Earl Grey Dipper Biscuits
2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea leaves (previously steeped is perfectly OK)
⅓ cup organic granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of sea salt
½ cup room-temperature butter, cut into pieces
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup raw sugar
Spread out the tea leaves in a small skillet over medium heat and toast until fragrant (2–3 minutes). Toss the toasted leaves into the bowl of a food processor. Cool slightly. Add granulated sugar to the bowl, along with the vanilla bean seeds (stick the pod in your sugar bowl!), and orange zest. Pulse the ingredients together to get a fine, speckled powder. Add the cinnamon, confectioners’ sugar, flour, and salt. Pulse again to combine. Add the butter and cream and pulse to form a rough dough.
Spread an 18-inch piece of parchment paper on a flat surface and sprinkle half of the raw sugar around it. Turn dough out onto prepared sheet and shape it into a 9-inch log with a 3-inch diameter. Gently press down on the top of the log so that a cross-section will be more oval than round. This makes the finished cookies better suited for dipping. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup raw sugar over the top of the log. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350º. Line two baking sheets with silicon mats. Slice chilled dough into ⅓-inch slices and place on prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until edges begin to brown slightly, (10–12 minutes). Cool on pans for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.