Tea lovers, rejoice! There are lovely ways to savour your favourite tea in biscuit form. Whether your tastes lean toward delicate Earl Grey, fragrant jasmine, or warmly spiced chai, you’re sure to find some baking inspiration.
One lazy Sunday afternoon recently I took a simple shortbread recipe and, because I appear to be addicted at the moment, I incorporated the subtle taste of Earl Grey, set off with lemon.
This is a simple recipe but make sure you remember to get your butter to room temperature before you start making.
These are beautifully crumbly and, be warned, slightly addictive!
LEMON AND EARL GREY SHORTBREAD
200g unsalted butter – cubed and at room temperature
100g caster sugar
300g plain flour, sieved
Drop of vanilla essence
Zest of 1 – 2 lemons (I used two but I like zesty biscuits)
3 teaspoons of Earl Grey tea. I ground them slightly in a ramekin and added a large drop of hot water to the tea an hour before baking to bring out the bergamot.
Preheat oven to 160c
In a large mixing bowl, use an electric hand whisk (you can do it by hand but it will take a lot longer and you’ll need strong guns) to cream the butter and sugar together. It should look pale, smooth and lump free.
Add the lemon zest, vanilla and tea.
Now work in the flour very gently, taking care not to over work the gluten in the flour as this will affect the texture of your shortbread.
Using your hands, take the dough and work lightly into a ball with your palms. Now, I had problems with this, everything looked way too crumbly but just get it handle-able and onto your surface.
Now transfer to a dough board or flat surface, ‘bunch’ it all together and roll out to a 5mm thickness – you shouldn’t need to flour the surface but I found it useful to flour the rolling pin. It also helped me to separate the dough into two.
Using a cutter with perforated edge, cut out as many rounds as your dough will allow and transfer to your baking pan as you go (you may need a knife or palette knife to prize off your surface), then re-roll any leftover dough to repeat and avoiding waste. I actually ended up re-rolling out dough a few times and it didn’t affect the texture of the biscuits.
Arrange your rounds on a baking tray, sprinkle with sugar and now chill for 15 mins.
Bring them out of the fridge and put into the preheated oven to bake until they start turning golden (about 15-20 mins). It’s important you don’t cook at any higher than 160c as they’ll burn and the texture won’t be good.
I wonder how green tea and honey biscuits….just dreaming!!!