These Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies are buttery, crumbly and the perfect double treat for shortbread and Earl Grey tea lovers alike!
Earl Grey Tea is a favourite of mine, so this week I thought of baking something that pairs perfectly with Earl Grey Tea - Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies! These tea-infused cookies are buttery, crumbly, and all an Earl Grey tea and Shortbread Biscuit lover needs at tea time.
These fragrant Earl Grey Shortbread biscuits are a take on the classic shortbread. They only require 6 ingredients, 15 minutes of hands-on time, 30 minutes of refrigeration time, and under 15 minutes of baking!
What is Shortbread?
Shortbread is a type of biscuit that originates from Scotland, known for its crumbly and buttery texture. It is typically made using a 3:2:1 ratio by weight of flour, butter, and sugar.
Shortbread cookie dough needs to be chilled for at least 30 minutes, and requires a short baking time (10-15 minutes, depending on thickness). If the dough is chilled, the cookies retain their shape during baking.
Ingredients and Variations
This Earl Grey Shortbread recipe requires just 6 ingredients, most of which are probably in your pantry or refrigerator right now!
Before we head on to the ingredients, I must really stress the importance of weighing your ingredients, especially for this recipe. The perfect shortbread cookie dough relies on an accurate flour to butter to sugar ratio of 3:2:1 ratio by weight. Therefore, the use of proper weighing scales is a must here!
Flour - The ideal flour for shortbread is plain, all-purpose flour. However, cake flour works just as well if you don't have AP flour at hand.
Butter - One secret to a rich shortbread cookie is good quality softened room temperature unsalted butter.
Sugar - Use granulated or caster sugar for these cookies.
Earl Grey Tea - For these biscuits, you will need the contents of 2-3 Earl Grey teabags, according to your taste. You can also use 2-3 tsp. of loose-leaf tea instead, but I suggest finely grounding it before using it. I prefer using teabags here since the contents are usually finely ground and blend in well into the dough.
Salt - Although this is not a typical ingredient used in shortbread, just a pinch will help balance the sweetness of these cookies.
Vanilla Extract - A little bit of vanilla extract goes a long way for flavoring shortbread, and it also pairs beautifully with the Earl Grey tea flavor. It's fine to leave out vanilla extract if it's not available, too.
How to Make Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
- Make the Shortbread Dough
Beat butter and sugar together in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until pale and fluffy.
Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients (flour, Earl Grey tea leaves, salt) and mix until a soft dough is formed.
Divide the dough into 2 and place each part on a piece of plastic wrap.
Form each dough piece into a log or a rectangular block. Alternatively, you can chill the dough without forming it into a log and roll it out later.
- Chill the Dough
Wrap each block of dough in cling film and chill for 30 mins to 1 hour. You can chill shortbread dough up to overnight.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 175°C (350F) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the Cookies
Once chilled, place dough on a cutting board, unwrap the cling film, and using a sharp knife, slice each log into ¼ to ½" (approx 1 cm) slices.
If the dough is not shaped into a log, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into an even thickness of ¼ to ½". Cut out dough using a cookie cutter, or slice it into fingers.
Place each cookie slice on the baking sheet, allowing a ½" space between each one.
Bake in a preheated oven for 10-13 minutes, or until the edges start to turn slightly golden brown. Baking time depends on the thickness of your cookie dough.
- Cool & Serve!
The earl grey cookies will be extremely soft when just out of the oven but will harden as they cool down, so make sure to allow at least 5-10 minutes before removing them from the baking sheet. Then, transfer to a cooling rack to finish off cooling. Serve with a cup of tea!
Tips for the Best Buttery Shortbread Cookies
- Weigh your ingredients using digital kitchen scales. It's important to ensure an accurate 3:2:1 shortbread ingredient ratio.
- Chill the dough - do not skip this step! Chilling solidifies the butter and prevents the cookies from spreading too much. It will also make it easier to slice or cut. 30 minutes of chill time is enough, but you can even chill the dough overnight.
- Use unsalted, softened butter. Butter should be softened to room temperature, but not melted.
- Make sure to cream the butter and sugar very well. The best way to do so is by using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until the mixture looks pale and fluffy.
How to Serve Earl Grey Shortbread Biscuits
Serve these earl grey biscuits during afternoon tea with a nice cup of black tea, coffee, or cocoa.
If you like, you can drizzle these cookies with an easy lemoan glaze (using powdered and some lemon juice).
These cookies are great on their own as a daytime snack, too!
Store baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
These cookies can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight before serving.
Yes! The cookie dough for these earl grey shortbread biscuits can be made up to one day ahead and chilled overnight.
Chilling the dough is one of the secrets to achieve great-tasting perfect shortbread. Chilling solidifies the butter and prevents the cookies from spreading too much, whilst ensuring the best, buttery, crumbly taste!
Whilst you can use loose leaf tea, make sure that this is finely ground (or use a blender to ground the leaves if they are too large). Finely ground tea leaves blend better than larger tea leaves to create a smooth dough.
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Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
- 250 g all-purpose flour (2 cups)
- 2-3 Earl Grey teabags or 2-3 tsp. finely ground loose Earl Grey tea leaves
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 167 g unsalted butter softened (approx. ¾ cup)
- 82 g granulated sugar (½ cup minus 1 tbsp.)
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- Sift flour and salt. Cut open 2-3 earl grey tea bags and stir contents into flour and salt mixture.
- Place sugar and softened butter into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and creamy (1-2 mins). Add vanilla extract and mix for another 30 seconds/
- Add dry ingredients and mix until dough is formed.
- Divide dough in half. Place each part of cookie dough on a cut piece of cling film and form into a log or rectangular block. Wrap in cling film, transfer to refrigerator and chill for 30 min to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350F) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Transfer chilled dough logs to a cutting board, unwrap, and slice into ¼ to ½" (approx 1 cm) slices. Transfer each slice onto baking sheet, spaced ½" apart.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes or until edges are slightly golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes on baking sheet (cookies will be very soft when still hot but will harden as they cool), then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.