Vanilla and Earl Grey Tea Cookies

Vanilla and Earl Grey Tea CookiesVanilla and Earl Grey Tea Cookies

“Oh, how you shine…with your heart full of moonlight, and your soul full of stars.” – unknown 

A thickly iced chocolate cake, a warm slice of banana bread, a stack of gooey brownies, a crisp but chewy cookie. Nothing makes me happier than a well-baked treat.  Any of these treats in the middle of my table, accompanied by a big pot of milky tea and hands diving in from every angle is what I love best.

Vanilla and Earl Grey Tea Cookies

I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like these Vanilla and Earl Grey Tea Cookies. They are a cookie crowd pleaser, loved by the old and young, both men and women. These cookies are one of my favourite in my baking repertoire, to both eat and prepare. They are the recipe I turn to if I’m craving an afternoon treat or bringing a plate of something to share with friends.

It’s a simple cookie, but the flavours are addicting enough to keep you wanting more. The cookie base is a good blend of all the things I love. Earl Grey. Vanilla. Cinnamon. Your favourite black tea could work equally as well here too; I’ve tried rooibos, darjeeling and even chai. Though, as Earl Grey is my personal favourite tea (I like to drink a cup a day) – it’s perfect. The slightly floral and smoky Earl Grey notes pair perfectly against the rich and buttery cookie base.

Vanilla and Earl Grey Tea CookiesVanilla and Earl Grey Tea Cookies

The cookies are made by processing tea leaves together with a whole vanilla bean pod and sugar. The overall flavour permeates so much more than simply infusing or steeping tea leaves into a liquid and then incorporating it into dough.

Make sure to use the freshest, plumpest and juicy vanilla bean you can find too – the quality really does make all the difference. The result is a flavour filled buttery cookie that’s riddled with texture. A cookie that’s crisp and crumbly on the outside, slightly soft in the center and has just that little bit extra warmth – not found in your average tea cookie.

Vanilla and Earl Grey Tea CookiesVanilla and Earl Grey Tea CookiesVanilla and Earl Grey Tea Cookies

They are simple enough to create, but still unique enough to leave quite the impression. I adore these cookies for both their unique texture and flavour characteristics. They work well any time of day, though I like them served in a big bowl, centered in the middle of my dining table – to be consumed and shared by all for afternoon tea.

Vanilla and Earl Grey Tea CookiesVanilla and Earl Grey Tea Cookies

Vanilla and Earl Grey Tea Cookies
Serves: 14
  • 2 tbsp. earl grey tea leaves, or preferred black tea
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, chopped into quarters and ends trimmed
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup plain flour
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup butter, chopped and slightly softened
  • Demerara or raw sugar for sprinkling
  1. Place the tea leaves in a small stainless steel fry-pan set over medium heat, shaking the pan to distribute the tea leaves into an even layer. Watch the leaves and stir them carefully as they can darken easily - toast them for about two minutes until the tea is fragrant. Place the toasted leaves in the bowl of a food processor to cool.
  2. Add the caster sugar and vanilla bean segments to the food processor bowl with the tea leaves and pulse to combine into a fine powder. Add the cinnamon, icing sugar, flour and sea salt and pulse to just combine. Finally add the cream, vanilla extract and butter and pulse to form a rough dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap scattered with a handful of demerara sugar and roll it gently to coat the outside and form a log shape roughly 1 ½ inches / 3 ½ cm thick. Sprinkle the log with extra demerara or raw sugar to cover it entirely, and transfer it to a freezer for at least thirty minutes to chill.
  4. When ready to bake, pre-heat an oven to 170 C / 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment. Remove the log from the freezer and cut ⅓ inch / 1 cm slices off the log, rotating as you go to ensure the cookie shape remains round. Transfer the cookies to the prepared trays, leaving a couple of inches / centimetres between each – the cookies won’t spread that much but they do need their space to crisp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are beginning to brown.
  5. Let the cookies cool on their sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for several days and the log can be kept in the freezer for a few months.

 Vanilla and Earl Grey Tea Cookies

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  • FoodGeekGraze May 5, 2015 at 4:56 am

    i adore how the texture of these beautiful cookies are captured in the images. i can even see the vanilla beans. so lovely 🙂 no matter how many thousands of earl grey moments i experience, i cannot help but hear the words, “tea. earl grey, hot” each and every single time.

  • Ali April 19, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    These look amazing! I have to be sure to make these ASAP. They sound exactly like my kind of cookie.

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  • Nupur Mehra April 2, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I once tasted green tea cookies and I thought “Wow, these are amazing!” I am sure yours would be even better considering Earl grey is sweeter and more flavourful.

    Brits would go crazy over these am sure 😀

  • Usha April 2, 2015 at 2:30 am

    Thanks for stopping by blog. You have a nice blog and wonderful recipes.

  • Dalila G. April 1, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    What a wonderful combination!
    I must give myself an afternoon of nothing but baking just to enjoy this cookies later on. 🙂
    Another “sweet” idea, thanks Thalia!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) March 28, 2015 at 5:50 am

    These look perfectly cozy and comforting, just like all good cookies are!

  • Faith (An Edible Mosaic) March 24, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I can see why these would be a real crowd-pleasure – what a great flavor combo! They are so lovely too.

  • Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice March 24, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    These cookies sound fantastic, Thalia! I love the flavor, so creative! I would definitely dunk these cuties in my tea. So perfect for an afternoon treat!

  • Katie @ Recipe for Perfection March 24, 2015 at 1:05 am

    Very pretty! I’ve never had a tea-flavored cookie, but these sound intriguing!

  • March 23, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    I love these cookies, but never made them myself. Love the way yours look, so perfect and delicious. 🙂

  • Julie @ Cooks with Cocktails March 23, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Yum, these look simple but perfect. All those fabulous flavors rolled up in a crunchy cookie. Yum! I would eat these dipped in tea. I love dipping my cookies 🙂

  • Mandie | Mandie's Kitchen March 23, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    The flavour of earl grey tea in cookies(or any dessert for that matter) sounds absolutely scrumptious! And these cookies look amazing!

    Oh, and I was wondering if you could tell me what plug-in you use for your Instagram feed at the bottom of your page? I’m trying to find a better Instagram plug-in for my site.

  • CarriesExpKtchn March 23, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Thalia these sound delicious! I’m not one for overly sweet cookies so these would totally fit the bill. I never heard of making cookies with tea leaves until a little over a year ago and tried some myself (an apple cinnamon version), they were so good. I can’t wait to try this version, thanks for sharing.

  • karrie @ Tasty Ever After March 23, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    These cookies look fantastic and so yummy! Perfect any time of the day 🙂

  • Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes) March 23, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    I’m totally with you on the gooey brownies and banana bread but now I need to add these perfect cookies to that list of things I want on my table always!

  • Sarah | Broma Bakery March 23, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Your writing is fantastic, as always, Thalia. You rope me into the deliciousness of these cookies and leave me drooling by the end of the post!

  • Traci | Vanilla And Bean March 23, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Lovely shortbread, Thalia. It just so happens that Earl Grey is my favorite tea too, so I can see how these would be so comforting and delicious. I’ve not made shortbread in a food processor, but it would totally speed up the process! Thank you, Thalia!

  • lisa @ garlicandzest March 23, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Thalia – these cookies are right up my alley! Unfortunately -we are eschewing sugar and carbohydrates while we slim down for swimsuit season. How do you make such mouthwatering treats and stay so slim???? Not fair!

  • Gourmet Getaways March 23, 2015 at 6:14 am

    It’s cookie and tea in one! They look soft and chewy!!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  • Beeta @ Mon Petit Four March 23, 2015 at 3:23 am

    These look so yummy, Thalia! I love earl grey cookies, so I can’t wait to try your recipe. And I’m in the same boat as you…I love eating my baked treats with a cup of earl grey…I add a splash of milk too and it’s the best!

  • Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron March 23, 2015 at 2:47 am

    I’ve never had an Earl Grey Cookie before, but they look just delicious! My mom is craaazy for Earl Grey, she drinks at least a pot a day…I’m going to have to make these cookies for her 🙂

  • Leah M @ love me, feed me March 23, 2015 at 12:52 am

    Thalia!!! These are stunning and sound so delicious. Earl Grey <3

  • Christina @ The Beautiful Balance March 22, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Absolutely beautiful Thalia! I love baking with different types of teas and earl grey and vanilla is a perfect match.

  • Linda March 22, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    It looks amazing, and the presentations are gorgeous! 🙂

  • ZazaCook March 22, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Wow, your cookies are so perfect! And your photos gorgeous!

  • Amanda Finks March 22, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    These are gorgeous and sound amazing! Can’t wait to try these.

  • Christina @ Bake with Christina March 22, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Wow those cookies look so delicious! I am loving the vanilla and earl grey tea flavors, that’s such a great combo! Pinned 🙂

  • M.L. March 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Lovely cookies-would be perfect to bring to my book club. I was wondering how much icing sugar you used (didn’t see the measurement unit listed in the recipe). 1/4 cup? Thanks!

    • thalia March 22, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      Yes, 1/4 of a cup.

  • Bec {Daisy and the Fox} March 22, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    These sound so moorish Thalia!
    What a delish combo of vanilla, cinnamon and earl grey 🙂
    I can see why these are a crowd pleaser… I may just need to whip up a batch for my next tea and biscuit chill time 😛

  • Arman @ thebigmansworld March 22, 2015 at 8:24 am

    The flavour pairing sounds delicious- I’ll need to try this out Thalia!

  • Medha @ Whisk & Shout March 22, 2015 at 3:41 am

    These look amazing! I love earl gray and these cookies look tender and delicious 🙂 Pinning!

  • Audrey @ Unconventional Baker March 22, 2015 at 2:27 am

    I love earl grey desserts. These cookies look to die for <3

  • Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen March 22, 2015 at 12:24 am

    I am loving these cookies! I used tea leaves in a muffin recipe, and we absolutely loved it! Pinned!

  • Caroline @ Pass the Cocoa March 22, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Huh, I’ve never seen a recipe that called for toasting the tea…does that concentrate the flavor? Also, love the addition of cinnamon to balance out the ear grey!

    • thalia March 22, 2015 at 12:38 am

      Yes, toasting the tea extracts the flavours from the leaves so that they emit a more concentrated flavour and aroma.

  • Elsa March 21, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Can I use earl grey tea bags?

    • thalia March 21, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      Yes, tea bags can easily be substituted.

  • Tonya March 21, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Tea is part of my daily ritual. I must include these loves!

  • Dana | March 21, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    YES! Love Earl Grey tea, and I love Earl Grey tea cookies. I’ve done Earl Grey shortbread before – I’ll have to give these a go!

  • Christy @ Feasting Not Fasting March 21, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Earl Grey is my fav too! I drink a cup of it pretty much every day. Now I’ve got to try adding one of these cookies to the routine. 🙂

  • Shinee March 21, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Gosh, these cookies are right up my valley! Earl grey is definitely my cup of tea. In fact, I had it for breakfast this morning. Dying to try this recipe.

  • Marissa | Pinch and Swirl March 21, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    I love these, Thalia! I love the cardamom in Earl Grey tea – and what a winning combination with vanilla.

  • sue|theviewfromgreatisland March 21, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I can just see that buttery texture in this cookies — and I’ve made a cake with the whole vanilla bean blitzed with the sugar…it was incredible, I forgot about that technique!

  • Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire March 21, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Earl grey tea cookies are my favorite, but your use of the vanilla bean must take it to a wonderful new level of deliciousness. I must give these cookies a taste!

  • Bill March 21, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Nice, Thalia! These cookies look and sound fabulous! It would be dangerous for me to have a plate of these around my house. They wouldn’t last long at all!

  • Kristin | Tasty Joy March 21, 2015 at 8:26 am

    I love cookies that you can keep in the freezer and pull out whenever you need a “little something”! These look so delicate and perfect 🙂

  • Joscelyn | wifemamafoodie March 21, 2015 at 6:30 am

    Ah, I can almost smell the wonderful aroma of fresh vanilla bean mixed with the fragrance of Earl Grey. Truly a winning combination! I MUST try this soon.. thanks so much, Thalia!

  • Vy March 21, 2015 at 5:11 am

    These sound delicious! I’m a huge fan of Earl Gray as well. I will definitely try this!

  • Sarah March 21, 2015 at 5:07 am

    OH my gosh these look amazing! I love the idea of using tea in different desserts, especially cookies! I love the style of your blog, btw. You have gorgeous photography 🙂

  • Alison @Food by Mars March 21, 2015 at 3:24 am

    These are so lovely! What a creative flavor idea and so perfect for tea time <3

  • Katie @ Butterlust March 21, 2015 at 2:19 am

    Something about spring has gotten me in the mood to bake with tea as well! There is just something so delicate and light about tea-flavored treats — like Spring, I suppose! I also love that you process the entire vanilla bean, I can only imagine how amazing that smell is!

  • Courtney @ Fork to Belly March 20, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Thalia, this looks like THE best way to enjoy a cup of tea. Growing up in Hawaii has made me more of a “cold glass of milk” drinker, but I may just have to start making tea time a habit (especially if these cookies will be involved). My belly is rumbling just looking at these photos!

  • Mary Ann@ the beach house kitchen March 20, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Thalia these cookies sound lovely. My favorite tea is Earl Grey and I love the touch of cinnamon! I will be making these soon!

  • Sheena @ Tea and Biscuits March 20, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    I love Earl Grey and drink it every day! not so popular here in the USA as back home though! I’ve never thought of putting the tea in the cookie, what a super idea and I bet it makes for a very aromatic cookie 🙂 I’d love to try and make a gluten free version, I’ll let you know if I do, though I’ll need to track down some loose Earl Grey leaves first.

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 20, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Might be hands diving in from all directions at your house but at mine it’s, “Don’t touch anything until the photos are done!!”

    It would be tough to resist with these cookies.

    • thalia March 21, 2015 at 3:07 am

      That’s usually the same problem here Maureen too, I definitely swat more hands away than I care to admit!

  • Dini @ Giramuk's Kitchen March 20, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    These cookies look beautiful! I want to experiment with earl grey flavour in baking, but never got to it. These cookies definitely inspire me to do so!

  • Manali @ CookWithManali March 20, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    lovely cookies Thalia! 🙂 Send some over!

  • Chrissy March 20, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    I adore tea too and these are just perfect for that time of the afternoon. So lovely.

  • Michelle @ Hummingbird High March 20, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Love, love, love. You really nailed it with this flavor combination — it’s one of my faves! I think I’ll give this recipe a try this weekend 🙂

    • thalia March 20, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      Isn’t earl grey the best! You must try them x

  • Rachelle March 20, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Afternoon tea and Earl Grey cookies? Sounds lovely!

  • April @ Girl Gone Gourmet March 20, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Simple, yet fancy at the same time – you do great work!!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar March 20, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    A well-baked treat can brighten my entire day! These cookies look perfect.