When I was little, there was a period of time when both of my parents either worked, or my dad worked and my mom was in college. During that time, if I was sick and needed to stay home from school, I would go to my Grammy’s house. My Grammy live about 2 minutes away, and I spent a lot of time at her house anyway. On the days that I was sick, I would show up early in the morning in my pajamas, and lay on the couch watching movies with her all day.
My Grammy was a big foodie, she was always hosting dinners and holidays and always cooking delicious food. When I was sick there were a few foods she always gave me. I always got a packet of chicken and noodle soup with a piece of buttered toast, and at some point I always got a hot cup of Earl Grey Tea. I’ve never been a big tea drinker, but my Grammy always was (she always drank a big glass of iced tea with dinner). I’m still not a big tea drinker, but whenever I start to feel sick, I start craving Earl Grey tea.
Over the past year, I discovered a little local coffee shop that has on their menu a London Fog Latte. A London Fog, for those of you who don’t know, is a latte made with Earl Grey tea and vanilla flavoring, and is incredibly delicious. On a cold winter day, when you feel a little under the weather, its the prefect early morning pick me up. So when I found this recipe for London Fog Sugar Cookies, I was very interested (original recipe here).
Well, last night, I felt like baking something and I had all the ingredients on hand, so I got out my recipe card, and my apron, and put them together. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from them, but they were really nice, light little cookies. They were definitely based in a sugar cookie, but they had a nice vanilla-y, herbal-y flavor to them, which were a huge hit with my family. They weren’t overwhelming tea flavored, which was good, as the rest of my family aren’t big tea fans. I really liked them, and will definitely make them again, I think they’d make a really nice Christmas cookie if you rolled them in red and green sugar.
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean pod (seeds)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick) (room temperature)
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp Earl Grey Tea leaves (I just cut open a tea bag, but loose leaf would work too)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- approx. 2 tbsp decorating sugar (for rolling, optional)
Before we get started I just wanted to make a quick note about the Vanilla I used. A few years ago I got on this weird kick where I was kind of obsessed with vanilla and did a bunch of research into actual vanilla plants and vanilla farms and whatnot (it’s all very interesting and if you ever have time to look into it, you definitely should). But around the time of my “Vanilla Phase” my family and I went to Hawaii for a business trip for my dad, and while we were there we got a chance to visit The Hawaiian Vanilla Company. It’s a really cool place, and they have some fantastic products (I swear by their chapsticks), but their vanilla is the only vanilla I use anymore. A single bottle of their vanilla lasts me a little over two years, and the flavor is unparalleled. You can order all of their products and read about their farm here.
To start, you’re going to combine the granulated sugar, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla bean seeds in a small bowl. For the vanilla bean seeds, you’ll cut the pod in half and use the back of your knife to remove the seeds. To ensure the vanilla bean seeds are evenly distributed you will need to use your hands to rub the seeds into the sugar.
Next you’ll cream your room temperate butter and sugar together with a stand or hand mixer. Add egg and vanilla and mix until its well blended.
Mix in the tea leaves, baking powder, and salt. Then slowly add in the flour to create a soft dough.
On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll into a log shape. If you plan on using decorating sugar, now’s the time to do that. I had to wet my fingers and rub the dough with a bit of water so the sugar would stick to it after rolling it on the floured counter.
Tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap (I didn’t have any plastic wrap so I just stuck it in a gallon sized ziplock bag) and place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (up to 24), or the freezer for 30 minutes if you’re in a hurry.
Preheat your oven to 400°F and lightly grease your baking sheet. Cut your chilled dough roll into 1/4″ slices and place on the baking sheet.
Bake until the edges are light brown and the middles are set, my smaller cookie sheet took 6 minutes and the larger one took 10 minutes, so just keep an eye on them, they do cook quite quickly, and you don’t want to burn the bottoms.
And that’s about it! I really enjoyed the cookies, they’re great still warm from the oven, or cool the next day. I dipped some in hot chocolate, and they would be great dipped in a cup of coffee or tea as well. They’re really dainty and cute, and I think they would be a wonderful addition to an afternoon tea or dessert table. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!