Welcome back to Cookie Monday! Enjoy this week’s installment:
I’m not entirely sure why I decided to spend one of the first days of my break painstakingly cutting out sugar cookies and then threading bakers’ twine through said small sugar cookies because I’m generally not into artistically inclined activities. It could be that my subconscious is a little too excited about the impending return of Downton Abbey, or I may simply be a glutton for punishment. In any case, these cookies are labor-intensive, but very fun to serve once completed.
It’s a basic sugar cookie made to look like a tea bag, and dipped into an Earl Grey ganache. A little twine, and you have an adorable cookie with the dark floral notes of Earl Grey.
It all starts off with a basic sugar cookie that’s rolled out into a thin, even layer.
A tea bag forms the stencil for cutting out the cookies. I suppose if you have a tea bag cookie cutter, you could use it, but I have yet to see any for sale, so I settled for a sturdy index card cut into the shape of a tea bag.
Once the cookies are cut out and placed on to baking sheets, a toothpick is used to gently create a hole where the twine will eventually be threaded.
While the cookies cool, steep some Earl Grey into heavy cream, then pour over melted chocolate to create a sophisticated ganache.
Then gather up all the patience you have, and direct it towards threading twine through the tops of the cookies and tying delicate loops in the twine. Dip the cookies and place them on parchment—this will allow the ganache to set and make the cookies look like true tea bags.
Next time you have a tea party or are looking for a creative kitchen project, give these cookies a try. Not only do they look good, but they taste good too.
Tea Bag Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon table salt
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
3 bags of Earl Grey tea
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 tea bag and an index card
Small paring knife
48 pieces of bakers’ twine (each piece 6-8 inches long)
- For the dough: beat the butter and sugar in a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just beginning to turn fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, almond, and vanilla, then beat until well combined. Scrape down the bowl, then add the salt and flour and mix until just combined. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours, until firm.
- To form the cookies: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375F. Make a stencil by tracing a tea bag on an index card, then cut out the resulting shape. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and place on a lightly floured work surface. Work with 1/3 of the dough at a time (keep the remainder in the fridge) and roll out to a thickness of 3/8 inch. Place the stencil on top of the rolled out dough, the cut around the stencil using a paring knife. Gently transfer the cut out cookies to the baking sheet, then make a small hole at the top of the cookies using a toothpick. Bake the cookies for 8-9 minutes, and remove from the oven right before they turn golden brown. Let cool on wire racks while you shape the remainder of the cookies.
- When the cookies have cooled, take the pieces of twine and thread them through the hole at the top of the cookies, then tie a small knot to create a tea bag loop. Line the counter with parchment paper in preparation for the cookie dipping.
- To make the ganache: Heat the cream with the 3 tea bags in a small skillet over medium heat until hot. Take off the heat and let steep for 2-3 minutes. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 50% power in 30 second increments until melted. Remove the tea bags from the cream, then pour the cream over the melted chocolate and whisk to combine. Hold the cookies by the twine loop, then dip the bottom inch of the cookie into the ganache, then lay gently on the parchment paper. Let the cookies set for 1-2 hours, then serve.