You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. – C. S. Lewis

13_cremeThanks so much to everyone who came out to Teas Me! We very much enjoyed NOT pouring boiling water in your laps though the melted cups did come close. As promised, here are the recipes Lia used to make both the delicious cookies AND the ice cream.

Vanilla Rooibos Cookies
Makes 36

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons rooibos tea leaves (about 5 tea bags)
1 vanilla bean, whole, ends trimmed, cut into segments (just double extract instead?)
1 ¼ cup flour
¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons milk
½ cup unsalted butter
1 ½ tablespoon turbinado sugar

Heat a small stainless steel pan over medium heat. When pan is hot, add rooibos leaves, and shake pan to distribute tea into a single layer. Toast for about 2 minutes, until tea is fragrant but not darkened. Depending on your leaves, this may happen much more quickly; watch it carefully. When leaves are fragrant, transfer them to a bowl and let cool for a couple minutes.
Combine the sugar, vanilla bean, and rooibos in the bowl of a food processor and pulse for about 2 minutes, until there are no chunks of bean left in the bowl. Add the powdered sugar, flour, and salt to the bowl and pulse a few times to combine. Then add the milk, vanilla, and butter and pulse several times, until a dough forms.
Turn dough onto a very lightly floured surface, gather it together, and roll it gently into a log 1.5-inches in diameter.
Sprinkle turbinado sugar on a plate or work surface, and roll cookie dough log in the sugar, making sure to cover the entire surface of the log with sugar. Wrap log in plastic or wax paper and transfer to the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes to chill. (You can leave the log in the freezer and slice off cookies one by one, whenever the urge strikes.)
When ready to bake, turn on the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat.
Remove the log from fridge or freezer, and cut 1/3-inch slices off the log, rotating the log as you go to ensure that cookie slices stay round. Transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between each (they don’t really spread, but they need breathing room to crisp up). Bake for 12 minutes, until cookies are just starting to brown. Leave on the cookie sheet to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks.
Cookies will keep in an airtight container for several days.

Earl Grey Ice Cream

1 cup whole milk
2 cups half and half (or 1 cup heavy cream & 1 cup half and half)
¾ cup sugar
6 Earl Grey tea bags
5 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, warm the milk, half and half, and sugar over medium-heat, stirring occasionally. Once the milk is steaming (but not boiling), remove pan from heat. Place the tea bags into the pan, cover and steep at room temperature for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove tea bags, then return to medium-heat.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla until frothy. Once the milk mixture is re-warmed, add 2 Tbsp. of the hot milk mixture to the eggs, and quickly whisk in until combined. Repeat 2-3 more times with more of the milk mixture, then gradually pour in the remainder of the milk mixture into the egg yolks and whisk quickly until combined.
Return the new milk/egg mixture to the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan constantly until the mixture thickens to a custard and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Immediately strain through a fine-mesh strainer, and then refrigerate until completely cooled (at least 6-8 hours). Then freeze with an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

The teas used for the ice creams were Jasmine Mint Green and Creme de la Earl Grey from Townshend’s Tea. See some of you tonight at alt+library book club! Next event – alt+fitness, every first Saturday at McKinley Library.



  1. James

    I’m not sure this collection of amazing recipes is complete without the lemonade used for that pitcher of Arnold Palmer…

    (It was oh-so difficult to not make that plural – how man Arnold Palmers fit in a standard pitcher?)

    • alt library

      How could we forget?! Look for another post about lemonade and herb garden mixology soon–but in the meantime here’s the recipe: Basil Lemonade Make sure to click through to the Basil Lemon Syrup for the good stuff. Thanks for the reminder!

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