The holidays for me are all about cookies.  These shortbread cookies are perfectly buttery and crumbly. I changed up the classic shortbread by infusing them with fragrant Earl Grey tea leaves and orange zest. Earl Grey tea is scented with bergamot, a type of citrus, so the hint of orange zest is the perfect addition to this cookie. These cookies couldn’t be easier to make for gift-giving too. This recipe makes at least 4 dozen small shortbread squares. I cut the cookies into squares so I could package them into a checkerboard pattern with Ghirardelli SQUARES chocolate. They’re both the perfect treat to enjoy with a cup of hot coffee or tea!

Earl grey shortbreads 8

Photography shot with the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 digital SLR camera. Small in size, enormous in performance.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons of loose leaf Earl Grey tea
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 2/3 cup of all purpose flour

Earl grey shortbread 1

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and orange zest until light. Place tea in a zip lock bag and using a rolling pin or heavy pan crush the leaves into fine granules. You can also use a food processor to do this. Add to the butter and mix until incorporated. Fold in cornstarch, then flour one cup at a time. Dump out onto plastic wrap and form into disk and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.

Earl grey shortbread 2

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Roll out onto a floured surface about 1/4 inch thick. Using  a square cutter cut square cookies. Place onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until pale golden.

Earl grey shortbread 3

Cookies are fragile so remove with a spatula and transfer to a rack to cool.

Earl grey shortbreads 9

Package with Ghirardelli SQAURES . . .

Earl grey shortbread 5

Tie with some festive red and white baker’s twine and give these delicious cookies to someone special!

Earl grey shortbreads

(images by HonestlyYUM)