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Recipes

The Best Tea Cookie Shortbread

September 28, 2020

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Enjoy our best tea cookie (or shortbread) recipe with our premium loose-leaf teas. We generally recommend all of our black teas as a special pairing as the cookies are so light, you can appreciate the black tea nuances and flavor - a match made in heaven. For pictures, please visit our Instagram page here and they are truly our first few posts!

As much as I love tea and I consider tea in my DNA, my first love was pastries. As a little girl, around 9 years old, my parents moved to Tokyo from New Jersey due to my father's job and my homemaker mother purchased a microwave oven. I was one of those kids (actually probably many) where my mother didn’t want me to hold the knife cooking, so I had the choice of making the family salad for dinner or I got to bake. Naturally, I would choose baking and the first thing I baked were simple cookie cutter cookies which eventually I would incessantly make every weekend.

In Tokyo, I couldn't help but notice all the French style pastries made by Japanese patissiers who probably trained in Paris and came back to open their own bakeries in beautifully polished glass cases. The trifecta of gaining freedom as a child in a very safe country, having my daily food being elevated at once (the quality of food in Japan is worldly renowned) and tasting all these amazing pastries opened my doors and curiosity to want to be a baker. As long as I remember, when adults asked me what I wanted to be one day, I would proudly and passionately say I wanted to become a pastry chef and open my own bakery.

I've had the privilege of gaining some serious baking and cooking skills being trained at world-renowned culinary schools, Le Cordon Bleu and the French Culinary Institute, while working in various restaurants and catering companies in New York.

Here's the easiest, flaky, buttery, light tea cookie or shortbread, (this recipe is lighter than a Scottish style) where just 4 ingredients (yes only four) are blended in a food-processor. If you don't have a food-processor, blend in a mixer, hand-blend in a bowl or you could even put everything in a ziploc bag and just knead away. All of the above methods are game, whichever is simplest for you.

Ingredients (Makes about 48 pieces (3cm or 1.1" wide)

  • 200g (1 cup) cake flour
  • 180g (0.8 cups) sugar
  • 100g (1/2 cup) softened unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks at room temperature*make egg whites for breakfast the next day

For a Matcha version, sift and add 1 tsp. of Matcha to the cake flour.

Steps

  1. Blend in order of ingredients above, dry ingredients first, wet ingredients last until a dough is formed. 
  2. Make a round and split in two batches.  You can keep as one depending on how much you need to bake.  Otherwise, form a round or square, flatten to about 1" thickness, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F or 170C.
  4. Take one round out, roll to about 5mm or 3/16" inch thickness.  Cut out as squares with a knife or cut out fun or elegant cookie cutter shapes that suit your fancy.
  5. Line sheet pan with silpat or parchment paper.
  6. Line cookies on baking tray about 2cm or 3/4" apart.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes until the edges are slightly golden.
  8. After baking, let rest on tray for a minute or two. (they are buttery and delicate so won't keep its shape if picked up too early)
  9. Scoop cookies off tray with a spatula and cool on cooling rack for about 10 minutes. 
  10. Enjoy!  

Tips:

  • Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container for a few days or otherwise can be frozen and thawed back to room temperature for about a week.
  • You can also make the dough ahead, shape into a small disc and freeze for a few months.  Let thaw and take steps 3-10.

Happy Baking and Tea Time!  We hope you'll share your results & tea time experience with us.

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