This gave me the idea of adding tea leaves to my cookie dough. I love flavored teas and always have some around. Ok, I have LOTS of flavored teas around – a whole cupboard in my kitchen is devoted to tea. Maybe I need to go to tea hoarders anonymous.

Hedgehog shaped cookies are arranged on a white plate. Each golden cookie is flecked with dark tea leaves and each cookie has a mini chocolate chip eye. The cookies are arranged in two columns with the noses pointed towards the center of the plate.

Just before I left for Cambodia, Numi sent me some of their teas to try. I love Numi teas for many reasons. It’s a family business and I like supporting smaller companies when I can. Numi is also committed to preserving the environment and fair trade. And, their teas are really strong so if you’re like me, you can use that tea bag for a second cup and it will still taste good.

As I was enjoying a cup of Numi’s Cardamom Pu-erh tea, it occurred to me that the cardamom flavor of that tea would be perfect in a butter cookie. And I was right. Adding the tea directly to the dough infuses it with cardamom and a mild tea flavor. The leaves themselves are small but add a nice texture to the cookies as well.

Two hedgehog shaped cookies are on a saucer next to a tea cup. Only half the tea cup is visible and it is filled with dark brown tea. The top cookies is pointed towards the cop of the photo. The second cookie is about halfway under the first one and is also pointed towards the top of the photo

Pu-erh tea is the oldest tea variety. The leaves grow on 500-year old treas and the flavor is richer than black tea. I found these cardamom tea cookies are much like the tea. The longer you let the flavor develop in the dough before cooking, the better.

I refrigerated my dough overnight before making a small batch of test cookies. They were good but the cookies I made the next day with the remaining dough were out of this world amazing!

Hedgehog shaped cookies are arranged on a white plate. Each golden cookie is flecked with dark tea leaves and each cookie has a mini chocolate chip eye. The cookies are arranged in two columns with the noses pointed towards the center of the plate.

As always my colleagues served as taste-testers. One of them noted that we either bite off the hedgehog heads first or leave the heads for last. I used mini chocolate chips for eyes and he said he left the head for last because it was the best part. Aha!

I made another batch of cardamom tea leaf cookies but this time I added 1 cup of mini chocolate chips. Genius!

You can also roll these cookies out with an embossed rolling pin and simply cut them into circles or squares. You can get beautiful embossed pins at PastryMade.

Make sure you’ve got friends to share these with. These cardamom tea leaf cookies are absolutely addictive!

cardamom tea leaf cookies

cardamom tea leaf cookies
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 days
Total Time 2 days 40 minutes


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Numi Cardamom Pu-Erh teabags (or chai, or earl Grey)
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)


Mix dry ingredients together. Cut open the teabags and add the tea leaves to the dry ingredients.

Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.

Mix in the egg, vanilla, and milk.

Mix in the dry ingredients to form a dough. For chocolate chip variety, mix in the chocolate chips.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (2 days is better to let the flavor develop).

For cut cookies, roll out to 1/8 inch thick and cut into shapes. For chocolate chip cookies, roll into 1-inch balls.

Bake on parchment-lined baking pans at 375°F for 7 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Chocolate chip cookies take a little longer to bake. Mine took about 10 minutes.

Looking for more tea-flavored treats?


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