Friday, December 20, 2013

Earl Grey Tea Cookies - Caity




I love tea and own more teas and tea gear than anyone in their right mind should (I guess that really speaks to my state of mind huh?). Anytime I see a tea related recipe, I have to try it. When I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I was a goner. Earl Grey tea flavored chocolate chip cookies?!?! I never thought a chocolate chip cookie could be improved upon. 

The dough keeps very well in the refrigerator or freezer. I made a batch of dough and stored it in the freezer to save it for a special occasion (or a late night craving). A very special occasion presented itself in early December with the arrival of a little puppy named Nigel. He came into our lives slightly unexpectedly, but he couldn't be cuter and he makes Brendan and I very happy (despite the fact that he chews on my hair and sometimes poops on the rug). I threw these cookies into the oven while my friends played with our little boy and they will always remind me of bringing home our little puppy. 

This recipe comes from the Hummingbird High Baking Blog. The cookies use tea infused butter which imparts all the best flavor of the Earl Grey tea into the final product. I have tried these cookies with Earl Grey tea and Lady Grey and found that Earl Grey gives the cookies the strongest "tea" flavor but if you aren't quite as obsessed with tea as I am, Lady Grey would be a good way to go. I made them once with Earl Grey with Bergamot from Twinings and that batch was especially tasty! Make sure you plan ahead for these yummy cookies because the tea-butter takes at least 45 min to steep and the dough at least a couple hours to chill.


what you'll need:

1 cup unsalted butter
10 bags of Earl Grey tea
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp. brown sugar, tightly packed
1 egg
1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
10 oz (1 package) semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, carefully watch it until the butter browns. After it has turned golden brown, remove from head and immediately immerse the tea bags in the butter. Take care to fully submerge the tea bags in butter. Allow to steep for 30-60 minutes (60 minutes for tea lovers!). 


Once the tea has fully infused, squeeze the tea bags out using your hands. Take care not to break open the tea bags. You'll notice the butter has taken on a Grinch-like tone (see below). 

Once you've squeezed out all the butter you can, pour it into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp brown sugar. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high speed for 10 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Normally I am a cheater and I wouldn't actually do this for 10 minutes, but I promise this is an important step and your butter will be fluffy and light after 10 minutes! 

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add 1 egg and beat for another two minutes. 


In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 

Turn the mixer to the lowest setting and add the flour mixture in sections, beating until just combined. 
A couple of the times I made these cookies, I found at this point my dough was too crumbly and would barely stick together. I think that this is due to some of the butter being lost in the tea bags. I have attempted to compensate for this by adjusting the amount of called for butter in the recipe. However, if you find yourself with dry, crumbly dough, add warm water 1-2 tsp at a time until you achieve a doughy texture. 

Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined.


Separate the dough into two chunks and roll them into logs of your desired width (I'm partial to smaller cookies so I kept mine about 2 inches in diameter). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10-12 hours. This time allows the dough to firm up and it allows the flavors to mesh together more. 

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 F. Cut the dough into 1-inch rounds. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges have set. The center may look a little undercooked, but it will firm up as it cools - and this makes for ooey gooey cookies! Yum! 

Serve with cold milk or warm tea and with a small puppy under your feet. Enjoy! 





Nigel approves of these cookies!!!!!! 

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