Earl Grey Shortbread Squares

December 11, 2013

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.


  • 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)


I made these for friends and family, and I absolutely love them. I used tea bags instead of loose tea, because it’s what we had on hand. This recipe will be joining my recipe books as a new favorite, and I’m already planning to make them again. Thank you for sharing!

I can’t wait to try these!

(Alison, use Google! Type in: “one cup in ounces “(or what not), and let your computer do the translating!

Sorry to be a nuisance but I am desperate to make these, but I am useless at translating cup sizes to grams or pounds and ounces — can anyone help?

Thanks so much for this recipe – I just baked the cookies and they are wonderful! I love it that they are not too sweet, and how quick and easy they are to make. I used vegan buttery sticks due to cholesterol issues, and they turned out great. BTW, I used 4 tea bags since I did not have loose Earl grey at home. I will definitely be making these again!

Would it be fine to substitute tea bags instead of loose leaf tea, and simply cutting the bags open and collecting the proper amount of tea?

These have been part of my holiday cookie repertoire for the last 3-4 years, ever since I found the recipe on one of Martha Stewarts websites. I roll the dough in to a log, chill and slice. It’s so easy, and they are raved about by everyone who tries them. I’m so glad the word is spreading about this great combination!

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