Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]

a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes

Tea & Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

As soon as I opened Williamson Tea’s brightly decorated tin full of fragrant Sunshine Lemon tea, visions of tea cookies danced in my head.


Ground tea stirred into a cookie’s dry ingredients is one of the easiest ways to start cooking with tea. While any coarse ground tea will add great texture and visual appeal to a sugar cookie or shortbread, I find that a flavored tea usually helps infuse a little more essence of the tea into the final baked treat. I often turn to bergamot-infused Earl Grey for shortbread, but Williamson Tea’s lemon-flavored tea with little bits of lemon peel did the trick this time. And the ground lemon tea paired beautifully with the zesty lemon curd I used for the cookie filling.

earl grey thumbprint cookies

For a tea geek like me, I love adding Williamson Tea’s unique tin to my tea collection; it makes a gorgeous gift idea for other tea lovers, too. Plus, you’re purchasing with purpose knowing you’re supporting a tea company doing good things for the planet. Williamson Tea cultivates sustainable teas direct from their own farms in Kenya. In addition to supporting tea farmers and their families, they are committed to farming practices that improve their community and the environment for the long-term. Sales of Williamson Tea’s elephant caddies—their colorful elephant-themed tea tins—support a wildlife trust dedicated to rescue and rehabilitation of Africa’s elephant population.


Happy cooking and sipping!

P.S. Many thanks to Williamson Tea for sending me sample of their beautiful elephant caddy full of Sunshine Lemon tea to play around with in my tea foodie kitchen.

Tea & Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

(Adapted from a Lemon Thumbprint Cookies recipe from Redbook, 2014.)

Makes about 3 dozen cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. citrus-scented tea leaves, coarsely ground (I used Williamson Tea’s Sunshine Lemon)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup prepared lemon curd (or your favorite preserves)

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Cream butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer.

3. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks with lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Add to creamed butter and beat until incorporated.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk ground tea and salt into flour. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in a few batches just until dough comes together.

5. Scoop tablespoons of dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls on prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Dip your thumb in flour and make an indentation in the center of each ball.

6. Bake cookies until firm and lightly golden on bottom, about 18 to 20 minutes.

7. Remove cookies from oven and immediately fill indentations with lemon curd or preserves. Return to oven and bake 2 minutes longer so the filling will set.

8. Remove cookies from oven and let them cool on baking sheet. Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar before serving if desired.


You can use any combination of tea and preserves to flavor and fill these cookies. Here are some of my favorite combos:

  • Earl Grey tea with strawberry preserves
  • Mango black tea with mango jam, or mango chutney for a more savory flavor
  • Green tea with peach preserves
  • Rooibos with blueberry preserves

One comment on “Tea & Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

  1. Pingback: A tea-themed edition of Tendrils this week!

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This entry was posted on December 20, 2015 by in Cooking With Tea Recipes and tagged , , , , , .

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About Zanitea

Combining a love of tea and food through hand blended teas and cooking with tea inspiration.

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