I have been meaning for quite some time to try baking with tea, I mean I love to drink it, so why not eat it too? Admittedly I mostly just drink standard black tea (English Breakfast, with milk, no sugar, about four cups a day; in case you were interested.), and although I have a cupboard full of herbal teas I rarely stray away from my usual; although I am partial to the occasional cup of Earl Grey or chai. I tried to like green tea because I know it’s good for me, but I just couldn’t do it; even the flavoured ones had to be forced down… I do try and refrain from drinking caffeine after about 5pm though, so if I fancy a hot drink in the evening I go for camomile tea (or hot chocolate or hot spiced milk).
Camomile is widely used for is relaxing properties and to aid sleep and is delicious sweetened with a little honey. I thought that it would work well in some simple, buttery shortbread biscuits, paired with a bit of lemon zest. It is a very delicate flavour, but takes the shortbread beyond being a simple biscuit to something a little more refined and elegant. Needless to say, they didn’t last long, and went perfectly with a cup of tea (camomile or otherwise).
Shortbread is incredibly simple to make, and really doesn’t take long at all; it is important to chill the biscuits well before you bake them though, as this ensures that they are crisp and stops them from spreading in the oven. I add a little cornflour to mine, which gives them a lovely melt in the mouth texture. I just cut open a couple of camomile tea bags to get the tea leaves, make sure that it is finely ground stuff though – you don’t want big bits in your biscuits.
Camomile Tea & Lemon Shortbread
- 225 g (2 sticks) softened butter
- 110 g (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar plus extra for sprinkling
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- The contents of 3 camomile tea bags (about 4 tsp, make sure it is finely ground tea)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 225 g (1 + 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp) plain flour
- 110 g (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) cornflour (cornstarch)
Whisk the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy then cut open the tea bags and tip in the loose tea leaves ( make sure they are finely ground). Add the lemon zest and salt and whisk to combine.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and cornflour then add it to the butter mixture and mix until it forms a dough; shape into a ball.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick. Cut into whatever shapes you like and place on two baking trays, prick each biscuit several times with the tines of a fork. Place the trays of biscuits in the freezer for about 15 minutes (or for at least 30 mins in the fridge), while you heat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until just golden around the edges. Leave to cool on the trays for a couple of minutes then transfer to a wire rack, sprinkle with sugar and leave to cool completely.
I am sharing these with Cook Blog Share hosted by Supergolden Bakes and Patisserie Makes Perfect, Totally Talented Tuesdays, Create Link Inspire, Foodie Fridiy, Fiesta Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, Friday Favourites and Fabulous Foodie Fridays.