date love knot cookies
Bring dates, water (infused with tea), and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until dates are thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Cream butter and sugar; stir in egg, water (infused with tea), vanilla, flour, baking soda and salt. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of date mixture on the top of each cookie, then a small dab of cookie dough on top of the date mixture. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes.
Set oven at 325° F.
*to brew the tea place 3Tbsp of crème earl grey tea in 1/3 cup of hot water, steep for 5 minutes, then strain and measure 2 Tbsp of the tea for the recipe.
Use food processor to blend chilled butter plus dry tea (if adding), icing sugar & cornstarch. Add half the flour amount and the brewed tea. Pulse gently until roughly cut into a “crumbly” texture. Blend in remainder of flour until it “balls” into a smooth dough. Roll in a wax paper log like frozen cookie dough. CHILL 30 MINUTES.
Cut into 1/2 inch circles, bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet until just golden on the bottom, approx 20 minutes. Cool before handling. Makes approx 30. Store in tight tin.
the best lemon squares
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a 9 by 12 inch rectangular metal pan with foil, spray with non-stick spray. Combine flour, powdered sugar, 2 tsp. loose leaf tea, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan, it may appear “floury” but when the butter melts into the flour it will end up like a shortbread base. Bake the crust for 22 minutes or until lightly browned.
Tea Concentrate: brew 2 tbsp. Earl Grey loose leaf tea with ½ cup water, steep for 5 minutes then strain and measure ¼ cup of the tea for the recipe.
To make the filling, place lemon juice, tea concentrate, sugar and the lemon rind in a bowl. Whisk eggs fully but let them “rest” so they are not as foamy and add to the juice. Gently blend the eggs into the lemon juice mixture, swirling your whisk to incorporate the two mixtures and at the same time trying not to create a frothy top. Sift flour and baking powder into the wet ingredients and mix with a whisk until well combined. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes and then gently stir again, this will help reduce the foamy appearance on top, using a swirling motion with your whisk.
Remove crust from the oven and reduce heat to 325F; pour the filling over the hot crust and bake for 23 – 25 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes (please resist the urge to try warm…they don’t cut well warm and they honestly taste better once that have sat, even the second day!), slice as desired. Remove from pan by lifting the foil out. Remove the foil and cut into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.