For the first ever Holiday Cookie Exchange, hosted by Dawn, at SoCal Foodie, I made Earl Grey Tea Cookies - little buttery shortbread cookies with flecks of real Earl Grey Tea in them. They're perfect for that cup of tea after an afternoon of Christmas shopping when you've been out fighting the masses or for just relaxing after a busy day or perhaps for some comfort during a dark and rainy day (uh-huh, like it is here), when all you want to do is sit and read food blogs for an hour or two (okay, now I'm wishing...).
The recipe comes straight out of the Holiday Cookies special edition by Martha Stewart Living. I'll never be Martha, nor do I want to be, but this is a really cool little edition - every page has few cookie recipes on it, and it's available in stores right now. I halved the recipe because I know I'll be making more cookies for the Exchange over the next couple of weeks and I don't want to be eating all those cookies!! But my co-workers have already gobbled up all of these little cookies that I brought in just this morning! The original recipe says it makes 5 dozen and darn it if I didn't forget to count mine before I started giving them away, so I'm not positive I got 2.5 dozen out of them, but there were still plenty, and besides, I only had one paper towel roll (you'll see what I mean when you read the recipe below). The orange zest is essential, and gives them that little boost of flavor and brightness they need to cut through the butter and because you really don't taste the tea that much.
Earl Grey Tea Cookies, from Holiday Cookies, by Martha Stewart (recipe has been halved)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp Earl Grey Tea, ground finely in a small food processor or spice or coffee grinder
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 paper towel roll
1. Whisk flour, tea and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Cream together butter, sugar and orange zest for about 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Then gradually add the flour until just combined. Gather up all the dough and place it on parchment paper. Shape it into a log, and roll in parchment to 1 1/4" in diameter. As you roll, push it together tightly to push all the air out so that your cookies don't fall apart. Try to get it as round as possible, because you'll be inserting it into a paper towel roll and the cookies are prettier if they're round rather than oblong! Transfer (in the parchment paper) to the paper towel roll, and put it in the freezer until firm - 1 hour. I tried it after 30 minutes and it's definitely better to wait for the full hour or the dough is still squishy.
3. Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the cookie logs into 1/4" slices and space 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until edges are golden. Let cool on sheets on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container at room temp for up to 5 days.
Go check out all the other recipes posted at Dawn's site today and through the weekend and join in! The cookie exhange will be taking place today, and the next two Fridays, so there's still plenty of time. This is a great way to learn new recipes and show off some of your family favorites! Happy beginning to the Holidays! And thanks for hosting, Dawn!!
written by Michelle at 10:01 AM