So I broke out the chai spices, the black tea, and got to work with my bench scraper. The recipe that I used for my cookies was decent, but not the best. The cookies didn't have near as much flavor as I was hoping for, even though I added extra spices, vanilla bean, and a few teaspoons of ground tea leaves to the dough. I only chilled the dough for an hour because I was pressed for time, so if I were to try it again I would definitely let it sit for 24 hours to help the flavors develop more. I also suggest melting the Earth Balance, steeping chai tea in it, and then allowing it to cool & resolidify before making the shortbread dough.
After your dough is chilled, you roll it out like any other cut out cookie dough. You have a few options of the cutting process. You could either trace a tea bag on a bit of parchment and cut it out to use as a template or free hand the process. I went for the latter option. You can use a knife, but I found a bench scraper to be the easiest tool to work with. After cutting each tea bag, I poked a hole in the top with a Wilton #5 round tip. I did this largely because I was worried that the cookies would swell a bit after baking and my string would not fit through the holes. If you have thin baker's twine, than you can easily get away with a #3 or #4 if you want them to look a bit daintier.
After baking, I dipped the cookies in dark chocolate thinned with a teaspoon of coconut oil. I threaded my string through the holes and made tags with a bit of fancy paper I had left over from some other craft project.
Overall I definitely think these cookies were a success. They didn't taste exactly like I wanted them too, but their cute factor was an overwhelming win at her going away party. Do you like getting really crafty in the kitchen or do you prefer straight forward baking? Have you seen any other adorable baked goods lately?