London Fog Shortbread

earl grey shortbread 1

I’m a little late to the party with this one, but it’s OK if you show up late and bring cookies.

We talked about tea last week on CBC, and its flavouring potential, especially when baking with it. One of my favourite combinations is Earl Grey, butter and sugar in a sandy-sweet shortbread, but I don’t like the little hard bits you wind up with when you stir dry tea leaves into baked goods, especially something like shortbread that doesn’t contain any liquid to plump it up. I happened to have just made a batch of crème brûlée, steeping the cream first with Earl Grey, and decided to use the exhausted tea leaves in the shortbread.

earl grey shortbread 2

Opening them up first not only helps them release more flavour, but softens them, eliminating those nasty bits. You can then blitz the soft leaves with the butter and sugar in the food processor, obliterating them further. This is not only a great way to flavour cookies and cakes and ice cream and anything else you want to infuse with your favourite tea, but a way to recycle the tea leaves you just used to steep a pot, which are still good for something. (If you don’t happen to have just made a pot of tea or a batch of crème brûlée, you could just open up the leaves with a splash of hot water in a small dish. Same diff.)

Oh hey! I know I keep telling you about this new web redesign I’m working on, and I haven’t been lying, I just hadn’t found the right person yet. But I think I have, and we’re having a planning meeting on Monday, and I wanted to ask you what you’d like to see here, since this is your space after all. My priorities are design and recipe search functionality, but I’m open to any and all ideas and suggestions, and I’d love to hear what websites you love to read/look at/use, whether they’re food blogs or not. Thanks!!

London Fog Shortbread

  

March 8, 2015

If your tea leaves are already exhausted, don’t worry about softening them with boiling water.

  • Makes: Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. loose Earl Grey tea leaves

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

Directions

1Preheat the oven to 325?F.

2If you’re starting with dry tea leaves, put them into a small dish and pour just enough boiling water over them to cover (about a tablespoon or two); set aside for a few minutes, then pour off the water.

3In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the butter, sugar and softened tea leaves until well blended and creamy. Add the flour and salt and pulse until the dough comes together.

4Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a parchment-lined sheet. Press down with a cookie stamp, bottom of a glass, or crisscrossed with a fork. (Alternatively, roll the dough into a log, wrap and chill, then slice and bake.) Bake for 10 minutes, or until pale golden around the edges.

5Cool on the pan or on a wire rack.

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16 comments on “London Fog Shortbread

  1. Jennifer Jo
    March 9, 2015 at 6:38 am

    I appreciate recipe indexes that have a “recipe by ingredient” index. That way, if I have extra walnuts on hand, or a mini mountain of butternut squash, I can look those things up and get a bunch of recipe ideas.

  2. Kira
    March 9, 2015 at 7:58 am

    I enjoy food blogs that have food divided by categories- Damn Delicious is one I really like – good photos that have a slide show going on.

  3. Lesley
    March 9, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I normally use 2-3 bags of Tazo or double bergamot Earl Grey (dry) in my shortbread recipe, then top the cooled cookies with a glaze of icing sugar, lemon zest and just enough lemon juice to melt the sugar. The lemon take them over the top!

  4. Tiffany
    March 9, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Julie, I’ve been following your site since about day 100. Love your writing and the fact that your recipes are always spot on. One thing that you could add is a way for your readers to link up with all the great places you mention in your travels.

  5. heather
    March 9, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I have some chocolate hazelnut loose tea and you have just given me a great idea for reusing them after I make my tea! Love your recipes, always clearly written and easy to follow. Look forward to your new and improved website 🙂

  6. Michele
    March 9, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Julie, just before Christmas as I was perusing the internet for a Buche de Noel dessert to serve 22 people at our annual Christmas Eve dinner, your food blog popped up. The very first food blog that I now follow. Something really cool caught my eye and I bookmarked your site to leisurely enjoy after the holidays. Maybe it was your down home cooked dishes that caught my eye or your amusing stories. Maybe your site’s presentation–beautiful photos but, not so overwhelming that either the prepared dishes or places to visit made me feel “not in my lifetime.” Or perhaps your it was sweet and “normal person” pic! All of these feelings and cooking aspirations that your current site evoke will hopefully evolve into your new website design. I know and have successfully made a few of your dishes; I remember what it was like to juggle the demands of four little children and a job and keep everyone well nourished; and following the blog of a younger energetic person in the food industry who doesn’t look like she was created out of Hollywood (my back door) aspires me to try and taste new recipes and foods. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  7. rose
    March 9, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Julie,

    What I like about your website is it’s friendly, easy going, you can do this attitude.!! You share lots of stuff about you and your cooking, and lots more which is fun. Also, your recipes allow for lots of variation with a ‘whatever you have on hand’ kind of quality that is perfect. It’s why I bought your cookbooks even though I don’t officially buy cookbooks because I get everything I need from you or Epicurious!

    Thanks for your great blog….
    Rose

  8. Julie @ WolfItDown
    March 9, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Mmmm Earl Grey is one of my favourite teas, and I bet the flavour shines through those buttery biscuits 😀 Thanks for the recipe! x

  9. Carol S-B
    March 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Heya, Julie–
    I second the remarks above about the *realness* of your blog. I love your recipes (and ideas for food, since we all know recipes are just suggestions)… but more than that, I love your day-to-day conversational style of “hey, this is what’s happening in part of my life right now, let’s chat” kind of thing. Other examples of that comfortable, “I’m- talking- with- a- friend”, since you asked: take a look at cassiestephens dot blogspot dot ca. She also posts a lot of pictures, another thing that appeals hugely. Your photography is great: so real, I feel like I could just pull up a chair beside you. Not ever too precious or posed, although there’s nothing wrong with that either. I like your blogroll. I like your internal links to recipes, and the “you might also like…” with small pictures for link within. Websites I don’t enjoy as much: there was one called something pepper, and the font was almost impossible to read. Background contrast with font colour, I think.
    Julie, yours was the first blog I ever followed. I thank you for letting me know the net is not a big bad place, that I could find folks like you to hang out with. Thank you for all your posts, your thoughtful writing, and the delicious food.

  10. DrJ
    March 10, 2015 at 12:19 am

    As a local Calgarian, I enjoy your blog and frequently use your recipes — but hard to find specific recipes sometimes. Recipes catalogued by course, dish or main ingredient would be helpful and when you search for a recipe a list of the recipes or posts titles comes up instead of having to scroll through each full post. Smitten Kitchen I find very searchable. Thanks for lots of great quick dinner ideas!

  11. Gemma
    March 10, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Julie, yours is the only blog I follow. I make your recipes all the time, and many of them have become the standbys that I count on to keep my family fed with healthy, made-from-scratch deliciousness. The only thing I would change would be making recipes easier to search in the index. I not only love reading your recipes, but I love catching up with you over a cup of coffee in the morning and hearing your latest news and tidbits about your family. One thing: did I miss the final results of your kitchen reno, or are you still in the midst of it?

  12. Ellen
    March 12, 2015 at 12:06 am

    Thanks for everything on your blog! Love the recipes, especially hearing you on the CBC. Smitten Kitchen is a user-friendly blog, but my all-time favourite is Poires au Chocolat. The author has gone back to school so isn’t updating regularly, but has turned it into a fantastic resource. Best organisation on a blog I’ve ever seen!

  13. Rose
    March 12, 2015 at 11:04 am

    DITTO on the kitchen reno results. Have they been finished? Still can’t wait to see the new look!

    Rose

  14. Darlene
    March 12, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Hi, Julie, I really only follow your cooking blog because I like the simple meal presentations where you don’t have to have a bajillion ingredients and hours and hours of time to make something tasty for supper. I’ve made a few of your recipes and they came out great, so I’d like to see more of the same, please. Your photos are great as well! I would love to be able to have easier searches for recipes. Sometimes I have an ingredient but I’m not sure what to make with it, so it would be helpful to be able to type it in and presto, some recipe suggestions pop up. I don’t know if that’s doable though. Thanks

  15. tami
    March 16, 2015 at 8:48 am

    I use your recipes frequently. I like being able to search recipes for ingredients, for example, black beans and mango – which leads to your curried quinoa salad, now famous amongst Seattle kayakers as “my” potluck dish.

    One thing I haven’t seen and I’m always wishing for is a recommendation for complementary dishes, or maybe a meal planner function. For example, the Barbacao beef looks delicious – is there a side that would complement it? I could serve just tacos – but I find we do better with portion control if there are vegetable sides.

    This would be helpful for weeknight meal planning, but also for shopping. I’m now working full-time, and trying to keep shopping down to 2x a week, but still have varied meals. You make that job easier!

  16. Maureen
    March 17, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Very nice London Fog Shortbread but I did need to bake them much longer than 10 minutes. Low and slow is my watchword for shortbread.

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