Sunday, October 11, 2009

Earl Grey Cookies

It has been around 35 degrees here for almost a week.  THRITY-FIVE!  Hello?  It's early October.  Ridiculous!!  I am aVermont girl, and while I expect this kind of weather there, I do not expect it here in the Midwest, but low and behold it is 35 with snow, did I mention there was snow?  No?  There is snow, I am unimpressed.  I also would like you to know that it was in the 70s right before this lovely turn of events so we are not ready for the change, and when I say we I mean myself and my chattering teeth. 

So after coming in and being chilled there is nothing like a hot cup of tea.  However, I can only handle so much caffeine in a day so I opted for Earl Grey decaf tea.  As I sat with my hands wrapped around my steamy cup, I inhaled it's rich aroma and let it's spicy taste hit the back of my throat before setting down the cup in contentment.  As I sat relaxing I realized that there is a flavor I have never had anywhere other than Earl Grey tea and I couldn't place it.  Not surprising if I've never had it anywhere else, but I found it odd that I had never at least made a Google attempt.  It is unlike me to ask a question and not go look for the answer.

I decided I must know what this flavor was but first I needed cookies to go with my tea, and since Early Grey has such a fantastic flavor I thought why not make Early Grey cookies?  But how?  How to go about making a cookie with tea in them.  Do you just throw some tea leaves into a cookie recipe?  I am not really a baker, however after starting this site I have baked more in a few months than I have in the past five years.  I realize it's easier to cook and photograph when the baby goes to sleep.  However, I am not normally in the mood for an entire meal at 10pm, but I can eat baked goods the next day.

So how would someone with a limited baking repetoire go about inventing a cookie?  Ummm, steal it of course.  Who better to steal from than Martha?  She has yet to let me down for baking goodness.  She did have a lot of explaining to do after a Putunesca recipe that flopped after a whole lot of time, but that is for another day.

These are the easiest cookies in the world.  Another easy find and fall back for busy Mom's on the go.  SCORE!!  You can make these guys and leave them in their log in your freezer for months, then you can slice off a few cookies at a time and make them for drop in guest or dessert for the family when the mood strikes.  That is convient.  Even I have time to bake cookies somwhere inside of a span that covers months of time.  If you don't have time to bake a cookie that takes under 15 minutes in a three month span, then stop reading right now, get off your computer, and go enjoy your 5 minutes of freedom, I can't help you.

As for the flavor, I was a little surprised to find that the flavor is Bergamont, which is a citrus fruit.  It has been used throughout history to treat fevers, as a disinfectant and as an antidepressant (no wonder I feel warm and fuzzy after drinking a cup, well the warm part is probably from boiling water), a nerve calming agent, and helps fight the flu, fevers, and colds.  So apparently this Bergamont is some kind of super fruit, and I will be drinking a cup of Earl Grey every day all winter, or just eating the tea in these cookies.  Tomorrow  morning?  Probably both.

Earl Grey Tea Cookies

Adapted from
Martha Stewart, Weddings, Spring 2009


2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves, (it was 4 bags for me)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (8 ounce) sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest


Whisk together flour, tea, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

Put butter, sugar, and zest in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low; slowly mix in flour mixture until just combined.

Divide dough in half. Transfer each half to a piece of parchment paper; shape into logs. Roll the logs into parchment twist the ends ala tootsie roll. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut logs into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Space 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake until edges turn golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

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