Today is one of those gloomy, rainy days in SF. I love these days because it makes me feel cozy and relaxed at home. On days like this, I love to snuggle up under a blanket with a hot cup of tea and read a book. I wanted to create something that captures that feeling so I made these lemon earl grey shortbread cookies. I love how these cookies have the subtle flavors of lemon and earl grey tea, a classic flavor combination that I continually come back to. These cookies also make use of pantry staples, so they are the perfect baking activity during quarantine.
- Powdered (confectioners) sugar – Powdered sugar is a must for these cookies because it makes them soft and tender.
- Butter – I used unsalted butter for this recipe. It’s important to use unsalted butter because it helps you control the amount of salt in your recipe.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract adds flavor to the cookies. A better substitute would be vanilla paste because it has more concentrated flavor. Substitute in a 1:1 ratio – 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract for 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste.
- Salt – Brings out the flavor of the other ingredients.
- Lemon juice & lemon zest – This recipe calls for juice and zest of 1 lemon. This equals 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Flour – I used all purpose flour for this recipe.
- Earl grey tea – Make sure to pulverize this look lead tea into powder form. I used cream of earl grey which is earl grey tea with vanilla. I like it better because the vanilla adds extra flavor to the tea.
Tools you will need
- 2 baking sheets – You want 2 baking sheets, so you don’t crowd the cookies onto one.
- 2 silicone mats – I use a silicone mat because I don’t have great surfaces to roll out dough. The great thing about a silicone mat is that the dough doesn’t stick to it like it does other surfaces, so it’s easy to punch out the cookies.
- Cookie Cutter – I used a biscuit cutter for my cookies, but a cookie cutter or cup works as well. Feel free to get creative with your shapes!
- 2 mixing bowls (1 big and 1 medium sized) – One for wet ingredients and one for dry ingredients.
- 1 spatula or wooden spoon
- 1 spice grinder – The purpose of a spice grinder is to pulverize your earl grey tea into powder form. This spice grinder that I have is easily my favorite tool in the kitchen, and I use it way more than I thought I would.
Making these earl grey shortbread cookies
The first step to making this recipe is combining all your wet ingredients. This would be butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Make sure your butter is softened before adding the other ingredients. Combine with a spatula or wooden spoon. Next in a separate bowl combine the flour and powdered earl grey tea. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until just combine. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Roll out the dough onto a silicone mat until it is 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the silicone mat onto a baking sheet and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Repeat with the other half of the dough. While the dough is resting, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare 2 baking sheets by covering them with parchment paper. Once it has rest for 30 minutes, use a cookie cutter that is 2.5 inches in diameter to cut your dough into the desired shape. After you cut out your first batch of cookies, combine the remaining dough, and roll it out to make more cookies. Place the cookies onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes until the edges turn a golden color. Cool the cookies for 10 minutes before serving.
Alternative method for making the dough
I used a spatula to make my dough, but an alternative method is to use a food processor or stand mixer. The best part of this method is that you simply put everything into the food processor or stand mixer, and you let it do the work for you. First add the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Then add the dry ingredients and mix until a soft dough forms. The rest of the recipe is the same. In addition to being simple, this method requires less clean up.
Tips for making the perfect lemon earl grey shortbread cookies
- Roll out the dough prior to resting it in the fridge – The reason I rolled out the dough first before resting it in the fridge is because the dough is easier to work with before it goes into the fridge. In addition, the cookies hold their shape better if you punch them out while the dough is cold.
- Why I use a silicone mat – I used a silicone mat because it’s easy to roll out the dough on the surface, it makes it easy to transfer the dough onto a baking sheet for resting, and the cookies don’t stick when I transfer them onto another baking sheet for baking.
- What to do if your dough gets too warm – When I was cutting the cookies, there were moments when the dough got too warm. Like I mentioned, they bake better when they’re cold. If this happens, put the cookies back in the fridge for 10 minutes to cool down the dough before continuing to work with it.
Did you make these lemon earl grey shortbread cookies?
If you made this dish, I would love to see!
Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp loose leaf earl grey tea powdered
- Combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt in a bowl. Mix until well incorporated
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and powdered earl grey tea.
- Combine the wet ingredients from step 1 with the dry ingredients from step 2 until a soft dough forms.
- Divide the dough in half. Roll out each piece onto a silicone mat until it is 1/8 an inch thick. Make sure to flour the silicone mat, dough, and rolling pin to prevent sticking.
- Transfer the silicone mat onto a baking sheet. Rest dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare 2 baking sheets by covering them with parchment paper.
- After 30 minutes, take out the dough from the fridge. Use a cookie cutter that is 2.5 inches in diameter to cut out your cookies. After you cut out your first batch of cookies, combine the remaining dough, and roll it out to make more cookies.
- Place cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes until the edges start to turn a golden color.
- Cool cookies for 10 minutes before serving.