And by that I mean baking season. Fireplaces curling smoke from chimneys. A hint of snow seasoning the air. Christmas trees glowing from living room windows. Festive music in every store, pumping up shoppers while slowly destroying the poor workers’ souls.
It’s CHRISTMAS TIME!
My husband said the most awful thing I’ve ever heard yesterday: “You know Christmas is just one day, right?”
After demanding he get out of my life, I told him in no uncertain terms do I get to have a Christmas SEASON (and really, it’s limited to the confines of post-Thanksgiving to 12/25 so it’s not even technically a full season, so there), and I mean he gets 8 whole freaking days for Hanukkah, so he can just shut his mouth and let me do my Christmas thing.
We just spent a week-plus in California with my in-laws for Thanksgiving, and I had many adventures I’ll be sure to write about in the coming weeks, but right now, I want to talk about cookies. My sister-in-law and I discussed a baking cookies before, during, and after Thanksgiving, but the timing wasn’t right (there were SO MANY DESSERTS already). When we got home, amidst setting up the tree and singing Christmas songs off-key, it felt like a cookie kind of day. The sky was that snowy-gray, the apartment was toasty-warm, and my fantasy football team was holding steady against a team I was sure I’d lose to.
All that was missing was a flurry of Earl Grey Lavender Cookies.
The original recipe I used is here. I went a little wild and halved the recipe, making a small batch of my standard Earl Grey Lavender Cookies (using Adagio teas Earl Grey Lavender loose leaf tea — seriously my favorite tea ever) and experimented with the other half to create a Cocoa-Coffee Shortbread.
Because this recipe yields like two dozen cookies, I wasn’t trying to risk all that goodness on an experiment. Plus it’s super easy to halve, especially if you just got an amazing set of measuring spoons that range from 1/8 tsp to 2 tbs from Crate & Barrel for your birthday (husband win). For the Cocoa-Coffee batch, I subbed just under a tablespoon of Peet’s coffee and one finely chopped dark chocolate Hershey’s kiss (man am I product-placing like a champ right now or what?) in place of the tablespoon of tea leaves. These cookies came out a shade overcooked — they’d probably be best coming out of the oven right at 12 minutes. The tea cookies I had to leave for another 3 minutes or so.
In case you need a little extra calories (wink), a swipe of Nutella across the top of the still-warm coffee cookies is heavenly. Come on, it’s the holidays. Calories don’t count at Christmas! And as we’ve already established, Christmas is all month long!
Base Recipe – Tea Shortbread Cookies
- 2 cups Flour
- 2 tbs Tea Leaves
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 3/4 cup Confectioners Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Butter
- Sift/whisk together the flour, tea leaves, and salt, until the leaves are spotted throughout.
- In stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream flour mixture with confectioners sugar, vanilla, and butter.
- Put dough on a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a log, twisting both ends to seal closed. Place in fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut dough in 1/4-inch sections and arrange on silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet ~2 inches apart (they do spread a little).
- Bake 12 minutes or until the edges are just turning golden.
- Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
Experiment with the add-ins! My best so far has been the Earl Grey Lavender, but I’ve tried other herbs, too. The coffee is pretty tasty. Thyme was…less enthusiastically received.
I’d love to hear what you try!