Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

In each of my classes at school, we all generally sit in the same seats every week, next to the same people. This past Monday I ended up sitting next to my friend Ryan, which was quite a please might I add.  He said he wasn’t having a good day and all he wanted was for class to end before it even started.  I told him, “I can’t make that happen, but I can bake you something! What do you like?” He said, ” Do you make brownies?”  And I replied, “No, do you like peanut butter, or earl grey? I can make you earl grey shortbreads.”  As Ryan agreed that shortbreads would make him happy, Maddy (my friend sitting on the other side of me) added, ” you can dip them in chocolate.”  So it was settled, I would bake him Earl Grey Shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and bring them to class on Wednesday.

So you may be confused about two major things
1. I don’t make BROWNIES??!?!?
2. Where are the Chocolate Dipped Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies?

To clear up the first issue, unfortunately I don’t like chocolate, so I don’t make brownies because I don’t care for them.  I am aware that it is a near catastrophe for both cases, but how can I guarantee that my brownie recipe will be great, if I don’t have a palate for quality brownies?

I did not dip my cookies for two reasons: 1. I didn’t have chocolate chips.  and 2. These cookies are melt-in-your-mouth PERFECTION! So adding a shell of chocolate seemed unnecessary in terms of both taste and texture.

With that said, I bring to you the recipe, which also includes directions for the chocolate dipped version if you wish to try it.  Enjoy!

Makes about 36

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups flour
3 tea bags (or 2 T) earl grey tea leaves
3/4 cup conectioners sugar
2 sticks salted butter (room temperature)

6 oz chocolate chips

1. Combine flour and tea leaves.
2. Add confectioners sugar and butter.
3. When all the ingredients are almost combined, finish the dough by quickly and loosely kneading in the loose crumbs. Flatten into a disk (about 1″ thick) and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°.
4.  Unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured (or powdered-sugared) work surface.  Roll the dough into a 1/3-1/4 inch thick rectangle. Cut into strips or squares or any shape your heart desires.  (I cut mine into 3 columns and 12 rows to make 36 rectangles).
* the warmth of your hands should melt the butter and make the dough workable, but if not add 1-2 tablespoons of water
5. Place cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating half way through.

For Chocolate Dip:
1. Once cookies are out of the oven and cooling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
2. Dip cooled cookies into chocolate and place on parchment paper to let the chocolate set.

xxx Miss G

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Sugar Cookies with Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

Whenever I ask my friends what I should bake for them, whether it be a birthday, or a small get together, the unanimous request is “the cookies with that dip”.  They’re actually simple sugar cookies, but with a side of pomegranate cream cheese frosting for dipping!  I found this recipe from Alton Brown and it’s just fantastic!  Alton makes sandwiches with his cookies, but I think it’s a lot easier to have people dip the cookies.  Also, after being a picky eater (for about 20 years), I am very conscious of other peoples need for variety and options.  So the option remains, to dip, or not to dip. (I thought about deleting this sentence, but it is what it is.)

While planning a holiday party for my friends, I was obviously asked to make my cookies with the dip for it and I did, of course, holiday style.  But whether they are for a holiday, a birthday party or just because you want to eat some delicious cookies, these are perfect, and delicious

Ingredients:
3 cups flour
3/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 T milk
powdered sugar (for rolling)

8 oz  cream cheese, softened
4 T unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 T pomegranate juice

1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
2. In a separate bowl beat sugar and butter together.
3. Add egg and milk to butter mixture.
4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter.
5. Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
6. After the 2 hours, preheat oven to 375°
7.  Remove 1 half of the dough,  roll out onto a powdered work surface and cut out shapes with cookies cutters ( I recommend small shapes because they are easier for dipping.)
8. Place cookies onto parchment lined cookies sheets and bake for 8 minutes, turning the pan half way through baking time.
9. After the cookies are baking, let cool for 1-2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
10. Repeat steps 7-9 with 2nd half of dough.

While cookies are baking and cooling, make the frosting.
1.  Mix together cream cheese and butter, making sure they are both room temperature so they mix together easily.
2.  Add the powdered sugar and pomegranate juice and mix.

xxx G