janet @ the taste space

Earl Grey Tea Shortbread Cookies, Revisited and Improved

In Desserts, Favourites on April 15, 2010 at 9:52 PM

I am new to food blogging, if you haven’t already noticed.  This blog is just over 6 months old (woohoo!) but sometimes I have questions. Like what should I do if I have a better version of something I already posted?  I’ll write a new post, for sure, but I would hate to mislead people into trying a different sub-par recipe when I have a better one! What to do with the older post? Write a disclaimer with a redirect to the new revised recipe? I think that sounds best, but let me know if you have better ideas.

The recipe I recreated was for the quite popular Earl Grey Tea Shortbread Cookies from Martha Stewart. Sorry, Martha, I have a better recipe. A hundred times better! They are subtly addictive, not overtly obvious with its prowess until you’ve munched on a few cookies.. or maybe that’s from the caffeine? 😉

This recipe came from the George Brown College Chef School, through Tastes of Tomorrow, their student cooking club. This is why you pay the big bucks for culinary school! Or the small bucks to go to their student club – a wonderful bargain if you ask me and blogTO (sadly I missed the frozen pastry demo and the one with Chef David Lee of Nota Bene restaurant).

Anyways, I didn’t tackle this recipe originally because I didn’t have a scale but bakers will tell you that weighing your ingredients is the best way to consistent results. Plus, the recipe is just plain better than Martha’s. Definitely pick up a scale just for this cookie. They can be found fairly cheap ($20) at kitchen supply stores, amazon, etc. Just make sure it measures to the gram (not rounded to the closest 5 g) and can weigh at least 5 kg.

A few other tips for optimal earl grey cookies I picked up from my last batch: the quality of your Earl Grey tea matters.  Instead of tea bags, I opted for Earl Grey Cream loose leaf tea from Tealish. Delicious as a tea with a hint of vanilla, and fabulous in the cookies. Plus, I loved the coarse sugar dancing on the outsides of the cookie. It added a burst of sweetness from an otherwise mild cookie.

This is my submission to this month’s Sugar High Fridays, hosted by Vampituity, featuring Personal Feats of Dessert (Recreated Failures).

Earl Grey Tea Shortbread Cookies, Revisited and Improved

150 g icing sugar
225 g unsalted butter, room temperature
3 g salt
3 g vanilla
1 egg, room temperature
375 g pastry flour (all-purpose was just fine)
3.5 g baking powder
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of a small lime
5 g earl grey tea (loose, crushed with rolling pin or coffee grinder to a fine powder)
1/2 cup coarse sugar

1. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add salt, vanilla and zests and continue beating.

2. Add egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl afterward.

3. Add tea leaves and mix together.

4. Sift together flour and baking powder and add to the mix. Blend dry ingredients into wet, only until just combined.

5. Transfer dough to a table dusted with flour and lightly shape into a tube shape. Divide into 4 pieces and roll each piece into 1-1/2 inch diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper and chill in fridge for an hour (or longer).

6. When ready to bake, dab logs with a bit of water and roll in coarse sugar.

7. Slice logs with knife (I used my Chef’s knife) into 1/4-inch slices.

8. Bake on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper or a silpat at 360F for ~12 minutes, or until a light golden colour.

Makes 50 cookies, possibly more!

  1. Yum these look awesome! I’ll save this recipe. =) I looove earl grey cream – so much better than regular earl grey. And I agree that it’s a good idea to put a disclaimer on an old recipe if you’ve found a new one that’s better.

  2. These shortbread cookies sound delicious. If you were to ask me, I like the look of these over the other ones you made too ;]

    The foods that the group of you guys (or gals, if you prefer) are making look yum. I’m not sure what you should do about your two recipes, but I like your disclaimer idea.

  3. Janet,

    Orange, lime and Earl Grey tea- Martha must be dumfounded- what an unusual and wonderful combination. There must be something about tea as a flavoring to “redeem” desserts. My only regret is that somehow the technology hasn’t come to pass yet where we can taste each others creations over the Web (some sort of magic equivalent to the set number of colors that can be viewed in HTML)…sigh. I adore shortbread- thanks to a few months spent in Scotland. Perhaps the Scots will be inspired! Thanks for your contribution to Sugar High Friday #65! -Rachel@Vampituity

  4. Lovely blog! Thanks for the useful information.

    This looks really tasty… I think I’m going to make it too!

  5. Do you think i could subsitute the pastry flour to wholemeal pastry flour?

  6. These look gorgeous and delicious. I recently had a minor success with tea infused scones, but I like this method of grinding up the tea rather than trying to infuse into a fat. Will definitely be making these soon!

  7. I am planning to try these. I make some chai spice cookies that are probably similar to these. These are lovely photos.

  8. I have made Martha’s recipe for these cookies many times and I have to say, the best Earl Grey tea for these is the Double-Bergamot Earl Grey from Stash. It produces uber flavorful and spectacularly fragrant wonderful little gems.

  9. can someone repost this using cups, teaspoons, and tablespoons?
    i’m trying to convert it myself but i want to make sure it’s correct before i start…

  10. […] says ‘I love you‘ better than a healthy, tasty meal, right? Or is it just me? While I do enjoy desserts, I am more likely to fawn over mangoes, raspberries, pomegranate molasses, baked […]

  11. […] yet. I made the Key Lime Meltaways last year for Christmas. It took me nearly a year to post all my cookies from my holiday baking escapades, and one vegan cookie that wasn’t worthy of being […]

  12. You are a genius! These are truly delicious. I’ve baked them twice already and we can’t get enough. They make the kitchen smell divine, too. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Thanks for telling me about your success, Anna! I am happy to share such a wonderful recipe. 🙂

      • I forgot to add that they’re even better the next day! One of my favorite recipes of all time. 🙂

  13. Yum! I’m going to try these for a tea party. Can I make the dough ahead and freeze it for a few days before baking?

    Also I second the conversion to cups and spoons–I’m not yet pro enough for a scale!

    Thank you 🙂

    • Hey Annie, I definitely think this dough could be frozen ahead of time. Or chilled if it will only be a day or 2.

      • Great, thanks! and it occurs to me that we could call these Lady Grey cookies, because of the brilliant addition of citrus…

  14. I just made these for a friend’s birthday (which is tomorrow). They are DELICIOUS. It’s going to be so hard not to eat them all! They are really light. I didn’t have a lime to zest so I left it out, but they are lovely and citrus-y with just the orange. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  15. […] tea flavor and vanilla. I’ll be making the ice cream again and will accompany them with some earl grey tea shortbread cookies. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  16. […] Despite both having similar ingredients, I preferred the recipe from Food52 (pictured above). It produced a cookie that was more airy but firm at the same time. Martha’s cookie from Everyday Food (September 2009) was more dense and the cornmeal added a different texture (pictured below). I also made bigger cookies with Martha’s recipe. Don’t get me wrong, they are both nice cookies, and a great alternative on a cookie platter. However, if you have a choice, shun Martha. I actually have no problems shunning Martha, because when I battled her Earl Grey Tea Shortbread cookies, her recipe was the loser. By a long shot. […]

  17. Love the recipe…do you have any conversions for grams to ounces or cups?

  18. […] try out, since his 50th birthday was conveniently a month before Christmas.  I found the recipe on Taste Space but had to convert several of the ingredients from grams to teaspoons/cups, most of which […]

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