Our book club was meeting at my house this month. What to serve? Looking in my tea box, I discovered a couple of packets of loose-leaf tea labelled Readers Earl Grey Tea. What could be more perfect for this special group of readers, I thought.
I remembered seeing several years ago a recipe I loved but never got around to trying. Thanks to Pinterest, I still had it, and I found it in a flash – cookies flavored with Earl Grey tea leaves.
The blog has long since stopped posting (sadly), as it was one of the first blogs I followed in my own early days on WordPress. And I loved it. But the blogger never said goodbye and I couldn’t help wondering if she just keeled over one day. I promise that when I decide to call it quits here, that I’ll say goodbye. If I don’t… you will know I just keeled over :).
The thing is: the cookies were shaped like tea bags and they even came with the little strings and tags attached. I thought it would be fun to try this presentation. It took me a full day.
I found cute tea pictures in my photo collection and cropped them close so the images would show up on my tiny tags. I made a table in Word and pasted 48 little pictures into the boxes to fill a page. I printed them in color on a sheet of blank name tags and peeled half of them off so I could stick them onto the blank side of the remaining tags. Then I threaded a needle and attached strings to each tag. When the cookies were done and cooled, I tied these little strings with their individual tags to each cookie. Voila – Earl Grey teabag cookies for my readers.
Readers Earl Grey Teabag Cookies
Makes 2 dozen
- 1 cup (100 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (35 grams) sugar
- 1/4 cup (25 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon Readers’ Earl Grey tea leaves*
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Pulse together all the dry ingredients in a food processor until the tea leaves are crushed.
- Add vanilla, water, and butter. Pulse together until a dough is formed. Shape the dough into a log onto a piece of parchment paper. Wrap the paper around and roll the log smooth. Pat into a rectangle the size of a teabag. Chill for at least 30 minutes. You can also freeze the dough at this point for later.
- When chilled, slice the log into pieces 1/3 inch thick. Cut the two top corners off each cookie to imitate the shape of a teabag. Make a hole between these corners. I used the narrow end of a chopstick.
4. Place on a baking sheet, well spaced, and bake until the edges are just brown, about 12 minutes. Poke the holes through again while the dough is still soft.
5. Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack.
*I used Readers Earl Grey from Tea Forte, because the cookies were for my book club. Also, this was all I had in the cupboard. But tea leaves from a cheap teabag are flakier and may lend more flavor. So there’s no need to be a tea snob.
For 24 cookies
This is the easy part of this cookie recipe. The result makes the teabags look like they’ve been dipped into hot water. Plus the chocolate goes nicely with the delicate tea flavor imparted by the leaves.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- Combine the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on a low setting for 30 seconds. Remove and stir well to combine.
- Keep microwaving and stirring at 20 second intervals just until all the chocolate has melted.
- Remove, stir well one last time.
- Dip baked cookies into mixture. Set on wire rack or parchment paper until chocolate sets. I put them in the fridge to cool quickly. Store dipped cookies in a well-sealed box in the fridge.
I can’t think of many healthy reasons to eat these cookies, except that they’re yummy. After all, they are mostly just saturated fat and sugar… sigh. Perhaps the antioxidants in the tea leaves impart a modicum of nutrients to these decadent goodies.
Oh yes. The shorter-chain fats in the coconut oil in the dip are thought to have many advantages over the long-chain saturated fats in butter. I didn’t substitute coconut oil for butter in the cookies, though, as I was afraid the cookies would lose their shape in the hot oven. Let me know what happens, if you try this substitution.
Readers who follow along with me know all about the benefits of dark chocolate. Sadly, there is only a little chocolate and coconut oil coating each of these cookies. So if you go to the trouble of making them, just enjoy them, with a nice cup of tea.
- Cherry clafouti solves one omnivore’s dilemma – We discussed Michael Pollan’s works at our book club and sampled foods from his perfect meal.