240 grams (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
115 grams (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) sugar
1 tablespoon finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
120 grams (1 cup) icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste, or the seeds of half of a vanilla bean pod
Earl Grey tea leaves, for decoration
Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, rice flour, and salt. Set aside.
Place the butter and sugar in a stand mixer bowl.
Cream on medium speed for two minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the ground Earl Grey tea and vanilla and mix again.
Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until small pebbles form. Turn the mixer up to medium and mix until large pebbles form or the dough starts to come together. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl. Use your hands to shape the dough into a flattened ball.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/2 centimeter thick. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out cookies and gently place them about five centimeters apart on the lined baking sheets. Continue to re-roll dough scraps and cut out cookies until all the dough has been used.
Place the baking sheets in the refrigerator or freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to chill the cookies prior to baking. You can bake them directly after rolling them, but they may spread a little or end up with more air bubbles.
While the unbaked cookies are chilling, preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C). Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the cookies are slightly golden but still quite pale in colour. Cool completely before icing.
Icing, and to finish the cookies:
Whisk together the icing sugar, milk, and vanilla paste or seeds. Dip each cooled cookie face down in the icing. Lay them flat, using your finger to catch any drips. Sprinkle with a few Earl Grey tea leaves and leave to set.