When we moved down to LA , I was nervous about leaving my friends, my city, and my life behind to start a new one. The first few weeks were definitely rough (temps over 100°F, no car, and the full-time job of: unpacking) but then we met our new neighbor, Vanessa, and things turned around. And to say she was/is a blessing is a gross understatement. She was there for us when Vienna came home from the hospital, has stepped up almost every time I've needed a taste tester, and even brought over ground ginger at eleven o'clock (pm) after I realized I was out and desperately needed some to finish a cookie recipe. Essentially, she's awesome and I have been dying to figure out a way to repay her for all her kindnesses. The minute I found out she's a huge fan of earl grey, I knew I found a place to start.
Enter these Earl Grey Oatmeal Cookies. They are earl greyed out. These are earl grey oatmeal cookies dressed up with (can I say that: "dressed up with?," well they are so here's hoping) earl grey brown butter icing. Basically, if you're looking for an earl grey sweet to eat, look no further but steer clear of these little cuties if you can't stand the sight/smell/taste of bergamot because these cookies will be all up in your face with their earl greyness. I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive about the copious amounts of earl grey that were being infused/baked into these cookies. I mean, I don't usually have any qualms about the stuff but I started questioning my decision to double up on it (read: earl grey oatmeal cookies with earl grey brown butter icing). But guess what!?
They were a huge success!! I asked Vanessa to swing by our place the other day and anxiously shoved (oh yes, it was shoved) a bag of these into her arms, blabbing way too quickly about how I developed this recipe for her and how I hoped she liked them (blah, blah, blah--it went so quickly that I can't remember the rest). Anyway, she had come over at night and I may have been checking my phone throughout the evening to read her response (we text). And then night faded into morning and I still hadn't heard back, so I thought to myself, "shit, too much earl grey" and "maybe they weren't crispy enough" (she likes crispy, crunchy cookies). Finally, after checking my phone way too many times, this text came in. I'm going to quote it verbatim because it totally made my day. "OMG ALANA. Those earl grey/oatmeal cookies you gave me!!! Totally my favorite thing you've given me so far and THAT is saying something!!" Insert *blushing* emoji, *heart eyes* emoji, *flamenco dancing lady* emoji, heck, insert all happy emojis! Basically, I feel like I've fulfilled the bulk of my neighborly duties for a while now.
A couple notes on the cookies, just in case earl grey doesn't tickle your fancy. Think about subbing some chai tea for earl grey in your cookie base, or maybe some ground up, dried lavender? Really, swap it out for any flavor you love, ok not any flavor, you'll need to use your own discretion but you know what I mean. Also, if you're sticking with earl grey but don't want to go overboard with it, don't use the tea in your icing, sub water instead. And while we're on the subject of icing, if you decide you don't want it, don't use it. These oatmeal cookies will be excellent on their own.
Earl Grey Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from On Sugar Mountain
Makes 4 dozen cookies
- 1-1/4 c. flour
- 3/4 c. oats
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 earl grey tea bags (around 2 tsp.), optional: grind up in spice grinder
- 1/2 c. (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 c. (2 Tbsp.) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 c. powdered (icing) sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 to 2 Tbsp. brewed earl grey tea
- Baking sheets
- Silpat mat or parchment paper
- Medium mixing bowl
- Stand mixer
- Silicone spoonula/wooden spoon
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wire cooling racks
- Small saucepan
- Piping bag
- 1/8" pastry tip
- Position oven racks to top and bottom third then preheat to 350°F. Line baking sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk flour, oats, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, and earl grey tea in mixing bowl and set aside.
- In your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla bean paste until fully incorporated. Turn your mixer to the lowest speed and add flour mixture. Stir until it just come together.
- Remove bowl from mixer and use your spoonula/wooden spoon to incorporate any flour that may have fallen to the bottom/sides.
- Drop rounded 1/2 tablespoonfuls of dough onto pre-lined sheets, leaving at least two inches for spreading.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are set and browned slightly.
- Let set on sheet for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool.
- In small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until it begins to brown Immediately lower heat (to low) and whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla extract and 1 1/2 Tbsp. of brewed earl grey tea. If icing is still too think to pipe/drizzle, whisk in a teaspoon or two of brewed earl grey tea.
- Transfer to piping bag fitted with 1/8" tip if piping or grab your spoon to drizzle onto cookies! Best if cookies are still slightly warm but this is not necessary. Let icing dry completely.
- Serve and enjoy or package and gift!