Orange Shortbread Cookies with Earl Grey Cream

Oh me, oh my. For anybody who’s ever been to a high tea service, you know that it’s all about the scones, tea sandwiches, and of course, the shortbread cookies. Oh and the tea. Obviously. Earl Grey is one of my favorite types of teas, and lucky for me, it’s also a popular choice for tea service.

So what better way to get my shortbread and tea fix than to combine both into a single bite-sized disk of deliciosity? (Yay for making up words.) I have to thank Sophistimom for pushing me to find the inspiration for this particular recipe. You see, she and Challenge Dairy are running a contest to win… get this… FREE BUTTER for a year. Those must be the two most beautiful words in existence. Put them next to each other and you get some cosmic pastry synergy going on. “Free” has to come first though, or else that creates a much sadder state of things. But I digress. On to the cookies!

One of the characteristics of Earl Grey tea is the hint of bergamot orange flavor. I knew it would be hard to capture that flavor in the pastry cream, so I took the base recipe that Sophistimom provided for the contest and added the zest of one orange to it. The pastry cream recipe came from Cook’s Illustrated, but I took the liberty of brewing the Earl Grey in the half-and-half before proceeding with the rest of the steps.

This is one delicious cookie, I have to say. The changes I made to the original recipes are small, but the impact is big. I’d venture to say that this was one of my more successful experiments. Give a try, let me know how it turns out for you!

Orange Shortbread Cookies (half recipe) | Adapted from Sophistimom


  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cups all purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Cream together butter, sugar, and salt until pale yellow and fluffy.
  3. Slowly add in flour and mix until just combined.
  4. Press one teaspoon into the bottoms of mini muffin tins.
  5. Bake approximately 20 minutes, or until edges just begin to brown.

Earl Grey Pastry Cream | Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated


  • 1      cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons of high quality Earl Grey loose leaf tea
  • 1/4     cup granulated sugar
  • pinch table salt
  • 2     large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2     tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2     tablespoons unsalted butter (cold), cut into 4 pieces
  • 1     teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Heat half-and-half, 3 tablespoons sugar, tea, and salt in medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisk in remaining tablespoons sugar and whisk until sugar has begun to dissolve and mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in cornstarch until combined and mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.
  3. When half-and-half mixture reaches full simmer, gradually whisk hot half-and-half into yolk mixture to temper. Return mixture to saucepan, scraping bowl with rubber spatula; return to simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until 3 or 4 bubbles burst on surface and mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds.
  4. Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla.
  5. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the mixture to medium bowl to remove tea leaves and any cooked egg bits. Press plastic wrap directly on surface, and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours or up to 48 hours.

2 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jaime, Amy Chantasirivisal. Amy Chantasirivisal said: Orange Shortbread Cookies with Earl Grey Cream: […]

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