earl grey tea cookies

before the almond cake came along, these were my favorite things to wrap up pretty and give away. because of the slice-and-bake method with which they’re made, the cookies bake up to be neat little discs that pack nicely into your desired container. a couple of years ago i stacked them inside cellophane bags, each tied off with a ribbon. this year i made a trip to the container store and bought a smart little canister to fill with them.

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these cookies are classic make-ahead fare. the log of dough can stay in the refrigerator or freezer until moments before you need them, at which time you can slice off a few or many – and before you know it, the scent of butter, vanilla, and tea is warming the air, and then toasty little rounds are sliding off the cookie sheet and onto a pretty plate (or into your mouth?…).

they’re a nice thing to have on hand for when plans change and you suddenly find yourself hostess – or perhaps when you pay a visit to an old friend and want to bring something sweet to go with the conversation. that was me just a couple of weeks ago, going to visit the art teacher who has known me pretty much my whole life. i am short on paintings to show her these days, but showing up with a plate of these cookies almost made up for it. (actually, it doesn’t come close. i miss the part of me that used to search to make beautiful things; i miss it dreadfully. but – i’m getting ahead of myself.)

and if you merely need an excuse to make some cookies, these ones cozy up quite nicely next to a steaming cup of simple black tea, which i find – regardless of the weather outside, which may or may not be winter-like – is a supremely comforting thing to come home to at the end of a night.

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Earl Grey Tea Cookies
adapted from Dorie Greenspan, via smitten kitchen
inspired by Apartment Therapy’s the kitchn

Makes about 50 cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves {I used the contents of 6 Bigelow tea bags}
2 cups all-purpose flour

  1. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ and the granulated sugar, and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in the egg yolks, followed by the salt, vanilla, and tea leaves. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s okay; just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  2. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 ¼ inches thick. (Get the thickness right, and the length you end up with will be fine.) Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
  3. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. While the oven is preheating, use a sharp slender knife to slice each log into cookies about 1/3 inch thick. (You can make the cookies thicker if you’d like; just bake them longer.) Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about a ½-inch space between them.
  5. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are just browned around the edges. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature, or in the freezer for a month. Unbaked logs can be frozen for longer.

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4 responses to “earl grey tea cookies

  1. Nanners

    I absolutely LOVE Earl Grey and nothing sounds better than making cookies with them. I’m definitely going to try these, thanks for sharing!

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