50 Shades of Earl Grey & Lavender Tea Cookies

Once, in boredom at work, I smuggled the earl grey tea container and marked the plastic surrounding them with "50 SHADES" right smack above the name "EARL GREY." You see where I am heading with this one. After my sharpie was worn out from writing 50 shades about 50 times, I shoved all the tea bags back into the container and into the drawer where they belonged. I hope  a few of my coworkers with an eye for detail at least chuckled when they realized that they were serving customers 50 shades of earl grey tea. 

The best way to describe earl grey is smoky and fragrant with a hint of citrus. To be honest, my tastebuds aren't very compatible with a straight cup of earl grey, but my nose absolutely adores it's heavenly scent. I wondered what would happen if I hid earl grey in sweet little tea cookies; would my tastebuds then agree? Two tea bags, a hint of vanilla, and some lavender later, I found earl grey to be quite enticing. (Dear those of you who saw or read 50 Shades, I find this paragraph to be pretty amusing if you view it as a metaphor). 

I suppose this is how I celebrate the month of May...after all, may does rhyme nicely with grey. Although, I hope your May is a little more colorful than all 50 shades of earl grey.

Earl Grey & Lavender Tea Cookies (Vegan)
Adapted from cestlavegan
Yield: 24 small cookies

-1/2 cup cane sugar
-1 packed tablespoon earl grey tea leaves (from about 2 bags)
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 cup white whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup coconut oil
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-3 tablespoons non-dairy milk

-1/8 teaspoon lavender
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla
-1 tablespoon water

1. In a food processor, process the sugar, tea leaves, and salt. Add the flour and pulse. Then, Add coconut oil, vanilla, and milk to the flour mixture and continue to pulse until a dough starts to form.
2. Empty the mixture into a medium bowl and knead with your hands until the dough comes together. If the dough is dry, add more milk.
3. Roll the dough into a 12" log and wrap in plastic. Use the counter to shape the log into a straight edged rectangle. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment or a silpat.
5. Use a sharp knife to slice the log into 1/3" thick squares and place on the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack before icing.
6. For the icing, extract the lavender scent from the petals using a mortar and pestle or the back end of a spoon. Then, add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and water. Stir until a combined. To thicken: add more sugar, to thin: add more water. Spoon onto the tops of the cookies.

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Maira Gall