A hot cup of tea is one of the best things to relax with.
Especially when it’s cold outside, this is a perfect way of warming up while snuggling into a cozy blanket on the couch.
However, you can also use various teas in your cooking and baking as well.
These little crunchy cookies will provide you with a new flavor experience, because my teakettle-biscuits are infused with a nice and subtle Earl Grey bergamot flavor.
Maybe you’re familiar with this flavor because of the hugely popular tea. But did you know you’ve probably detected this aroma in other places, without even being aware of it? It’s frequently used as a top note of fresh and tangy fragrances, like eau de Cologne perfumes.
Bergamot belongs to the citrus family, however, it is not consumed as a fruit. Rather, it is mainly grown for its vibrant and fresh scent. Its oil is used to flavor Earl Grey, as well as Lady Grey tea.
While Earl Grey is made of black (and originally only Chinese) tea varieties, lemon and orange zests are added to the Lady Grey variety.
If possible, try to buy high-quality tea that is flavored with natural bergamot instead of artificial flavorings.
This traditional variety might be a bit more expensive, but I think the real authentic flavor is definitely worth the purchase. And be sure to maintain the flavor and aroma of this high-quality tea by properly storing it in the right containers!
You will see that these buttery shortbread treats are really awesome with the added fresh aroma of black tea. I’m sure they will quickly become one of your teatime favorites.
This recipe makes about 20 cookies (depending on how you cut them). Try cutting the dough in heart shapes and decorating them with royal icing for themed Valentine’s Day cookies.
Another added bonus is that these do not include any eggs! For more egg-free recipes, take a look at our article that provides tips and recipes for baking without eggs.
What do you think? If you love these, you’re going to have to try our black and white European Christmas cookies, sugar cookie cutouts, or even our light and fluffy snowflakes recipe next!
Though if you’re going gluten free, try these soft chewy ginger cookies. They’re also perfect for teatime.
- 1 teaspoon loose tea or 1-2 Earl Grey teabags
- 1 stick soft unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated Sugar
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (fan or convection oven 140°C/280°F). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Grind the tea with a mortar and pestle. Mix the flour with the ground tea, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Stir half of the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture until smooth.
- Now, knead the remaining flour mixture into the dough.
- Roll out the dough to approximately 3/4-inch thick. Be gentle, because it will be a bit fragile.
- Either cut into 2-inch-long strips or use a cookie cutter to make some fancier shapes.
- Place on a baking tray and bake for about 20-25 minutes. They should not become too dark, and stay mostly light on top.
- Cool on a wire rack and seal in an airtight cookie jar. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea!
*Don’t have a mortar and pestle set? I’d suggest purchasing one. Once you've added one to your kitchen arsenal, you'll find uses for a mortar and pestle that you never would have thought of before. Check out Foodal’s guide to help you choose the model that's best for you.
Looking for more inspirational cookie recipes? If so, get all of our best cookie ideas now! Try even more of our fun shortbread options:
Photos by Nina-Kristin Isensee, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
About Nina-Kristin Isensee
Nina lives in Iserlohn, Germany and holds an MA in Art History (Medieval and Renaissance Studies). She is currently working as a freelance writer in various fields. She enjoys travel, photography, cooking, and baking. Nina tries to cook from scratch every day when she has the time and enjoys trying out new spices and ingredients, as well as surprising her family with new cake creations.
38 thoughts on “Earl Grey Tea Flavored Shortbread Cookies”
This sounds like a lovely dessert. I’ve made a few tea flavored desserts, where the leaves were steeped in water or milk, then added to the other ingredients. In this recipe, it says to grind the tea but doesn’t tell you what to do with it after that. I assume it is mixed in with the flour but it needs to be added to the recipe instructions. These cookies could be good with other tea varieties as well, perhaps some matcha powder.
You’re right, sorry for that mistake and thanks for your remark! The tea should be part of step 3, it is added to the flour:
Mix flour with ground tea, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl. Stir half of it into the butter-sugar mixture until smooth.
I think your suggestion with matcha powder is a nice idea, too. I can imagine this provides another new and interesting flavor to the cookies.
Oh, wow! This is so cool. My mother would absolutely adore these treats. I really need that cookie cutter as well. My mom loves tea and collects tea pots and tea cups. I would love to make her a batch of these, especially cut to shape. How charming.
I’m excited. I plan to buy her a great book for Christmas, and I can make a batch or two of these goodies for her as well. She can sip tea and nibble these while reading her new book. Sweet!
Well, a cup of tea and a good book is always a winning team, great idea! 🙂 Especially, when your mother is into tea and has such a nice collection. I really hope you will find the cookie cutter somewhere, I got it as a present myself some years ago, so I am not sure if you can find it online or in any stores. Good luck and I hope your mom likes them.
I love shortbread and especially flavored versions. It’s a nice idea to add ground tea to the mixture to add a different touch. I did notice this recipe rolls it out thinner so it is crunchier. Great for tea time as they are lighter and I adore the teapot cookie cutter.
Shortbread is indeed a delightful goodie, isn’t it? Besides the tea, one could also flavor it with orange or lemon zest for a refreshing taste.
It is a bit thinner, you’re right. I like them this way, sometimes I just want to have a little “sidekick” for my tea, not too much. And I like to have some in stock so I can serve one together with a hot drink when friends or family visit.
What an absolutely brilliant idea this recipe is! I have a couple of friends who only drink Earl Grey tea and these will make a perfect little Christmas gift for them. They’re particularly attractive cut with that cooker cutter – I’ve never seen one before and I must try and find one. I think linking the shape to the flavour makes all the difference.
Thank you. I am sure your friends will enjoy them if they like this flavor so much, great idea! I agree with you about shape and flavor, it is a witty way to present them, so I wish you good luck to find a similar cutter somewhere!
These sound delicious. I wasn’t expecting the recipe to call for grinding the tea. I was thinking it was going to be steeped and that would be infused into the dough as liquid. The grinding definitely puts a different spin on things. I can just imagine the pop of taste. I like earl gray tea it smells like fruit loops to me for some reason. The scent draws you in. So I would imagine it in a cookie has to smell divine. The one thing I don’t do is make cookies, but if I ever start this recipe is a must try.
You’re right that most tea-infused recipes require steeped tea. I really like your comparison to fruit loops, somehow some flavors remind us of the most different things, right?! So maybe this scent will convince you to try out baking cookies some time 😉
What a fantastic idea. I spend a lot of my spare time looking for new recipes to try and have never come across a tea flavoured biscuit recipe before. I will absolutely need to try this recipe and look into other kinds of tea I can try too. Love the cookie cutter used also, lovely touch to a great recipe. Think I’ll need to add it to my Christmas list.
I have never heard of this combination, but I can’t imagine anything better than my favorite shortbread, combined with my favorite tea. It was interesting to learn about bergamot. I had no idea it was a member of the citrus family. I think it’s time for me to buy a mortar and pestle!
I have never heard of making cookies with tea. Shortbread remains a firm favorite with most people, especially in my house. I would like to try a few variations during the Christmas holiday season. I do appreciate this idea! I am sure it is healthy too.
That’s right, I can imagine lots of varieties, too. Especially with all the wintery flavors like cinnamon or aniseed. But I think other sorts of tea will work nice, too. Lots of possibilities to be creative 🙂 I’m sure you will find a wonderful version for the holiday season!
Who knew that one could make cookies using tea. Thank you so much for posting this. I love the little tea pot cookie shape. I love sugar cookies, and my mama use to make the best homemade tea cakes ever. She is in a nursing home now. I think as a little extra Christmas gift I’ll make her a batch of these. I know she will enjoy them so.
This is such a nice idea, I really hope your mom likes them! I always like to give away home-made, or rather home-baked goodies, because it is a wonderful personal (and delicious!) gift. 🙂
Haha, those cookies are so sweet! I love the shape. I would love to cook some this Christmas, it seems like they can be a perfect dessert option. I love tea as well, so that blends well.
Earl Grey Tea cookies are pretty widely known, but when you mentioned that we could experiment with other teas, it really got me thinking! Not just black teas, something like Japanese green tea or Chinese jasmine tea might also work wonderfully!
Sure, feel free to get creative and try some flavors 🙂 I haven’t thought about jasmine tea until now, but I really love that idea, because it is a highly aromatic sort, too. And I can imagine that green blends will provide a real interesting and fresh twist as well. Let us know if you have discovered a new, great combination.
I love that cookie cutter! I’ll definitely put this on the Christmas cookie list this year, Earl Grey always reminds me of the holidays. Guess I’ll just have to buy an adorable little tea pot cookie cutter too…
I hope I can find one as well. Do post to let us know if you locate any cute ones, please. I’d love to have one to bake for my mother. I think it would be really special for her.
I haven’t had a chance to look yet, but if I find one, I’ll post it here.
Shortbread.. mmmm. I might need to make some of these for myself as well.
Did you have a look online? I am sure that e.g. amazon must have a similar cookie cutter in store.
I hope for all of you to get one right in time to prepare them for the holidays. Honestly, I didn’t expect so much positive feedback for the cookie cutter, so thanks 🙂 I would love to share it, but I think that postal delivery needs too many extra hours from Germany overseas 😉
Well, my cookie cutter arrived and I made my first batch of these today. The mixture refused to bind together – it stayed as very fine breadcrumbs, so I thought OK, let’s be brave, and i put in enough almond milk to bind it. The resulting cookies were absolutely fabulous!!. I think maybe my butter wasn’t quite soft enough and although I translated the recipe into ounces as accurately as i could (I don’t have any cup measures) I may have made a mistake. so, my advice would be, go for it! This is such a good and forgiving crispy shortbread recipe that you can afford to take some risks!
Thank you for sharing your experience! It’s nice to see that you’ve helped yourself with some almond milk and it turned out great. It’s the right thing to be creative enough and try that out.
Sometimes, little things make all the difference, butter is such an ingredient. I am always impressed how different butter works in its various consistencies like liquid, firm, cold or warm.
By the way, if you have “g” measurements, I could provide you with the original indication of quantities, too.
Shortcrust pastry like this can sometimes be exhausting to prepare, but in the end the crumbliest textures often reward us with the crispiest taste.
Thanks for sharing and enjoy your cookies!
Oh, this sounds like a wonderful treat – but does the ground tea affect the texture of the cookies? I ask because my little one is particularly sensitive to food textures. Also you give the option to use tea bags, but I was confused as to whether that was giving the option of … Well infusing brewed tea into the cookies versus adding ground tea. Anyway thank you for the idea this holiday season! Have a Merry Holiday.
Well, it does a bit. As the tea isn’t brewed, small particles will remain in the cookie dough. If you grind it really thoroughly, you can reduce this to a minimum. But it’s not like you have big chunks of tea leaves in the biscuits.
I’m sorry for that misunderstanding, I mean always ground tea. The options are:
– if you buy loose tea in a specialty or deli store e.g., you take 1 teaspoon
– if you buy common ready-portioned tea-bags from grocery stores, you take either one or two bags
Both versions of tea are then processed as described and ground.
I hope all of this was helpful to you. Have a Merry Christmas, too. 🙂
I haven’t ever used tea in baking. We already did our big holiday cookie baking thing and I’m not ready to do any more baking for a while. I may add it to the list of recipes for next year. Somebody that we make cookie platters for is bound to like it so I may as well include some.
I really hope that someone will like them then, but I am optimistic about that. I know what you mean about the baking sessions. It was either me baking for friends or family or someone else baking for me. Now, I need to reduce the “cookie-income” a bit 😉
I will definitely be making these cookies sometime this week or on the weekend! I’ve found so many recipes that look so tasty, but they all have eggs in it. These do not, and I’m very excited about that! I’ve also never heard of using tea in baking, so that will also be a first. I’m not usually at the grocery store, so I am not sure how much good Earl Grey tea is. Is it expensive?
Happy to hear that this recipe fits your desire to bake without eggs. I’d be interested to hear how you like them and how everything worked out.
Concerning the tea, it’s hard for me to tell, as I don’t know for sure whether prices in Germany and the US differ a lot. Where I live, there is a store nearby that exclusively sells tea. It’s handy because you can also choose to buy only very little amounts. I mean, if you enjoy drinking tea after all, you should go for a good quality product. In any case, you should have a look at the package of ready-made teabags when everything else is too expensive. One aspect you can try to consider is to forgo artificial aroma.
I hope you’ll find a nice variety. (If not, you can still enjoy the cookies plain with some vanilla or lemon zest 😉 )
Oh, what a lovely tea kettle-shaped biscuit cutter. Reading through the various recipes in Foodal made me want to try them myself. I’m no good at baking as I’m super impatient. But I tried anyway. I thought a shortbread recipe is easy enough for an impatient beginner like me. Haha, it was an epic fail. The cookies turned out too salty! I didn’t realize the butter I picked up at the supermarket was NOT unsalted. Oh well, charged to experience.
Oh no, what a pity! Well, don’t let this discourage you from trying again 🙂 Except the butter-issue, did everything else work out?
I’m sure there are some nice and easy baking recipes around here for you to try that don’t require too much effort and time. So I wish you lots of success for your next project!
Oh, I did not know that you could use tea to make cookies.
This is amazing and I will definitely make it sometime soon.
Thanks for sharing!
I’ve always thought shortbread cookies were the most underrated cookie of them all. I love the texture and the buttery richness of them can’t be beat. They are definitely the perfect accompaniment to a great cup of tea (which I’m also a huge fan of).
You’re so right. These typical characteristics like the buttery and crunchy texture is something I adore. Also, they don’t require fancy ingredients, this is a plus. Tea and cookies is a combination that always works.
Those look delicious! Does the tea make the cookies taste bitter at all, or does the sugar compensate for it? I’m also wondering if honey could be substituted for the sugar to add a bit of a different flavor. I’m still kind of a beginning baker, so I’m not quite sure how that would make the cookies turn out.
No need to be afraid of bitterness, HappyKoi. 🙂 The bitter flavors of the tea won’t influence the cookies. And right, the sugar is there, too. Well, if you prepare them with honey instead of sugar, they probably won’t turn out as crunchy as regular. As these are shortbread biscuits – which should crumble and crunch a bit – sugar might be a better choice. But for other cakes or goodies, you can definitely try to make a substitution.
There is another “ingredient” the adventuresome might try – jamaica (pronounced ha-MIKE-ah). That is the Spanish name for the dried calyx (not the petals) of a particular kind of hibiscus bush’s flower. It shows up in the ingredients list for some teas but never in a little spice jar on your grocer’s shelf. Hispanic markets will offer it in bulk in the same place that they sell bulk dried chile peppers. It is heavily pigmented and will infuse a very bright magenta color into your baked goods (or your water if you just steep it). Like pomegranate juice, the jamaica will stain significantly if you get the liquid on hands or clothes so handle the highly pigmented dough with gloves if you’re concerned about staining your hands.
I would think 2 or 3 calyxes would be VERY adequate (once ground into powder) to flavor and color the quantity of dough generated by this recipe. The flavor, by the way, is a bit sharp and citrusy. It works well with orange peel/zest + cinnamon and needs some sweetener to ease its natural pucker power.