Merry Christmas, everyone!
Shit got real this past weekend. As of yesterday, I am proud to say that I have completed the Holiday Bake-A-Thon 2012 (*inserts shameless plugs from 2011, 2010, and 2009 here*). I may churn out a couple more things before the year is over, but will do so leisurely (versus the stressful, intense 14 hours of baking I conquered this past weekend). I decided on a tea theme for this year’s holiday homemade gifting, as I have really been enjoying a warm cup of Earl Grey on afternoons where a low-cal pick-me-up was needed. I mean, who doesn’t love Earl Grey? Even Captain Picard does! The smell is intoxicating!
Andrew graciously and unknowingly was my guinea pig for this new recipe I wanted to try out, since his 50th birthday was conveniently a month before Christmas. I found the recipe on Taste Space but had to convert several of the ingredients from grams to teaspoons/cups, most of which didn’t come out into whole measurements. I had to eyeball ingredients once we got into the decimal range, which is why I wanted to test this out before jumping right in to make these as gifts.
I think they turned out ok! They are much lighter and airy in texture (almost wafer-like?) than your average shortbread cookie – less buttery, too, which I like. Rolling the dough logs in sugar before slicing the cookies added a nice little extra crunch to the cookie, but I found that those coming from the dough that I dabbed in water prior to rolling in the sugar had too thick of a sugar “crust”. The moisture from the cold dough is enough to get sugar to stick to it, leaving just the right amount of sugar around the edges of the cookies, in my opinion! The flavors are also very delicate, and they smell amazing thanks to the bergamot in the tea. The orange zest balances the bitterness of the tea, too.
Here’s the recipe with the converted ingredients!
Ingredients (converted to US measurements):
1/2 C + 2 TBSP powdered sugar1 C butter
0.6 TSP salt (1/2 TSP + pinch works!)
0.6 TSP vanilla extract
1 egg, room temperature
1.585 C all-purpose flour (1 C + slightly heaping 1/2 C)
3/4 TSP baking powder
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 small lime
1 TSP crushed earl grey tea leaves
1/2 C coarse sugar
1. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add salt, vanilla and zests and continue beating.
2. Add egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl afterward.
3. Add tea leaves and mix together.
4. Sift together flour and baking powder and add to the mix. Blend dry ingredients into wet, only until just combined.
5. Transfer dough to a table dusted with flour and lightly shape into a tube shape. Divide into 4 pieces and roll each piece into 1-1/2 inch diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper and chill in fridge for an hour (or longer).
6. When ready to bake, dab logs with a bit of water and roll in coarse sugar.
7. Slice logs with knife (I used my Chef’s knife) into 1/4-inch slices.
8. Bake on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper or a silpat at 360F for ~12 minutes, or until a light golden colour.