Yay for three day weekends. This Labor Day holiday has given me the chance to post again, as without it I would definitely not have had time. This semester is going to be full of research projects, papers, and exams, so hopefully I will be able to keep up with this blog! I’ve also been getting things ready for my Spring semester abroad in Spain. I’m going to be looking into buying my ticket this week, as well as meeting with the study abroad coordinator at my school to set up all of the university transfer paperwork. Geez, it’s already the third week of school! Before I know it, it’ll be January and I’ll be preparing to leave! Crazy. Well, let’s see…my boyfriend had asked me if I could do thumbprint cookies, and I was testing out ideas in my head, when I saw that I still had a ton of Earl Grey tea from the Republic of Tea (y’know…the kind that comes in the cylindrical container, with round tea bags?), and I thought I’d try out making tea-infused cookies. I still have a ton of raspberry jam and peach butter that we made this summer, so I thought I could use those as the fillings for the thumbprint cookies. Then I was thinking about all of the flavors, and I decided that lemon would go well with Earl Grey as well for a citrus-y kick, so I whipped up a quick mini-batch of lemon curd to use as well! They turned out pretty well, though the flavor of the tea is quite mild, so I may suggest using more if you want a dramatic tea flavor. You can use any kind of jam for the filling that you’d like. Keep in mind that the cookies do spread a bit, so what you think may be too much filling will actually settle in to the nook more as it bakes. As always, they definitely go well with a cup of tea! (not just Earl Grey :-P, I had one with some Green Tea this afternoon; quite yummy).
For the Cookies:
Adapted from Simply Recipes
½ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 cups flour
2 Earl Grey Tea bags
(recipes for Lemon Curd and Peach Butter below)
Using a mortar and pestle (or a coffee grinder-however you feel like doing it), grind up the tealeaves until they are finely ground.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl, then add the egg yolk and vanilla.
Then add the flour, salt and tea, and mix until just combined. Refrigerate the dough until it has firmed up a bit, about half an hour (or longer if you want to make the peach butter). In the meantime, you can make your filling. I had already made my peach butter and raspberry jam ahead of time, so I just quickly made the lemon curd.
For the Peach Butter, I used this recipe from SmittenKitchen.
For the Lemon Curd, I just threw together a really quick and easy recipe. I made a small batch because I didn’t want a ton of it left over, but feel free to double or triple the batch if you’d like to have more.
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
Yield; about half a cup
Crack the egg into a small saucepan, and whisk together. Add the sugar, and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves (stirring constantly with a heat proof rubber spatula, or else it will curdle).
Then add the lemon juice and butter, and cook on medium until it has thickened quite a bit (about 3 minutes), stirring constantly. I recommend running it through a mesh strainer before you wrap and chill before use to make sure that it is smooth and luscious!
When your fillings are ready and chilled, go ahead and start assembling the cookies. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough into balls that are about an inch in diameter. Then, using your thumb, gently press down on each cookie to create a small well in the center (careful not to press too hard or they will fall apart).
Then, fill each with ¼ to ½ tsp of filling (depending on the size of your cookies). Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
The greatest thing about thumbprint cookies is that you can fill them with whatever you want! So if these flavors don't seem right to you, try something you think you'd like! Have fun!