Have you ever anticipated something so much it gets you jacked up and then you completely bypass what you’re supposed to be doing? Maybe it’s seeing friends you haven’t seen in a while and you can’t wait to hear what they’ve been up to. Or maybe it’s a well-deserved vacation you’ve been anticipating for weeks that’s finally around the corner. Or maybe it’s a combination of these things, plus a job interview, that has you anxiously pacing your kitchen hoping you have enough time to do everything.
I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been distracted because of those things. [laughs]
This morning I dreaded waking up, mostly because I knew once I got out of bed, it was just going to be a whirlwind of things. I tried doing some gentle morning yoga with Adriene, but couldn’t focus on centering my mind. Then I thought I would try my new SWORKIT app that I downloaded in anticipation of working out at home on dreary winter days like this. But I was already too jacked up anticipating everything else I had to get done today!
Thusly, my first attempt at solo baking wasn’t the smooth sailing I thought it would be. Dang it!
ICYMI, I work part-time at DAVIDsTEA, a Canadian loose leaf tea company with locations in both Canada and the U.S. Tea is one of my favorite things to drink—always has been. I have many fond memories of tea parties drinking Red Rose with my mother and sister, cutting up Girl Scout cookies with miniature tea sets and silverware.
So when both DAVIDsTEA and my coworkers kept coming up with brilliant recipes incorporating tea into the end result, I knew I wanted to try and make my own recipes some day.
My first attempts at my own tea treats came during this past holiday season, when I opted to gift my family things made with tea instead of just tea. (I gave them tea last year; they are well-stocked right now!) With my friends Jes and Caitlyn, we spent an afternoon making chamomile shortbread, dark chocolate earl grey truffles, matcha and white chocolate fudge, and matcha brigadeiros. Can you say yum?
I tested my tea treats with my roommates and DAVIDsTEA coworkers, and when everything got their stamp of approval, I felt confident I could whip up my own recipes.
Well, I may still be able to, but definitely not in the distracted state I was in today!
Even though I spent the night before writing out and tweaking the recipe I wanted to make—taking time to search other recipes similar to what I wanted to attempt—when I finally got ready to put everything together, I balked.
I won’t bore you with the details—or embarrass myself further—but here are a few takeaways from my first attempt at DIY-ing my own recipe:
- Print the recipe out ahead of time. Reading things off of a screen when my hands are messy is no fun.
- Remember to take the butter out of my fridge before I even think about baking if the recipe calls for room temperature butter.
- Like ingredients mix with like ingredients, meaning liquids go with liquids and dry goes with dry.
I did do some things well, though, so let me just pat myself on the back real quick:
- Measuring out ingredients ahead of time, known as mise en place, which is key when you have little counter space and a bit frazzled in the head like I was.
- Guessing the right amount of earl grey tea for this recipe. I think I hit it right on the nose!
- Waiting until the very end to eat scraps of cookie dough so I maximized the number of shortbread I made. Plus, this recipe is egg-free, so…
I also was worried that I melted too much dark chocolate for this. Oh well! I guess every shortbread cookie gets a little chocolate lovin’… and a little extra chocolate just for me.
Anyway, in the end, everything worked out just fine. The shortbread were not as Pinterest-perfect as I hoped, but from the nibble I had, I’m sure my coworkers will love them. Oh yeah, I made these for my coworkers since we have a staff meeting on Galentine’s Day! And since I don’t have a sweetheart to spend Valentine’s Day with, I figured I’d treat myself and my friends to something sweet instead. I think it’s a win for everyone!
And to make everything a little bit more special, I stopped by the local hardware store to pick up a heart-shaped cookie cutter. (Yeah, I’m not quite sure why the hardware store sells kitchen goods, but I’m not complaining!) They also had a fox-shaped cookies cutter, buying that was also a given.
What do you think? Seriously, what goes together better than tea, chocolate, and good company? Probably a lot of things, but even if you’re not an astute baker, you could quickly whip together some pretty shortbread and wow your coworkers too—or maybe a special someone, if that’s more up your ally.
Dark Chocolate Dipped Earl Grey Shortbread
Adapted from Kitchen Counter Chronicles’ Lemon and Chamomile Shortbread Cookies.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground earl grey tea
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon confectioners sugar or granulated sugar
- 5 oz. dark chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and salt until smooth and creamy.
- Slowly add in earl grey tea and flour. Mix until dough forms. If the dough is a bit crumbly, knead it together.
- Roll out dough on surface that has been dusted with flour or confectioners sugar. Roll dough to ¼-inch thickness.
- Cut out cookies, using a 2-inch cookie cutter, and transfer to a cookie sheet.
- Sprinkle granulated sugar over cookies if confectioners sugar was not used in Step 4.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes, until edges are lightly golden. Let cool, then remove from cookie sheet and transfer to wire rack.
- Melt dark chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments, adding 3 oz. at a time. (Melt 3 oz., then add 3 oz. more to melt.) Then dip shortbread in the melted chocolate, or drizzle. Let chocolate cool and harden, and enjoy!
- The size of the cookie will alter the baking time. The smaller the cookies, the quicker they will bake, but the difference is only 1 or 2 minutes.
- This recipe yields approximately 15 3-inch cookies or 12 4-inch cookies.
- If you are using full-leaf earl grey tea—such as the tea you would buy by weight and not by tea bag—use a coffee grinder or food processor to grind up the leaves. Ground loose leaf tea will have more flavor than bagged tea.
Please note that the person who runs this blog, Paulina M. Pascual, is an employee at DAVIDsTEA.