As I’ve mentioned repeatedly on this site, making cookies around the holidays is one of my very favorite things. I can’t remember the last year I attended fewer than 2 December cookie swaps (I think it was before I moved to the Berkshires), which is fine with me because I’ll take any excuse to bake. One of my go-to recipes when I want to bring something unique to a cookie swap are these Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies.
In the event that you’re not swapping, these cookies are still awesome. Everyone I’ve ever made them for has been impressed, but they’re really quite simple. My favorite way to enjoy these cookies is with a cup of tea, but they’re also great with ice cream, hot chocolate or all by themselves.
There are other Earl Grey cookie recipes on the internet, but this one holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the first recipes I saved from the blog that inspired this site. Way back in 2008, my friend Allie had a food blog called A Food Coma. That site made me realize that I could become a food blogger as well. Though Allie’s site is long gone, her recipes live on in my kitchen. I’ve made some adjustments based on the methods that I’ve found worked best for me during the many times I’ve made these cookies. Earlier this week, I made three batches for my first swap of the season. I can’t wait to show them off.
Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup white flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tablespoon loose leaf Earl Grey finely ground
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, roughly cubed
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flours, sugar, salt and tea.
- Add the butter and vanilla to the mixer and mix until a dense dough forms (see the image above). I find that this can take minute or two, even with room temperature butter.
- Shape the dough into a disc about 1 inch thick, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for about half an hour. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out to around 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to make shapes, or a pizza cutter.
- Transfer the cut shapes to an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned.
- Allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Note: This recipe can also be made without a stand mixer, using a hand mixer, a pastry blender or your hands. It will just take a bit more work to get all the butter to fully incorporate.