These crunchy and crumbly shortbread cookies are infused with earl grey tea leaves aroma dipped in a lemon glaze. These cookies are delicate with an elegant and subtle flavor. If you like cookies and tea, you'll love these cookies. These crispy and buttery earl grey shortbread cookies are great for any occasion. Want more cookies recipes? Try my Lemon Crinkle Cookies, Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies, Southern Tea Cakes, Turtle Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies, Butter Pecan Cookies, Pinwheel Cookies, Cake Rusk and Orange Shortbread Cookies.
The Earl Grey Tea give these cookies an earthy, citrusy and floral taste. If you are a shortbread cookie and an earl grey tea fan like me, these cookies will be your new favorite. You can have it with a cup of tea or put it on a table to flaunt the holiday season.
Table of Contents
Why This Recipe Works?
- Delicious Fragrant Cookies: These shortbread cookies have a floral and citrusy aromatic taste and are utterly delicious.
- Easy to Bake: These cookies are very easy to put together in one hour.
- Few ingredients: You just need a few ingredients to bake these cookies.
Shortbread Cookies - 3:2:1 Ratio
The traditional shortbread cookies originated in Scotland in the 16th century with only three basic ingredients with a simple 3:2:1 ratio - three parts of flour, two parts of butter and one part of sugar. These cookies do not use a leavening agent such as baking powder or baking soda.
Shortbread cookies are chilled for 30 minutes to one hour before baking and need to be baked for fairly short time of 10 – 15 minutes mostly. The cookies are chilled so that they can keep their shape during baking and do not spread too much.
What is Earl Grey Tea?
Earl tea is basically black tea infused with the bergamot oil, giving it a distinctive and aromatic fragrant. This black tea has a floral taste with a hint of citrus flavor such as lemon, orange and grapefruit as the main ingredient of Earl Grey Tea is Bergamot, a type of citrus. Bergamot is a pear-shaped fruit of a size of a small orange.
The other dominating flavor of this tea is a distinctive aroma of lavender leaves. Just imagine the fusion of lavender and citrus flavor in tea leaves, further infused in the shortbread cookies giving them an earthy and floral taste.
Pro Tip # 1 - Room Temperature Ingredients
Always use room temperature ingredients (unless otherwise specified) for baking. Ingredients such as butter, eggs and other dairy ingredients like milk, sour cream, yogurt form an emulsion by trapping air inside the batter. The trapped air expands in the oven resulting in perfect baked treats.
- Unsalted butter: use high-quality butter for this recipe.
- Earl grey tea leaves (finely ground): the hero ingredient of this recipe which gives earthy, aromatic flavor to these cookies.
- Granulated Sugar: adds sweetness to the cookies.
- Cardamom Powder: used for fragrance in the cookies. (I forget it in the ingredients in the picture above)
- All-purpose flour: gives structure to these cookies.
- Salt: balances the sweetness and adds to flavor.
- Powdered sugar: for lemon icing.
- Lemon juice: for lemon icing.
Pro Tip # 2 - Digital Scale
Use a digital scale to measure all-purpose flour and other dry ingredients. To measure with cup, fluff up the all-purpose flour container using a spoon, then scoop out the flour with spoon into the measuring cup. Never scoop out of the container. It may result in more flour than required resulting in dense bakes.
These are basic process shots for this recipe. For detailed instructions refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
1. Beat the butter and sugar until it is pale in color.
2. Add in the earl grey tea leaves, cardamom powder and salt and beat one more time.
3. Add in the flour in the butter mixture.
4. Beat with the electric mixer until the texture is crumbly.
5. Using the hands work through the crumbly mixture until it forms the shape of a soft dough.
6. Make two logs of 7 - 8 inches in length and 1 ½ - 2 inches in width. Wrap the logs in plastic wraps and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.
7. Cut ¼'' pieces and place them on the baking tray with silicone sheets.
8. Bake the cookies at 350 F for 12 - 15 minutes until the edges are light golden in color.
7. Let the cookies cool on the wire rack for 30 minutes.
8. Dip the cookies in the lemon glaze and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
- 2 baking trays.
- 2 silicone sheets.
- 1 electric mixer or stand mixer.
- Baking spatulas.
- Plastic wrap.
- Digital scale.
Do not overmix the dough – You would want to knead the dough only until it comes together. Over-mixing will result in tougher cookies.
Weigh the ingredients – Weigh the ingredients using a kitchen scale to get the accurate ratio of the ingredients.
Chilling is Important – Keep the logs in the fridge and it is an important step. Chilling helps to solidify the butter, which then helps prevention of spreading of the cookies in oven. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes but you can chill it overnight as well. Chilling of the dough is really important as it solidifies the butter and prevents from cookies to spread during baking.
Cool the Cookies - Wait for the Cookies to Cool before dipping them in the lemon glaze or the glaze will not stay on the shortbread cookies.
- Lemon Glaze: I like to dip these cookies in simple lemon glaze, which adds to the citrusy flavor of these cookies.
- Chocolate Ganache: You can also coat chocolate ganache on these cookies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make it a day ahead and let the dough rest in the fridge overnight. Just cut the slices next day and bake.
It is achievable. Just use powdered sugar instead of the granulated sugar for a softer texture of the cookies. The granulated sugar gives the crispy texture to the cookies.
Yes – you can easily double or triple the recipe.
In sugar cookies we use the leavening agent such as baking soda or baking powder, that helps in the rising of the cookies. But shortbread cookies do not use the leavening agents and are made with simple ingredients of flour, butter and sugar.
I use 3 earl grey teabags for this recipe. All you need to do is to tear apart the teabag and take out the tea leaves. If you want to use the loose earl grey tea leaves, put them in the grinder and ground them before using in the recipe. We want fine ground tea leaves in this recipe.
How to Store
- The cookies can be stored in an airtight containers at room temperature up to 5 days.
- The baked cookies will stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week.
- Place the cut cookies in the freezer for up to three months. They might need a couple of more minutes in the oven while baking.
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Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
- 1 Electric Mixer or Stand Mixer
- 2 Baking Trays
- 2 Silicone Mats
- Digital Scale
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Plastic Wrap
Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter (227 g) room temperature
- 2 tablespoon earl grey tea leaves (2 g) (2 - 3 tea bags)
- ½ cup castor sugar (100 g)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 g)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder (2 g)
- 1 cup powdered sugar (130 g)
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice (30 ml)
Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
- Take a large bowl and cream the butter well using an electric mixer for 3 - 4 minutes until the butter is pale.
- Add the earl grey tea leaves, salt and cardamom powder in butter. Adding the tea leaves at this step will help to infuse the tea taste better.
- Add in the icing powder and beat until mixed together.
- Add the sifted all-purpose flour and beat until the texture is crumbly.
- Using the hands combine the dough together and work through it until the dough comes together.
- Make two logs of the dough (362 grams each) and shape them in the form of a log. The log should be 8 - 9 inch long and 1 ½ - 2 inch wide.
- Place the logs in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Take out the logs out of the fridge, cut the logs using a sharp knife to ¼'' wide.
- Place the cookies on the baking tray lined with silicone mats.
- Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, until the edges are light golden brown.
- Take them out and place on wire rack to cool down for 30 minutes.
- Combine the icing sugar and lemon juice.
- Dip the cookies in the lemon glaze and place on the wire rack for the icing to harden.