Vanilla Rooibos Tea Cookies

Every cup of tea should be accompanied by something equally as delicious – like these mouth-watering vanilla Rooibos tea cookies from Food 52. They’re so easy to whip up and even easier to scoff down!


  • ¼ cup, plus 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Rooibos tea leaves (about 5 Laager Rooibos teabags)
  • 1 vanilla bean (whole), ends trimmed and cut into segments
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp. milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp. brown sugar


Heat a small stainless steel pan over medium heat. Cut open the Laager Rooibos teabags and remove the loose leaves inside the bags. When the pan is hot, add Rooibos leaves and shake pan to distribute tea into a single layer. Toast for about 2 minutes, until tea is fragrant but not darkened. Depending on your leaves, this may happen much more quickly so watch it carefully. When the leaves are fragrant, transfer them to a bowl and let them cool for a few minutes. Combine the brown sugar, vanilla bean, and Rooibos in the bowl of a food processor and pulse for about 2 minutes, until there are no chunks of bean left in the bowl. Add the icing sugar, flour, and salt to the bowl and pulse a few times to combine. Then add the milk, vanilla essence, and butter and pulse several times, until a dough forms. Turn dough onto a very lightly floured surface, gather it together, and roll it gently into a log 4cm in diameter. Sprinkle brown sugar onto a plate or work surface, and roll cookie dough log in the sugar, making sure to cover the entire surface of the log. Wrap log in plastic or wax paper and transfer to the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes to chill. (You can always leave the log in the freezer for another occasion if you’re strapped for time) When ready to bake, turn on the oven to preheat to 190°C and line a baking sheet with wax wrap. Remove log from fridge or freezer, and cut 1cm slices off the log, rotating the log as you go to ensure that cookie slices stay round. Transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet, leaving enough space between each one (they don’t really spread, but they need breathing room to crisp up). Bake for 12 minutes, until cookies are just starting to brown. Leave on the cookie sheet to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for several days.