This is our new cookie for the month of March, a buttery Sifted Spelt cookie flavoured with Earl Grey tea leaves and a bright, lemon marmalade. These flavours hint at the beginnings of Spring.
Earl Grey Lemon Cookie
2 1/4 cup (320 g) Flourist Sifted Spelt Flour
1 tbsp loose Earl Grey tea leaves (if tea leaves are large, use a mortar and pestle to grind finer)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup (225 g) butter, softened
2/3 cup (135 g) sugar
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp buttermilk
1 cup lemon marmalade (recipe to follow)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Stir together flour, tea leaves, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla and continue beating until well combined, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
Add half the flour mixture and beat on low, drizzling in the buttermilk. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until just combined. Increase the speed and beat until the the dough begins to clump together. Scrape the bowl down and fold dough a few times. Divide into two equal balls, flatten into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
Generously flour the surface of a silicone baking mat or parchment paper to prepare for rolling and cutting (this avoids transferring the rolled cookies and potentially distorting their shape). Dust both sides of a disk of dough and a rolling pin with flour. Working quickly, roll dough until slightly thicker than 1/8 inch. Slide the mat or parchment paper onto a baking sheet and chill in freezer until firm, about 10 minutes. If the dough ever gets sticky or soft while rolling, place in freezer to chill. Repeat process with second disk of dough.
Flour two cookie cutters, one larger and one smaller. Use the larger cookie cutter on one of the rolled out dough sheets to cut out the bottoms of the cookie. Gather excess dough, chill, roll and repeat. Carefully spread out the cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart and place tray of cookies in the freezer to firm up. If the cookies are ever too soft to move, place in freezer to chill slightly.
To make the cookie tops, repeat previous steps with remaining dough disk, using the larger cookie cutter. Then use the smaller cutter to cut a 'window'. Chill cookie tops and count to make sure you have equal numbers of tops and bottoms.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. The cookie tops (windows) will bake faster. Cool for a few minutes and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Sprinkle icing sugar over the cookie tops (windows). Spread a thin layer of marmalade (see note below) on the cookie bottoms, leaving a thin border from the edge. Carefully place the confectioners' sugar dusted cookie on top.
Note: If the marmalade has been made beforehand, it will need to be warmed up in a microwave or over the stove to loosen slightly.
4 cups (1000 g) water
6 cups (1200 g) sugar
Chill a small plate in the freezer, you will use this to check whether your marmalade has set. Wash lemons and remove the top 'button'.
Peel off the rinds of the lemons, cut them in half and juice them. Collect the seeds and juiced lemons into a cheesecloth bag (the seeds and lemon pith contain pectin that will help to set the marmalade). Add lemon juice, rinds, water and cheesecloth bag into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until skins are tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove cheesecloth bag and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the bag over the saucepan to release the pectin. Discard the cheesecloth bag and contents.
Add sugar and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has completely dissolved. Simmer for about 20 minutes. To test the setting point, drop a little spoonful of marmalade onto the chilled saucer, allow it to cool for 1 minute and then gently push it with your finger. If the marmalade wrinkles, the setting point is reached. If not, continue cooking and test again in a few minutes.
Cool marmalade, blend until smooth and strain. Use immediately for cookies or reserve for later use.