Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookies

     My parents and I love going to see musicals. Whenever we go to one, it tends to be around Times Square, and it's tricky to navigate the maze of tourist trap restaurants around there when looking for a place to have dinner before the show. My mom and I stumbled upon Radiance Tea House one day, and absolutely loved it - it's a cute Asian-fusion restaurant with tons of delicious teas and little bites (like the best vegetable dumplings ever). The dessert is what stuck with us - a warm chocolate chip cookie with earl grey flavor, topped with a melting scoop of vanilla ice cream.
    This weekend, I was determined to recreate my favorite cookie. That's right, I spent my Saturday afternoon trying to figure out the best way possible to make a chocolate chip cookie taste like tea. I'm definitely a typical high school girl grandma.
    I ended up taking my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe and making a few adjustments. I figured out from looking at a few recipes that the best way to get the earl grey flavor into the cookies, since they don't have water or melted butter in them that could be infused with the tea, was to cut open a few teabags and dump them in! This ended up working really well - hot out of the oven, the cookies taste pretty much like a regular chocolate chip cookie, but as soon as they cool, there is a definite taste of earl grey that isn't too strong, but is definitely noticeable. It took these chocolate chip cookies from really good to amazing.
   These ended up being the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made. My dad took them to work to share with his colleagues (as he often does with treats I make), and apparently they were said to be one of the best things I ever baked. They were - dare I say it? - even better than what I was going for.
Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons earl grey tea (from about 6 teabags)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 2 cups store-bought bittersweet chocolate chips

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and tea. If your tea leaves aren't already ground, mix them with the flour in the food processor for a few seconds.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well-blended. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate chips.
Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls.
Bake the cookies- one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet at the midway point- for 10-12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center; they may still be a little soft in the middle, and that's okay. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 5 minutes, then carefully, using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.


Alexandra Rylkiewicz said...

hi I just tried a version of early grey cookies and I fell in love. I am dying to try this recipie but I noticed that the instructions call for nuts, but the ingredient list does not include them. what kind of nuts and how much of them? would you mind emailing me back?

thanks, good vibes & happy baking

. said...

Done I need to refrigerate the dough? I find mine abit too watery