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Darjeeling Earl Grey cookies


Recipe

  • Makes around 10 - 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour – 2 cups
  • Granulated sugar – ½ cup
  • Caster/confectioner’s sugar – ½ cup
  • Earl Grey tea leaves – 2 tbsp (6 tea bags or grind loose leaf in coffee grinder)
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Pure vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Unsalted butter – 1 cup, cut into pieces
All-purpose flour – 2 cups Granulated sugar – ½ cup Caster/confectioner’s sugar – ½ cup Earl Grey tea leaves – 2 tbsp (6 tea bags or grind loose leaf in coffee grinder) Salt – ½ tsp Pure vanilla extract – 1 tsp Unsalted butter – 1 cup, cut into pieces

Method

Tea and biscuits are as English a pairing as the aristocracy and bad teeth. This particular tea has a long history; it was around 1830 that a Chinese envoy first offered Charles, the 2nd Earl Grey, a gift of fine black tea flavoured with the oil of the bergamot citrus fruit. Every subsequent trip, he found himself clocking up hefty excess baggage charges thanks to his tea-filled chests.  This zesty, elegant tea was later named after the Englishman who so loved it. We're not sure how pleased he'd be that his legacy is not as as the British Prime Minister who abolished slavery, but as a fan of an afternoon refreshment. But we're pretty sure he'd have taken it on the (Hapsburg) chin.

 Today many Earl Greys are not made with the high quality black teas as those Chinese merchants used centuries ago. So when we discovered a version made with the finest black tea from our own Darjeeling region, we jumped for a cuppa. In fact, we became so fixated on it we even added it to this crispy butter cookie recipe. Earl Grey tea, with Earl Grey biscuits. We think Charles would be proud.

In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients until the tea leaves are completely mixed through. Use a food processor or mixer if more convenient.  Now add the vanilla, 1 teaspoon water, and the butter.

1. Mix through until the dough is formed. If mixing by hand, be sure to knead butter completely through, but without heating the batch to much. Divide the dough in half. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment and roll each ball into a 30cm (12 inch) log, about 5cm (2 inch) in diameter. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes in fridge.

2. Heat oven to 180°C/375° F/Gas Mark 5. When the oven is ready, take out the logs and slice each one into disks, 1 cm (1/3 inch) thick. Place the disks on parchment-lined baking sheets, about 5cm (2 inches) apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just turning brown. Let the cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

3. Enjoy with a freshly steeped cup of Golden Harvest Darjeeling, or even some Early Grey tea.