Like a Citrus Snickerdoodle: Chewy Earl Grey Sugar Cookies

A fellow baking enthusiast on Instagram was kind enough to draw my attention to Yossy Arefi's recipe for "Chewy Earl Grey Sugar Cookies" in The New York Times, mentioning that they seemed like something I would like. She was absolutely right and I immediately added them to my to-bake list. 

I used Earl Grey tea bags for the recipe. I cut open enough tea bags to yield a tablespoon of Earl Grey, added the tea to some butter, and heated the mixture until the butter started to bubble around the edges. After cooling the butter slightly, I transferred it to the bowl of my stand mixer; added brown sugar, salt, orange zest, and sugar; mixed in an egg and vanilla; and incorporated flour, baking powder, and baking soda. I used a #24 scoop to portion out the cookies (getting 19 cookies from a batch) and rolled each one in granulated sugar before baking.
My first pan of cookies didn't spread much in the oven, so I started flattening the dough with my hand before baking and I liked the results much better. In the photo above, you can raised ridges on some of the cookies that were created from the imprint of my fingers. I loved these cookies. Even though they didn't have any cream of tartar, they read to me like a snickerdoodle -- a hefty sugar cookie with a crisp exterior and chewy interior. 
I'm not certain if I would have been able to identify the Earl Grey as an ingredient just from tasting a cookie. I don't drink tea very often, but of course I'm very familiar with Earl Grey and I think that bergamot oil and Earl Grey have very distinctive flavors. But here where the tea was combined with orange zest, I thought it just came across as a general citrus flavor. I know that bergamot is a citrus fruit, but for some reason I have never thought of Earl Grey as citrusy; I've always considered it to be more floral in character. But however you might describe it, I thought this cookie was delicious.

Recipe: "Chewy Earl Gray Sugar Cookies" by Yossy Arefi, from The New York Times.