I am a notoriously mediocre baker. I talk about it incessantly, because I'm just really not that good. That's why when my friend Marie (of the delicious My Life In Sourdough) asked me to be part of an all-female bake sale supporting the ACLU, I was equally excited and terrified. I knew it was time to muster up some confectionary courage and dip my hands in flour, by turning to childhood baking memories for inspiration. I had a very vivid memory of making a Martha Stewart recipe for earl grey shortbread when I was ten for a school bake sale. I had been incredibly pleased with the result of the buttery cookies, but my classmates were slightly more turned off by the indiscernible specs of tea laced throughout. Nine years later, this seemed like the perfect recipe to inspire my offerings for a grown up bake sale. I added orange blossom water, lemon zest, and a pinch of cinnamon to a straight forward shortbread batter, resulting in a cookie that is fragrant, crumbly, and not too sweet. This recipe is simple enough for all the non-bakers out there but has an expert level flavor and textural profile... ideal. The cookies were a successful item, but surely felt slightly insecure sitting next to Susan Spungen's revolutionary crumble bars...
- 1 tbsp orange blossom water
- zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups flour
- 2 sticks butter ( room temperature)
- 1/2 cup confectionary sugar
- 3 earl grey tea bags
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a large mixing bowl combine contents of tea bags, flour, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer add butter, sugar, zest, and orange blossom water. Mix on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture until all combined. Place on a floured surface and roll into a log- like shape. Chill for 30-60 minutes then cut into 1/4 inch thick slices.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes. Cookies should be slightly firm to touch and warm in color.