With visions of Alinea dancing in my head, I wanted to come up with something wonderful for the Project Runway finale last night. Sarah was doing the salad and I was doing the sangria (and Brad was just enjoying it all). However, since I don't own any liquid nitrogen or agar or lecithin, not to mention truffles or shad roe or hibiscus, I had to settle for something a little less gastronomic.
One of the Alinea courses was an Earl Grey course, which happens to be my favorite type of tea. There were little tiny bits of crumbled Earl Grey cookies at the bottom of the plate, and they were delicious. Cookies I can do. Especially because I already have the tea handy.
This recipe is from Real Simple magazine, and I figured I could trust Martha to make some great tea cookies. I adapted it to fit my kitchen and ingredients. What you see below is my slightly different version. They were delicious, as predicted. And very easy to make. They were like my family's classic Faircakes, only with a light tea flavor and less butter. And I topped them off with some homemade Earl Grey whipped cream. Mmmm mmmm mmmm.
Earl Grey Tea Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
2 T. Earl Grey tea leaves (cheap bagged ones are actually better, as they have smaller leaf bits)
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1 t. water
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1. Grind tea leaves with a mortar and pestle until fine.
2. In a stand mixer, mix the two sugars, tea leaves, and salt together
3. Add vanilla, water and butter and stir until combined
4. Add flour slowly and mix until dough comes together
5. Divide dough in half, roll each half into a 2 inch diameter log, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
6. When ready to bake, heat oven to 375 degrees
7. Slice logs into 1/3 inch disks, place on parchment-paper lined tray, 2 inches apart
8. Bake 10 - 12 minutes, until edges are just slightly browned (my oven runs hot, it only needed 10)
9. Let cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool, then serve!
Earl Grey Whipped Cream
1/2 bag's worth Earl Grey tea leaves, ground fine
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 t. vanilla
1 - 3 T. sugar
1. Whisk chilled cream vigorously in a bowl, until it starts to thicken (alternatively, use a hand mixer, a much faster method, but one unfortunately unavailable to me)
2. Add in the tea leaves and vanilla, whisk to combine and thicken more
3. Add sugar to taste, I only used about a tablespoon and a half, but if you want sweeter whipped cream, use more
4. Whisk till peaks stay set and it looks ready to enjoy! (If preparing early, put cream in the fridge and whisk again right before serving)
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