Yield: 12 sandwich cookies
Cream Cheese Cookies:
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp (225g) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup (150g) full fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 ½ cups (180g) all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp salt
- kosher or flaky sea salt
Milk Tea Russian Buttercream:
- ½ cup + 3 Tbsp (155g) unsalted butter, softened & divided*
- 1 1.2-oz sachet (33g) Kola Goodies Sri Lankan Milk Tea
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup + 2 Tbsp (200g) sweetened condensed milk, room temp**
*Since some of the butter will remain behind when we sieve the tea-steeped butter, you will need to add a little extra during the re-measure/re-weigh. (For example, we had to add 30g more.)
**This is 7 ounces or half of a 14-oz. can. We stored the leftover sweetened condensed milk in the fridge and used it in our morning tea.
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat sugar, butter, and cream cheese on medium-high until light and fluffy.
- Add flour and salt, mixing on low until it’s almost all incorporated. Scrape down bowl, then mix a wee bit more.
- Drop 24 dough blobs onto prepared baking sheets. (This is 1 ½ tablespoons of dough per cookie. A #40 cookie scoop is super helpful here!) Sprinkle a wee bit of kosher or flaky sea salt on top.
- Bake for 11–13 minutes or until edges are set and lightly golden.
- Transfer baking sheets to wire racks. For perfectly round cookies, try Erin Clarkson’s cookie scoot method when they’re fresh out of the oven.
- Allow cookies to cool for 5–10 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
- While cookies are cooling, let’s make some Russian buttercream! In a small pot over medium-low heat, melt ½ cup (113g) butter. Add milk tea powder and simmer 1–2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, then cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
- Set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Pour steeped butter through sieve. Discard milk tea blend.
- Place infused butter in fridge for 30–45 minutes so it can firm up. You want the butter to have the consistency of softened butter before making your frosting.
- Once steeped butter is the proper consistency, remove from fridge. Re-measure/re-weigh and add as much additional softened plain butter as necessary to reach ½ cup (113g) total.
NOTE: We had to add 30g (roughly 2 tablespoons).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat milk tea butter on high for 5–6 minutes until light and fluffy. Add a pinch of salt.
- With mixer on medium, slowly pour in sweetened condensed milk. Pause and scrape down bowl as necessary. Beat until thoroughly combined and fluffy.
NOTE: At this point, you could beat in some confectioners’ sugar (½ cup [57g] at a time) if you want your buttercream to be stiffer and/or sweeter. However, for our tastes, we found it perfect without any additional sugar!
- Once cookies are totally cool, spread or pipe buttercream on half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, gently pressing each cookie sandwich together.