I really like to play around with flavors. Maybe that’s a symptom of our society, trying to come up with the next great flavor combination, the next Insta-worthy sensation. Some of them work, some of them don’t, and that’s okay. Part of the fun is the journey, possibly discovering something unexpected on the way.
Mom is less fascinated by my flavor experiments. She’d prefer to stick with the basics. Vanilla. Chocolate … er … carob. Cinnamon. Maybe ginger. Possibly pumpkin, if she’s in the right mood.
Black tea vanilla bean freaked her out a little. She likes black tea – it’s actually her favorite. And we’ve already established she’s a fan of vanilla. The idea not just of the two together combined with vanilla, but also the idea of eating tea instead of steeping and drinking it was a lot to process. And it might be for you too.
But stick with me. This flavor journey is one worth taking.
Pecan sandies on their own are such a classic. Butter and pecans are a perfect match. Okay, now I want butter pecan ice cream, but I digress. Vanilla is a natural fit. However, I did want to make something a little different and I was super inspired by tea when I saw it in the pantry.
The tea adds a subtle but complex flavor, kind of the same way drinking a cup of black tea with a sweet treat enhances and slightly changes the flavor. It’s a tea party all in one tiny cookie. A tiny cookie that happens to melt in your mouth with it’s crispy yet tender butteriness.
I hope you’ll play around with this fun flavor combination. Are there any other flavors you would like me to experiment with?Print
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean powder or paste
2 English breakfast tea bags
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans, chopped
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer will work too. Beat in the vanilla and the tea from the tea bags (yep – the tea leaves!) until very well combined. Stir in the flour, followed by the pecans, until just combined.
Divide the dough into two equal portions. Form each half into a log, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment. Carefully slice each log into pieces that are roughly ¼ inch thick. Bake about 20 minutes, until golden brown and quite firm. Cool completely on the pan before serving. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Recipe adapted from Angie Mosier via Food and Wine