Today marks three years since we launched Fusion Sweets. Our first offering wasn’t our best selling caramels or marshmallows. As a matter of fact, we didn’t even start making confections until a year later.
The very first item we put up for sale was a collection of tea cookies in 14+flavors fusing Asian and Western ingredients. The recipe that led to the creation of Fusion Sweets embodies what we have tried to do with each new product line.
My mother loves rich crumbly cookies such as French sablés and short breads, but she could never find the perfect cookie recipe. For her, the perfect cookie had to be rich and sandy but tender and crispy. It also had to suit her Asian tastes for subtle flavors and less sugar. While I experimented and tinkered to craft the perfect cookie for her we ended up trying so many different flavors that somebody suggested we sell our cookies.
Nowadays the business of keeping up with our candy orders is challenging enough that we can no longer bake our tea cookies for sale. However, even after two years we still get order requests from old customers who fondly remember our tea cookies.
Though we have expanded our catalog to over 150 items, the original item that inspired us to create our company still holds a special place in our hearts. To celebrate the three years since fusionsweets.com has been online, we are letting this recipe go and sharing it with the world.
For precision and accuracy I always bake with a scale, but I have included volumetric measurements for American readers. Please note that the volumetric amounts may differ from the “true” recipe depending on multiple factors. This includes how you sift and measure the ingredients as well as the humidity and temperature of your kitchen.
Since the ingredients in this recipe are so simple, it is extremely important that you use the best quality that you can find. In particular, the butter and spices really shine through and are what gives these cookies their wonderful flavor.
A European cultured butter provides a richer buttermilk like flavor, but high butter fat or high quality grass-fed butter are also good choices.
I find extracts to be a bit hit and miss in quality even from the same brand. This is a dough that should be kept as dry as possible. So I prefer to use infused sugars rather than extracts. If you use extracts, then please keep in mind that the extra liquid will affect the dough and your cookie will turn out tougher and not as light or sandy as intended
Make marshmallow sandwich cookies by adding a thin slice of fresh marshmallow in between your cookies when they’re fresh out of the oven. I’m very fond of orange zest cookies with a dark chocolate marshmallow filling.
The heat from the cookies will melt the marshmallow. Eat them fresh out of the oven like a gooey s’more or wait for the marshmallow to firm up again once the cookies cool down. The airy marshmallow provides a nice texture contrast to the crispy cookies.
You can also fill the cookies with nut butters and jams and preserves.
Based on a traditional recipe, I made several adjustments to get the perfect texture and flavor. I changed the amount of AP flour and substituted in some pastry flour for a crispy yet tender texture. I also decreased the amount of sugar to make them less cloyingly sweet and increased the number of eggs for richness. Finally, the original recipe called for the extracts and flavors but I used natural infused sugars for a deeper flavor.
- Pastry flour – 100 g (1 cup sifted)
- All purpose flour – 120 g (1 cup sifted)
- Egg yolks – 2
- Sea salt – 7 g (1/4 tsp.)
- Unsalted butter – we use Somerdale butter but Plugra, Lurpak, or Kerrygold will also work – 142 g (1-1/4 sticks)
- lavender infused sugar – 30 g (2-1/2 Tbsp.)
- orange zest infused sugar – 40 g (3-1/4 Tbsp.)
- vanilla infused sugar – 20g (1-1/2 Tbsp.)
- Egg yolk, whisked, for topping – 1, whisked
- lavender infused sugar – 30 g (2-1/2 Tbsp.), for topping
- orange zest infused sugar – 10 g (3/4 Tbsp.), for topping
- We want to keep the butter as cold as possible so prepare all of your ingredients before taking the butter out of the refrigerator. Once everything’s measured and in place, then take the cold butter out of the refrigerator and set it on the counter. Set aside 1 whisked egg yolk and some sugar for the top of the cookies.
- Mix the dry ingredients well and form a well in the middle. This is where you will knead the butter with your hands.
- Now place your slightly softened butter in the well and start rubbing the flour mixture into the butter. You don’t want to melt the butter so you should work quick, moving from spot to spot. If your hands start to get shiny then the butter has melted and this will affect the texture of your cookies. Do this until the entire stick of butter is gone and your dough looks like a pile of damp sand.
- Form a well in the middle of the sandy dough and add the egg yolks. Toss and mix the ingredients until it sticks together when you grab a bunch and squeeze it. Do not knead or over handle the dough, you want to manipulate it as little as possible. Do not worry if the dough does not come together in a ball. It should stay crumbly.
- Now we will refrigerate the dough. Roll it into a log and wrap it with parchment paper if you will be slicing the cookies or storing the dough. If you will be using cookie cutters then roll it out to your desired thickness between two sheets of parchment paper. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours before baking. For longer term storage, the dough may be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 4 months. Store the dough in a Ziploc bag to keep it from drying out and picking up odors.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, set a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350F (180C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Do not bake the cookies on a greased pan.
- Before taking the dough out of the refrigerator, whisk an egg yolk and prepare your topping sugar.
- Slice or form your cookies. If you need to reform the dough, put it back in the fridge for short periods of time as soon as you notice the dough getting greasy.
- Lightly brush the tops or sides with the yolk. Sprinkle the sugar onto your cookies or dip the cookies in the sugar mixture. Place the cookies sugar side up on your baking sheet with about 3/4″ of space between each one. These cookies will not expand much.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cookies are light brown on the bottom and golden on the sides. The top will be a pale golden shade, do not wait until the tops are brown! Rotate the pan once after 12 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool for at least 5 minutes and harden before moving them with a metal spatula. Trying to move the cookies when they’re still soft will cause them to crumble.
- Cookies will stay fresh for up to 3 days. Keep cookies in an airtight container. Best if eaten immediately within the next day.
Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 78 1 inch cookies