Vanilla Ice Wine Tea Cookies

Vanilla Ice Wine Tea Cookies

November 22, 2015

Vanilla Ice Wine Cookies get their fragrant and sultry flavours from the black tea and whole vanilla bean. The intensity of the vanilla heightens the richness and deepens the sweetness of all the ingredients. The crumbly texture of this  shortbread gathers interest with the coarse crunch of the turbinado sugar coating. Vanilla Ice Wine Cookies are  special shortbreads, but if you don’t have any Ice Wine Tea in your pantry, you can choose practically any tea that you like: green, herbal or black. I prefer the pairing of vanilla with the intensity of black tea.

The recipe was originally conceived with Roobos Tea, but Rivka of Food 52 (where I found this recipe) prefers Earl Grey for its “seriously sultry flavour.” BTW, Thank you Rivka of Food 52 for this award winning cookie recipe. It is delightful and unusual, and has become one of my personal favourites in The Finer Cookie repertoire. Please visit the original post to get another perspective on it.

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Makes 36 cookies

Instructions

MISE EN PLACE

  • Measure the Ice Wine Black Tea into a small sauté pan and distribute it evenly along the bottom of the pan. Heat to medium and toast the leaves until they are fragrant. Watch the leaves carefully, so they don’t get too dark, or the flavour will turn bitter.
Toasting the Ice Wine Tea leaves.
Toasting the Ice Wine Tea leaves.
Vanilla bean.
Vanilla bean.
  • Transfer the tea leaves to a bowl and let them cool.
  • In a food processor, add the sugar, vanilla bean and tea, and process until finely ground and there are no more large pieces of vanilla bean. This step is very important because if the tea and vanilla are too large, the cookie dough will not hold together. The dry tea will absorb all the moisture around it and cause the dough to crack and fissure.
Sugar, vanilla and tea in the food processor.
Sugar, vanilla and tea in the food processor.
  • Combine the milk and vanilla extract.
  • Measure the softened butter.
  • Line two baking trays with parchment paper.

MAKE THE COOKIE DOUGH

  • Add the powdered sugar, flour, and salt to the food processor bowl with the sugar and vanilla bean and pulse a few times to combine. Then add the milk, vanilla, and butter and pulse several times, until a dough forms.
  • Turn dough onto a very lightly floured surface, gather it together.
Cookie dough turned out onto the counter.
Cookie dough turned out onto the counter.
  • Divide the dough in half. Work each half into a roll 1.5-inches in diameter. It’s very important that the dough is well compressed and doesn’t have any air pockets or fault lines. The rolls have to hold together firmly.
Form the cookie dough into a log.
Form the cookie dough into a log.

ORMING THE COOKIE DOUGH

  • Preheat the oven to 325F.
  • Sprinkle turbinado sugar on a plate or work surface, and roll each cookie dough log in the sugar, making sure to cover the entire surface of the log well. Wrap log in plastic or wax paper and park the rolls in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes to chill. (At this point, you can leave the cookie logs in the freezer and slice off cookies one by one, whenever the urge strikes.)
Turbinado sugar coating.
Turbinado sugar coating.
  • Remove log from fridge or freezer. With a serrated knife, cut 1/3-1/2 inch slices off the log, rotating the log as you go to ensure that cookie slices stay round.
Slice the cookies.
Slice the cookies.
  • Transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between each (they don’t really spread, but they need breathing room to crisp up).
Cookies ready to bake.
Cookies ready to bake.

BAKE THE COOKIES

  • Bake at 325F for 12 minutes, until cookies are just starting to brown. Don’t let them over bake. Leave on the cookie sheet to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks.
  • Cookies will keep in an airtight container for several days.

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