Sometimes simple is absolutely divine, crumbly, buttery and the perfect afternoon tea biscuit. Or cookie if you’re on the other side of the pond. Adding the contents of two Earl Grey tea bags takes these yummy delights to that next level without involving complex baking skills. Simply cut the tea bags and sprinkle the tea powder into the bowl. You don’t even need amazing piping skills (um… I started in the middle and twirled around then pressed any loose bits down with a finger). These melt-in-your-mouth treats have been tested thoroughly if not scientifically (see the findings below) and they were truly appreciated by all my friends who reached a kind of biscuit nirvana so I hope you’ll try them too.
Following an initial solo trial (me eating loads fresh out of the oven), the first taste test took place at a cocktail bar with Catalan friends on a pavement in Barcelona. Cocktails and cookies are not your typical combo but everyone paused, floated to biscuit heaven and looked at me in surprise: ‘Perfect’, ‘They’re like shop-bought biscuits’, ‘just like English biscuits’ (sorry, they didn’t say ‘British’), ‘Wow, did you make these? You should have a blog!’ As you can see I’m not great at promoting ‘lili’s cakes’ or getting friends to follow me. lol. But my bakes do get around.
A Chinese restaurant was the next carefully-selected test area. Ho ho. We’d just gorged ourselves on a huge amount of delicious roast duck and were about to set off on a hike around IKEA. I had four biscuits left from my first batch so handed them round, causing another biscuit bliss melting moment involving two highly impressed Chinese friends.
Anyway I thought I’d make a second batch for extra quality control (ie. to eat more of them). So the third taste test took place after rock climbing at our usual celebratory drinks and food, in another restaurant of course. I handed them out discreetely as part of our dessert and to take away – again they were greatly appreciated, this time by three French climbers.
I like to test bakes out thoroughly but you’d wonder we weren’t chucked out of any bars or restaurants wouldn’t you? Anyway, to cut a long story short (I know, it could have been a lot shorter and we could all have gone straight to the recipe and be in the kitchen making them by now)… yes, sometimes you just can’t stop me rambling. Oops, cutting that long story short (again), these biscuits/cookies passed the test and here’s how to make them! Hurray!
These melting moments are based on Rose Viennese Whirls in the cookbook Nadiya’s Kitchen. But mine are naked with no filling inside or icing sugar dusted over them. All my taste testers were adamant they were best simple with no cream. And instead of rosewater, Earl Grey tea is added bringing that beautiful bergamot citrus flavour.
Line 2 baking trays (each 30cm x 40cm/16in x 12 in) with baking paper. Prepare a disposable piping bag with a star nozzle.
- 250g/8.8oz good-quality French-style unsalted butter like Le Président, softened
- 100g/3/4 cup plus 2 and 1/3 teaspoons icing sugar/powdered sugar
- 246g/2 cups plain/all-purpose flour (or cake flour)
- 30g/3 tbsp and 1/2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
- 4g/2 tsp good-quality Earl Grey tea (2 tea bags of Twinings light) – other brands might have a lighter or stronger bergamot aroma and flavour so adapt your quantities. Get a good-quality tea, so when you open the tea bag and sniff you can smell the citrus bergamot.
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch fine sea salt, to taste
Method (printable illustrated recipe)
- Cream the softened butter in a large bowl then whisk in the icing sugar little by little until light and fluffy.
- In a separate smaller bowl whisk the flour, cornflour, tea powder from your two Earl Grey tea bags (just cut the bags and add), baking powder and salt to combine.
- Then with a rubber spatula or large silicone spoon stir the flour mixure into the butter and sugar to make a dough. Don’t overmix.
- Chill in the fridge 5-10 minutes (in the bowl) if necessary. Make sure it doesn’t get too firm or it will be difficult to pipe! Massaging stiff cookie dough is no fun… If the dough’s very stiff you can just make balls and flatten them a bit.
- If your mixture’s soft enough fill a disposable piping bag (with the star nozzle) and swirl rosettes on your prepared baking tray. Around 2.5 to 4cm/1 to 1.5 inches is a nice size. They spread out in the oven so keep some space between them (about 2.5cm/1in).
- Chill in the fridge 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 170°C/340°F (static non-convection oven) or 150°C/300°F (fan-assisted).
- Bake in the middle of the oven (one tray at a time if you have 2) for 9 to 14 minutes, depending on your oven. I like them a little golden around the edges (some like theirs very pale). They’ll be soft when they come out so let them cool 5 minutes on the tray then take off the tray and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Eating and storing
They’re quite delicate so treat these biscuits gently and they can even go out on trips (if any break they’re still delicious). Store in a metal tin or airtight jar where they’ll keep up to 4 or 5 days, possibly more…
Love these little treats. I’ve just come back from a short holiday in beautiful Sicily where I did manage to make some cakes! Some photos are on my instagram account. And I’ve been climbing harder so some skin came off my finger. Okay, what I’m trying to say is oops I haven’t posted much lately and I didn’t draw the recipe (update: until now – March 2020!). Anyway do have an Earl Grey melting moments biscuit and cup of tea. 🙂
Farewell for now sweet reader and hope you’re having some lovely summer or winter holidays, or just a great weekend! Happy baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x