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Vegan Strawberry Vanilla Rose Black Tea Shortbread Cookies

By Christopher Allan Webber on Fri 25 June 2010

I've never foodblogged before, but today I am compelled to start. For today is Morgan's 25th birthday, and in honor of that I've created something so delicious it must be shared with the world. Behold:

Vegan strawberry vanilla rose black tea cookies

Morgan's favorite tea is Celestial Seasoning's Vanilla Strawberry Rose Ceylon Black Tea. Also, Morgan alleges that her "favorite food group is cookies". (I'm pretty sure she's confused, as last time I'd checked cookies weren't a food group, but I guess I won't argue the point on her birthday.) I figured that a good gift this year would be to combine her two favorite tea with her favorite, *ahem*, food group. The result? Strawberry vanilla rose black tea cookies!

I adapted the recipe from the recipe for shortbread cookies from the excellent Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar's shortbread cookie recipe (so yes, these cookies are vegan too). I'm actually no good at baking, but these came out perfect, even despite the fact that I accidentally spilled a little bit of water into the dough (I had to bake them for a few minutes longer and I added about two tablespoons more flour to the mix, but they turned out just fine). I'm going to assume you aren't going to spill water into your cookies, so here's the recipe without that detail. (A good portion of the text is from VCIYCJ, which is a good book so far and is really what makes the recipe so awesome and idiot-proof.)

Strawberry Vanilla Rose Black Tea Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, slightly softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rose water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup dried strawberries, chopped, plus a dozen or so whole ones for decorating
  • 1/4 cup loose black Ceylon tea (or 1/3 cup if you want a stronger tea flavor)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together flour and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. In a spice mill or small coffee grinder, grind the tea until it becomes a fine powder.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the margarine and sugar together with an electric beater or even a standing electric mixer. Scrape the sides of the bowl frequently with a rubber spatula and beat the mixture until very light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and rose water.
  5. Add half of the sifted flour and cornstarch to the beaten margarine mixture, using the rubber spatula to fold in the flour first so that it doesn't fly all over the place when using the mixer beaters. Beat until mostly combined, then add the rest of the flour mixture along with the tea powder and chopped strawberries, using the spatula as before. Continue to stir until all the flour and cornstarch are absorbed and dough is crumbly yet soft and moist.
  6. Knead dough together with hands for about one minute. Roll golf ball sized portions of the dough in your hands. Put a whole strawberry on top of each and press gently with your hand onto the greased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for about 10-14 minutes, until the shortbread begins to puff and the edges begin to turn a golden color.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes. Then use a spatula to transfer cookies to cooling rack to complete the cooling process.

And you're done! Delicious cookies await!