My favorite kind of tea is Earl Grey. I probably drink it too much. But don’t worry, I switch between brands so I don’t get sick of it. My favorite? Revolution Earl Grey with Lavender (in a box with a silk bag!). So this “grown up cookie” has been on my list of things to bake for a very long time. Ever notice how that list always gets longer, even during my week off? I need to stop looking at new cookbooks, reading blogs, and watching cooking shows until my entire “to bake/cook” list is checked off. Yeah, sure. Anyway, this is the perfect cookie to bake for a tea/coffee get together with friends, and the perfect end to a meal. Why? Because it’s easy to make. All you need is a food processor and some pantry staples. And some loose earl grey tea (only about a tablespoon). And I have plenty of that in my house (decaf, too!).And of course I make these amazing cookies for a small dinner party, serve them on a pretty long plate, and we finish them, and all along I forget to take pictures! Well, I’ll just have to make them again. I am fully stocked with tea.
These cookies can be made pareve very easily. Just use Earth Balance instead of butter. Of course, you lose that buttery taste, but I really don’t think you’ll miss it. The tea flavor is so strong, anyway. And Earth Balance does a good job with the flaky texture. Added bonus: they’re vegan, too! No eggs in shortbread!
I think I cut these cookies a little too thick. I was a little nervous that they would crack if I cut them thinner, though now I realize that they won’t (or if they do I can just smush them back together). So show me how thinly you cut yours (or, if you roll yours out and use cookie cutters, how’d that work out for you?)
When you first dump the dough onto the counter, don’t panic! Yeah, it looks dry and like it will never come together. All you have to do it smash it together and it really sticks – wow! It’s as easy as adding ingredients to the processor, dumping, piling together, and then refrigerating in a log (that’s probably the hardest part). Another bonus: you can freeze the dough in log form for super easy last minute dessert cookies. Or maybe not everyone’s as obsessed with stocking their freezers as I am?
Chocolate-Earl Grey Shortbread Coins, adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking:
- 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (1/4 ounce) good quality Earl Grey tea leaves
- 1 stick cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
1. Place the sugar and tea leaves in the bowl of your food processor and process for a minute, until the leaves are finely chopped.
2. Add butter, flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Process for about 45 seconds, until everything is together. Break down clumps and scrape the bowl with a spatula.
3. Process for another 30 seconds until the dough looks uniform.
4. Dump the dough onto a work surface and knead to bring together.
5. Squeeze the dough into a log about 12 inches long and 1 inch in diameter, and roll back and forth until smooth. Don’t add flour!
6. Roll the dough in plastic wrap and twist the ends to secure it.
7. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
8. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
9. Remove the plastic wrap and use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 3/8-inch thick rounds.
10. Place cookies 1-inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
11. Bake the cookies for 30 minutes, rotating halfway, until the cookies look dry on top.
12. Transfer the cookies to a rack to let cool completely.
These cookies are really good with some buttercream spread on top. Just saying.