Earl Grey Shortbread Biscuits

According to Wikipedia, since the 18th century, the United Kingdom has been one of the world's largest tea consumers, and I think we would all agree with that, we do love our tea.

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If you are out and about and ask for a cup of tea, you often get a little pot with a tea bag (or leaves) in and some milk on the side. If you asked for the same in Canada (where my daughter lives) you would get a quizzical look. This is because there are so many teas, and you need to be way more specific in the one you want.

I love a good cup of tea, but my husband only ever drinks Earl Grey tea, as he finds this less bitter. I once read somewhere, that Earl Grey tea had its beginnings in the North East. After looking into this, it would seem that there are numerous stories associated with its origin.

The name, Earl Grey, is most often connected to the English aristocrat and Prime Minister Charles Grey. One story is, that Howick Hall in Northumberland was once home to Lord Grey, British Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834, and that he had a Chinese friend who incorporated the flavours of bergamot to offset the taste of lime in the water from Howick Hall’s well. Whether this is the true story of Earl Grey’s beginnings or not, it would be nice to think it has a local connection.  – 

Here is a recipe using Earl Grey tea bags.  Earl Grey Shortbread Biscuits

In a large mixing bowl, combine 4 tablespoons Earl Grey tea (the tea from about 8 teabags) and 500g plain flour. Whisk together to disperse the tea throughout the flour. Add 1tsp fine sea salt and 180g caster sugar. Mix until well blended. In a separate bowl cream 454g butter (room temperature) for about 1 minute using an electric whisk.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter and mix together on a low speed. When the dough is well formed, (it should not be sticky, and will be thick and clump on the whisk), remove it and wrap in clingfilm. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.  Divide the dough into two portions. Roll each portion into a log shape about 12 inches long and roll in clingfilm. Chill for about an hour until firm. Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Slice the logs into 1/3 inch coins. Transfer them to parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly brown. Let them cool on the baking sheets and then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely. Store airtight at room temperature. They should last about 6 days.

JANE FERGUSON
Author: JANE FERGUSON

Jane Ferguson worked in the food industry and ran her own successful business for six years called ‘Pink Leaf Catering’.  She loves trying new recipes, and believes that delicious healthy food need not be complicated or take hours to make.

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