After receiving loose leaf teas from "The Tea Company", the search was on for what to do with them. A post on instagram got my friend J to suggest I make Tea Cookies. Honestly, I've never heard of them before. I mean, Tea Cookies...with actual tea leaves in them. Really?
A bunch of questions ran through my head and the primary question was "Can you eat tea leaves?" I mean, it's not like I think tea is poisonous, we can drink it after all. But, can we digest them? You know how you can use bay leaves in things like beef stew and such, well, you don't eat the bay leaf now do ya'. Well, "Can you eat tea leaves?"
But, if a recipe says to put Earl Grey Tea leaves into the cookie, I assume tea is edible. If not, Claire Robinson would be arrested. But look, I'm still alive!
I used "The Tea Company" Earl Grey Creme which gave the cookies a slight anise flavor. This recipe used powdered sugar which gave the cookies this crackly outer cookie which was unique. So, who knew you can eat tea leaves? I sure didn't.
-Instead of pulsing the flour, salt and tea together, I pulsed the tea in the food processor first before I added the flour and salt. This just ensured there weren't too many large pieces of tea leaves.
Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
Recipe by Claire Robinson
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons loose Earl Grey tea leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, tea, and salt, until the tea is just spotted throughout the flour. Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and butter. Pulse together just until a dough is formed. Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, and roll into a log, about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. Tightly twist each end of wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Slice the log into 1/3-inch thick disks. Place on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart (2 probably needed depending on size of sheets). Bake until the edges are just brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and cool to room temperature.