I usually make a pretty small batch of cookies, as there is only the two of us, but you can easily adjust the quantities to match your needs.
Here are some tips for making a perfect shortbread cookie:
1. Always use butter!
Don't ever use margarine, as it will not give you the desired richness. If you must veganize the recipe, consider using coconut oil, but its taste might overpower the subtle Earl Grey flavour.
2. Use cold butter!
Process the butter immediately after taking it out of the fridge, as only chilled butter will you give the desired crumbly texture.
3. Don't over-work your dough!
Work your dough as little as possible to recieve the light texture you want in a shortbread cookie. It's best to use a food processor, but you can just as well use a fork to combine the ingredients or you can gently rub the ingredients between your fingertips until the dough has the texture of wet sand.
4. Chill the dough before rolling out!
To make sure you can re-work and roll out your dough several times, it needs to be chilled so it doesn't get too sticky.
5. Bake at low temperatures!
I like my shortbread pale and evenly coloured without darker edges, so I prefer baking it at 150°C / 300F and maybe leave it in the oven for a few minutes longer.
For about 35 cookies (2cm / 1inch diameter) you will need:
- 1/4 cup (30g) caster sugar
- 2 tbsp loose Earl Grey tea
- 1 cup (130g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (130g) butter
1. In a food processor, blitz the sugar and tea.
2. Sift the flour, add it to the sugar and give it a quick blitz. Cube the butter and add it to the flour mixture and give it a couple of quick blitzes until you end up with the texture of wet sand you could build a sandcastle with ;-)
3. Tip the crumbs onto a piece of clingfilm, form it into a ball and flatten it with your palms. Wrap in clingfilm and chill it for about 30 minutes.
4. Preheat your oven to 150°C / 320 F.
5. Lightly flour your work-surface, roll out the dough to about 5mm / 0.2 inch and cut out cookies, using any shape of cookie cutter you like. Place onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes. Leave to cool completely.
These cookies look great in any shape and make for a nice little gift for guests (or hosts, for that matter!).