Kristina, who is a fabulous blogger and crafter, told me about the GIANT food blogger cookie swap happening this year. Julie of The Little Kitchen and Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil collaborated on organizing one of the largest cookie swaps ever, with over 22,000 cookies being mailed out! I really wanted to be a part of something that big! It was such fun to develop a recipe, come up with some cute packaging and send out a dozen cookies to each of these fabulous bloggers: Bibberche, Snack Time Munchies, and Sorelle e Cibo. In return, I received some chocolate biscotti dipped in peppermint candy from Shannon The Cookie Monster, some sprinkled chocolate thumbprint cookies from Natalie of Oven Love, and I also received some great hazelnut cookies, but I'm not sure who they were sent by!
I am a huge fan of tea, which you may already know, so I am constantly coming up with things into which I might incorporate tea flavors. This recipe idea came to me from a Food and Wine Magazine recipe for Green Tea Sables. My recipe is a little more complicated, though, because with Earl Grey, you have to steep the tea into the butter to infuse the flavor. I feel it's definitely worth the extra effort! The Bergamot in the Earl Grey gives these buttery cookies just the slightest floral note, perfect for an afternoon snack.
Earl Grey Shortbreads
Yield: 36 Cookies
3 Sticks of Butter, at Room Temperature
3-1/2 Tablespoons of Loose Leaf Earl Grey Tea
2-1/2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
1-1/4 Cups of Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon of Salt
In a saucepan, put in the 3 sticks of butter and melt on low, careful not to let it boil. When the butter has completely melted, add in the tea. Remove from the heat. Let the tea steep in the butter for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Line a dish with plastic wrap and pour in the melted butter through a fine mesh sieve. Press the the tea leaves to squeeze out any remaining butter. Place the strained butter in the fridge and let cool until solid. (This can be made ahead.) Remove the butter from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. In a mixer, whip the room temperature butter until light and fluffy on high speed. Add in, slowly, the sugar. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Next, with the mixer on slow, add in the flour mixture. Continue mixing until the butter mixture is incorporated into the dry. Remove from the mixing bowl and bring together two disks. Wrap in plastic and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 325. Remove your dough and roll out the mixture on a lightly floured surface to approximately 1/4 inch. The dough will be slightly crumbly, but as you roll it out, it should begin to stick together. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 inch by 2 inch strips. Place on a greased cookie sheet or a silicone baking mat with about 3/4 inch space around each cookie. Bake for approximately 14-16 minutes. The cookies will be just very, very slightly golden at the corners. Let them cool completely before removing them from the cookie sheet.