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.
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!