Have your tea and eat it too with this incredible cookie recipe by Bee Berrie from her recipe book Bee’s Brilliant Biscuits!
Makes 4–5 depending on size
- 1 batch Vanilla Sugar Cookie dough (recipe to make this below)
- 2 tsp good-quality teabag contents or finely ground tea leaves
- butter, for greasing
- plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
- 150g/5½oz plain (semisweet) or milk chocolate, broken into small pieces, for lining the mug
- Royal Icing
- a mug of chilled tea, either iced fruit tea, cold brew tea (leave your teabag in a mug of cold water overnight then add milk and/or sugar to taste), or iced coffee also works
- You will also need:
- The bottom part of a metal cocktail shaker or an
oven-safe mug, e.g. enamel
- Baking beads
(or uncooked rice/lentils)
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Make the dough according to the method below, adding the 2 teaspoons loose tea together with the vanilla and egg. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Generously grease the inside of the cocktail shaker or mug at least two-thirds the way up with butter.
- Once your dough is chilled, roll out a long rectangular shape on a lightly floured surface to about 7–8 mm/¼in thick. Cut out a round disc the same size as the inside of the base of the cocktail shaker or mug – this needs to fit snugly but evenly inside, so push it down all the way to the bottom.
- Using the mug as a guide, cut a long thin strip about 10–12cm/4–4½in tall from the dough, this will form the walls of your mug. The strip needs to be long enough to fit all the way around the inside of the shaker or mug so start long and trim it once you know it definitely fits.
- Carefully roll the strip of dough up into a spiral, like a carpet, and insert it into the mug, pressing down so the bottom edge connects with the disc in the bottom.
- Using your fingertips, carefully unravel the coil of dough, making sure that the edges are even, and that the bottom disc is sealed in place. Smooth out any lumps or bumps with your fingers then cut the dough with a sharp knife at the point that the 2 ends start to overlap. Make sure that the join between the 2 edges of dough is squished together.
- Make a mug handle or two out of all the dough trimmings. Try a couple of different designs, one big and one smaller, so you have a choice once they are baked. Set aside on the lined baking tray.
- Next, push a large piece of clingfilm a little way down inside the dough-lined mould. Add some baking beans, uncooked rice or lentils, pushing them down to make sure that the cookie dough stays mug shaped while it is baking. Without these, the cookie will collapse. Gather the top of the clingfilm up around the beans to seal it and chill or, better still, freeze it for 20 minutes. Chill or freeze the handles as well.
- Preheat the oven to 175°C/347°F/Gas mark 4.
- Bake the mould, including the beans, for 10–12 minutes until the top of the mug is starting to brown. Carefully remove the bean package, and bake for another 5 minutes to seal the dough inside. Bake the handles at the same time for about 7–10 minutes.
- Cool the cookie in the mug on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then, once it is at room temperature, gently tap the cookie out. Allow the handles to cool.
- Attach the cooled handles to the body of the cooled mug with a generous dot of royal icing.
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Pour 2–3 tablespoons of the melted chocolate into the mug and turn it this way and that until a good solid seal is made on the inside – this needs to be water (or tea) tight. You can use a pastry brush dipped in the chocolate to seal any gaps, if you need to. Allow to cool.
- When cool, pour yourself a nice cup of chilled tea, and enjoy! Don’t hold your full mug just by the handle, as it may not be strong enough to support the weight!
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
How to make Vanilla Sugar Cookie dough:
- 140g/5oz/scant ²⁄³ cup cold salted butter, cut into pieces
- 280g/10oz/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 140g/5oz/scant ¾ cup caster (superfine) or soft brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Using your fingertips, crush the butter and flour together in a large bowl until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar (and any of your optional additions) and mix with a wooden spoon until it is just combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until a fairly firm dough forms – it will be slightly sticky to the touch.
From Bee’s Brilliant Biscuits by Bee Berrie, published by Pavilion. Photography credit to Haarala Hamilton