A lovely break awaits with Earl Grey cookies
Sometimes, you just need a cookie. You need a cookie that’s crisp and light and with a subtle flavor that you almost can’t place, and that isn’t overly sweet. You need Earl Grey Cookies.
I’ll admit that I’m more of a coffee break than a tea break person, so I enjoy these with coffee, but I have it on good authority that they make for a perfect tea break as well.
The evolution of a back-pocket recipe
Years ago, more than a decade, I think, I came across a recipe for Earl Grey cookies from a podcast (I believe it was You Are Not So Smart, but I don’t remember), and I was intrigued. What would a cookie made with Earl Grey tea taste like, I thought? I was in an adventurous frame of mind, and so I made the cookies. Behold, they were good. I served them to friends at a party, and nary a one was left.
Earl Grey Cookies have become a back-pocket recipe, and, like all back-pocket recipes, a little tinkering has ensued. Most significantly, I started adding dark-chocolate flakes, which make the cookies a little bit richer and complement the subtle lemon flavor of the Earl Grey tea. Keeping the chocolate dark keeps things from wandering into kid territory. Earl Grey Cookies are for we grown-ups.
Baking with Earl Grey tea
Earl Grey tea has become a more popular baking ingredient since I first heard of it, but if you have never tried it before, you’re going to want to add it to things beyond just Earl Grey Cookies. It imparts a subtle lemony flavor without being overpowering. The tea obviously leaves little specks, but I think that, especially with the dark chocolate, the effect is pleasing.
Earl Grey Cookies comes together in seconds, and the dough freezes beautifully
Some cookie doughs require lots of fussing. Earl Grey Cookies do not. Weigh out your ingredients and get out your food processor. You’ll mix the dough, roll the logs, and get them into the fridge to chill, and the whole process takes less than 10 minutes. Freeze any dough you aren’t using right away, and you can have cookies on demand.
A note on baking time
You’ll note that I have an instruction about setting a timer for six minutes and then turning the cookies. It’s important to turn cookies so that they cook evenly, but there’s another purpose here. These can go from glorious to overly browned quickly, so use that rotation to check your cookies.
I use a quarter-sheet pan, and mine are generally done with lightly brown edges in about 9 minutes. If you’re using a half-sheet pan with a dozen cookies, it might take about 12. Gauge how done they are when you rotate them, and then check on them at the 9-minute mark.
Bake off Earl Grey Cookies as you want them (they will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days, but I like my cookies fresh), and enjoy! Recipe and video below.
Earl Grey Cookies
- 1 Food Processor Not strictly necessary, but makes quick work of everything
- 1 digital kitchen scale
- 240 grams all purpose flour 2 cups
- 50 grams confectioner sugar ½ cup
- 100 grams sugar ½ cup
- 2 tbs earl grey tea 6 tea bags
- ½ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 100 grams unsalted butter, room temperature, dropped in chunks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100 grams dark chocolate, cut into flakes
- Using a food processer, add dry ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, and then pulse to blend
- Dot the top of the dry ingredients with butter clumps (not the most artful term, but there you go), add vanilla and pulse to combine. If needed, add water, a bit at a time, until blended
- Add chocolate, and pulse once or twice, just to mix it. Using a spatula, make sure that there aren't any butter bits or unincorporated flour
- Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap (I know, but otherwise, this can be very hard to work with) and spoon out a half of the dough onto the center of it. Fold the plastic wrap over it and then roll the dough into a log (about 12 inches). Repeat with the other half of the dough
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Longer is better. If you aren't planning on using all of the dough, freeze the unused portion
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 F. Remove the plastic wrap and slice the dough into ⅓ rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart (they will spread a bit)
- Bake at 375 and set a timer for six minutes. Turn the pan and see how done they are. These usually take about 12 minutes for a half-sheet pan. I use a quarter-sheet pan, and they often take closer to 9 minutes. They're done when the edges have browned a bit but the tops have not. Keep an eye on them. See note about baking from the freezer
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan and then transfer to a rack to cool completely