Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's :: Tea Cookies

I am having the most wonderful day! I took the day off... not because I had something planned, just because I wanted a day to rest.  Ahhh...a four day weekend!  :-)  I slept in we went for a long walk in the snow, ate way too many cookies, and I am now sipping a latte from a ginormous mug at my favorite West Village coffee shop.  I ♥ large latte mugs, don't they just feel relaxing?

I'm excited for Valentine's Day and the long weekend!  A. is planning to make dinner for us.  I don't know all the details, but I know there is a whole chicken involved!  I can't wait to see what he has planned.  Humm... maybe I'll have him write a little guest blogger post afterwards.  Ohh, I also want to go try the new Meatball Shop in the LES.  Can you believe it, a place that only serves meatballs?  I want to try the spiced pork! 

Well, Valentine's Day wouldn't be complete without a little sugar!  So, I decided to bake a few cookies to mail to friends and family.  The twelve dozen cookies I rolled out probably has something to do with how exhausted I felt yesterday! :-)  Oh well, they were delicious so it's all worthwhile!  Apart from basic heart-shaped sugar cookies (from this wonderful recipe, truly the best cut out sugar cookies!), I decided to experiment with tea cookies.  Buttery cookies flavored with tea leaves.  Delicious!  I made a batch of green tea and a batch using my favorite Kusmi Breakfast tea. They are so aromatic and light in flavor.  Not overly sweet, and perfect with a cup of tea of course!

Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day weekend! xoxo

ENGLISH BREAKFAST TEA COOKIES (adapted from Real Simple)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons loose breakfast tea, ground (use Earl Grey or English breakfast)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
1 cup unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)

Preheat oven to 375F.  Grind the tea leaves using a coffee grinder or food processor.  Combine the tea with all the dry ingredients.  Add the vanilla, zest, a teaspoon of water, and butter and mix using either a food processor or a mixer with the paddle attachment until the dough has formed.

Divide the dough in two and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling out.  Roll out the dough to be 1/3" thick.  Have plenty of flour handy to prevent from sticking.  Cut the cookies and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 minute until they start to crisp.  Allow 5 minutes to cool.

GREEN TEA COOKIES (via Lovescool)
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter, cut into squares
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon ground green tea or green tea powder
1 cup granulated sugar (for dusting)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine the confectioners sugar and the green tea.  Add the butter and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the flour until well combined.  Then add an egg at a time until the dough is formed.  Make a disk with the dough and cover in plastic wrap.  Allow it to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough to 1/2" thick and cut with the cookie cutter.  Have a small bowl ready with the granulated sugar.  As you cut out each cookie dip it in the bowl and completely cover in sugar.  Place on a parchment line cookie sheet and cook for 12 - 15 minutes.  Cool and enjoy!

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