Whether you call them Vegan Earl Grey Sugar Cookies or London Fog Cookies, all I can say is that these are my favorite SGTO cookie flavor yet! These chewy sugar cookies are speckled with vanilla bean and ground Earl grey tea leaves get brought to the next level with a vanilla bean glaze. YUM!
It has been a sugar cookie palooza over here at SGTO. What started as one recipe for my Vegan Funfetti Cookies has now turned into three additional sugar cookie recipes. We're talking Lemon Sugar Cookies, Matcha Sugar Cookies, Coffee Sugar Cookies, and of course the newest cookie to join the group- Earl Grey!
In contrast to my Earl Grey Cupcakes which use steeped tea for flavor, these cookies have actual tea leaves blended into the dough for the ultimate bergamot flavor.
Plus, I decided to add in a vanilla bean paste instead of extract to give these cookies an extra kick This makes them taste almost like an english tea in cookie form!
Steps to make earl grey cookies:
Like all my sugar cookie recipes, I kept these cookies super simple with only 9 ingredients (and only 8 if you use salted butter)!
Cream the butter, sugar, & tea
The first step to making all my sugar cookie recipes is to cream together the butter and sugar. Creaming helps to track air pockets within the dough that help it rise during the baking process.
The reason we add the tea leaves in at this time is that the best way to incorporate flavor into our cookie dough is through fat aka the vegan butter!
I like to grind up my earl grey tea ahead of time, but the creaming process also helps to break up the tea within the dough.
Mix in the remaining cookie ingredients
After creaming, add in the wet ingredients including the flax egg and vanilla bean paste and mix together.
Then add in the sifted dry ingredients including the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Just note- if you are using salted butter like Earth Balance, you really don't need extra salt in this recipe. Mix together until a thick dough forms, but do not overmix as you don't want tough cookies!
Chill the earl grey cookie dough
This earl grey cookie dough will be pretty sticky, which is one reason we add it to the fridge for 30 minutes- 1 hour to chill.
Chilling the dough also helps to prevent it from spreading too much while baking and ultimately leads to a better flavor in the dough.
Seriously, DO NOT skip this step. Clean the dishes, watch an episode of TV, or read a few chapters while you wait!
Roll cookie dough in sugr before baking
Now for my favorite step! I decided I wanted to make these cookies a bit larger than my normal sugar cookies, so I used a 3 Tbsp cookie scoop and measured each dough ball between 50-55 grams.
Then, I take each dough ball and use my palms to form it into a circle. Next, I roll it into a bowl of sugar. Rolling in sugar gives these cookies the best crackly top and also helps to prevent them from spreading too much! I first tried this step for my Lemon Sugar cookies and am obsessed with it now.
Then add each cookie dough to the baking sheet and press down lightly with your palms to flatten the cookie. Make sure there is at least 1-2 inches between each cookie dough ball as they will spread!
Bake the cookies
Finally, bake the cookies at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Please note, if you make smaller cookies, baking time will vary.
If your cookies are made using a 1.5 Tbsp cookie scoop, they likely only need 11-13 minutes of time in the oven. If smaller, probably 9-11.
The key to chewy sugar cookies is to remove them JUST when the centers set and are no longer raw/glossy, but still slightly undercooked. The cookies will continue to bake on the baking sheet out of the oven, so removing them at the right time helps them not over-bake.
As soon as the cookies are done, bang/tap the tray of cookies on the counter. This helps to deflate the cookies and give them that wrinkly texture!
How to make a simple vanilla bean glaze
To make a vanilla glaze you actually only need three ingredients: powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste, and plant-based milk.
From there, the most important step is to sift your powdered sugar. This way, no clumps form in the glaze. Once the powdered sugar is sifted, add in the vanilla bean paste and milk/water. Then use a whisk or fork to whisk it all together until a smooth, yet thick, glaze forms.
P.S- don't make the glaze too thin. It really needs to be THICK to not dissolve into the cookies and to harden as you see pictured.
FAQ & substitutions:
I used Tea Pigs earl grey tea and then ground it using my cocktail muddler (Just using what I have, ha!). You can also use a spice grinder which would probably be an easier way to grind the tea.
You can, but the texture won't be as chewy as intended. If you do, I HIGHLY recommend using maple sugar over coconut sugar because it is sweeter and lighter in color- aka more like cane sugar than coconut.
I personally find coconut sugar just doesn't taste great in sugar cookies, but it can work. Also, if you do use a sugar alternative, I would skip rolling the cookies in sugar prior to baking as it won't give the same effect and may ruin the texture.
I haven't tested it myself, but I've heard from readers that Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking flours work with my cookie recipes. Just know it will affect the overall look and texture of the final cookie.
Cookie Troubleshooting: Why are my cookies not chewy?
With cookies, even 1 Tbsp of flour can make a difference in the end result. That is why I ALWAYS recommend weighing flour with a scale for cookie recipes. The main reason cookies get too "fluffy" and not chewy is because there is too much flour in the dough.
The second reason? Your cookies baked too long.
Sometimes, this is user error and sometimes it's due to your oven running too hot! My biggest advice is to watch cookies closely and remove them as SOON as the centers are set, no longer glossy, yet slightly undercooked.
Once you remove the cookies, they will continue to cook on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, so if you truly want chewy cookies, remove them 1 minute earlier than you think.
I'm not going to lie, these Vegan Earl Grey Sugar Cookies will be hard to beat. They're just SO flavorful, SO chewy, and have the bonus of a vanilla glaze on top. Enjoy!
More SGTO vegan cookie recipes you will love:
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Vegan Earl Grey Sugar Cookies
Earl Grey Cookies:
- ½ cup vegan butter
- ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar ½ cup for dough, 2 Tbsp for rolling before baking
- 2 teaspoon earl grey tea leaves ground
- 1 flax egg 1 Tbsp (8 grams) ground flaxseed mixed with 3 Tbsp water, left to sit 5 minutes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp vanilla bean extract
- 1 cup+ 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt *only use if unsalted butter, otherwise omit
Vanilla Bean Glaze:
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 Tablespoon plant-based milk
- ½ cup powdered sugar must be sifted
- First add the butter, ½ cup of the sugar, and the ground earl grey tea to a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Then, add in the flax egg and vanilla bean paste and mix together about 10 more seconds.
- Next, add in sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the mixing bowl. Mix JUST until a smooth and thick cookie batter forms and no streaks of flour remain. Do not overmix or else you will form too much gluten and the cookies will not spread as much and be tough.
- Next, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, add to the fridge, and let chill for 30 minutes- 1 hour.
- Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F. Next, remove the dough from the fridge and separate into 50 gram balls (about 3 Tbsp per cookie). Roll into balls between your palms and then roll in the 2 Tbsp of sugar that was set aside so that each dough ball is coated.
- Place the lemon sugar cookie dough balls onto the baking sheet at least 2 inches apart since they will spread. Then, lightly press down each cookie with your palm to encourage spreading.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned and the cookie is cooked through but has slightly soft centers. The cookies will continue baking after they are removed from the oven so the centers should still be soft, but not glossy or raw, when they are removed from the oven.
- Remove the cookie tray from the oven and immediately tap the tray on the counter a few times to produce a more “wrinkly” cookie. Then, let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes. The cookies will be soft and puffy out of the oven and will naturally deflate a little while cooling becoming much chewier.
- While the cookies are cooling, make the vanilla glaze by adding the vanilla bean paste and plant based milk to a small bowl and mixing together. Then, gradually add in the powdered sugar and whisk together until a thick glaze forms. Drizzle the glaze on completely cooled cookies and let sit about 5 minutes to harden, then serve!
- For round cookies, swirl the warm cookies between a round pastry/cookie cutter while the cookies are still warm.
- Cookies can be stored on the counter at room temperature for 3-4 days. They can also be frozen up to 1 month and just need to defrost at room temperature before eating. Cookies can also be stored in a closed container in the fridge and will keep up to 2 weeks, but it will make them less chewy.
- If you are making smaller cookies, please adjust the cooking time. For a 1.5 Tbsp scoop cooking time is around 11-13 minutes. For smaller cookies than that, adjust cooking time accordingly.
- This cookie flavor is partly inspired by Sweet Simple Kitchen Earl grey cookies