Jared MacNeill’s traditional Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

Makes 2-1/2 dozen

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup pastry flour
1 tbsp loose Earl Grey tea leaves
(Preferably Trader Joe’s Lady Grey)
Approximately 4 opened bags
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft
1/4 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1/2 tbsp orange zest — finely grated

DIRECTIONS:

Open the tea bags. Crush the loose tea leaves by hand to a fine powder.
Take a moment to inhale the rich scent….

Mix the tea, flour and salt.
In a separate bowl cream the butter. Once it is fluffy, add powdered sugar, orange zest and vanilla. Mix all the ingredients well. Then add the flour/tea blend in two batches. Mix well.

Shape the prepared dough on a floured surface. Divide in half.
Roll out in 1-1/2 inch diameter logs. Completely cover in plastic wrap and chill well in refrigerator.

While the oven is preheating to 350°F, cut the logs into 1 inch segments and shape into circles. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, just until the edges are golden. Do not over cook. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Enjoy with a steaming cup of Earl Grey.
Or a crisp Riesling, if you are so inclined.