Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rose Checkerboard Tea Cookies

The cuter something is, the harder it is to resist, especially when it comes to food. This is my variation of a recipe from Alice's Tea Cup, and I have added some Wild Rose tea to the dough.
The checkerboard pattern might look a little complicated or intimidating (it was for me), but it is so much easier than it looks! These cookies are great little treats, and look beautiful when put on display.

  • 2 tablespoons Wild Rose tea
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 cup baker's superfine sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • rose-pink for coloring
  • 1 egg white
Begin by grinding up the Wild Rose tea with a  grinding stone, or with your hands so that the leaves become quite small. Set aside.
Take 2 teaspoons of the ground tea and steep it in a small cup of boiling water for 5 minutes, strain out the tea leaves and set aside to cool.
Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder together in a separate bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until smooth.
Add the two whole eggs, the vanilla, and 3 teaspoons of the cooled rose tea. Mix well.
Mix in the remaining dry loose leaf tea. (This will create a nice freckled look in the cookies)
Reduce the mixer to its lowest speed, and slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until it becomes a workable dough.
Divide the dough in half and put one half back into the mixer with about 1/8-1/4 teaspoon pink food coloring, and mix until the dough is an even color.

For the Cookie Pattern:
  1.  On a lightly floured surface roll each portion of dough out to a 1 inch thick square. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2.  Again on a floured surface, roll each portion of dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle and lay them on cookie sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Make an egg wash by lightly beating the egg white, do not let it thicken however.
  4. Remove the plastic wrap from the white dough, and brush a layer of egg wash over the entire rectangle. Remove the plastic wrap from the pink dough and carefully place it on top of the white dough. Press with the back of a cookie sheet, but don't squash the dough!
  5. Cut the layered dough in half, the short way, to create two squares of double layered dough. Brush one of the squares with the egg wash and layer them on top of each other, making sure to alternate the colors. Press with the back of a cookie sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Unwrap the dough and begin cutting 3/8 strips of dough with a long, non serrated knife.
  7. Lay out a strip of striped dough, and brush egg wash over the top of it. Take another strip and lay it down on top of the other, making sure the colors are alternating. Repeat this twice more, always using egg wash between layers.
  8. Repeat this step for all of the remaining strips of dough until you have about 4 blocks of dough. Wrap each block in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. These blocks of dough can be kept frozen for up to three weeks!
  9. Cut the blocks of dough with a non serrated knife into 3/8" thick cookie slices. Lay them out on a cookie sheet prepared with parchment paper. Since these cookies do not rise all that much, they can be placed much closer together than other cookies.
         Bake at 350˚F for 12-15 minutes, do not let them brown!

Enjoy with your favorite Tea and Friends!

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