When I was younger, my mom and her friends would host regular tea parties- serious affairs where we would bring our own tea cups and saucers. I remember being about 9 or 10 years old and looking for just the right tea cup and saucer set which I felt truly reflected my personality. In preparation for these get-togethers, the moms would have us daughters assemble all kinds of sandwiches cut into tiny little pieces- cucumber with cream cheese, curried chicken, smoked salmon. They would also whip up batches and batches of scones which we enjoyed slathered with jams and lemon curd and clotted cream. Mostly black teas were served at these parties, and the tea I learned to love early on was Earl Grey.
Earl Grey tea is delicious in all forms, even with all the trendy new tea bars popping up nowadays, no other blend has quite the same flavor as Earl Grey. Its distinct flavor and aroma come from bergamot essential oil- extracted from the bergamot citrus peel. Some blends will also include flower petals for a more floral flavor.
I love the stuff. At coffee shops, I often prefer a good London Fog over a latte if the barista will make it properly for me. When I happened upon an Early Grey sugar cookie recipe, it should be no surprise I was eager to try it. Baking them was a success, and I even gifted these cookies for Christmas. They crumble and practically melt in you mouth- the tea flavor is subtle, and overall they are not overwhelmingly sweet. The cookies were an instant favorite! With just a handful of main ingredients you probably already have on hand, they are fast and easy to make and the dough can even be stored in the freezer in case of a cookie emergency.
Try them with some hot tea or warm milk- perfect for a cloudy day! Or any day, in my case. Enjoy!
Earl Grey Sugar Cookies
This recipe makes about two dozen 2-inch diameter cookies.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
- 2-3 tbsp loose Earl Grey tea leaves
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, or 1 tbsp vanilla beans
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a food processor or blender, pulse the flour, tea and salt until the tea leaves are almost small enough to resemble poppy seeds. Add the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and butter; pulsing until just mixed. If using a blender, it’s a little easier to do this in a large bowl. The dough should look like this:
Separate dough into 2 equal portions. Roll dough into a cylinder shape, then wrap tightly as seen below with either saran wrap or parchment paper and pop into the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Repeat with second dough portion. I personally liked parchment paper because it is sturdier and kept it’s shape a little more. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the oven is preheated, remove dough from paper or saran wrap, and cut into quarter inch slices. Place onto tray lined with parchment paper, with about 1-2 inches between each cookie, These will expand slightly, but not very much. Bake until the edges are a golden brown- about 10-12 minutes.
Remove from tray and cool on cooling racks for 10-15 minutes.