Vanilla Earl Grey Shortbread (vegan/GF)
I was going to make a batch of Kale Junkie's Chewy Chai Cookies this weekend but then realized I was totally out of cardamon. While I knew I needed to prep some cookies for the holiday to share with you guys, I was feeling a little bummed I couldn't make them. As I mentioned it to Frank, this genius said, why not make 'another tea type of cookie,' and my brain started firing off. Earl Grey, being one of my favorites, would make an unbelievable shortbread cookie. If you haven't tried my earl grey banana muffins - you'll know that I love the subtle flavor. So I got to testing and came up with something pretty great.
You actually use two bags of earl grey tea in these, cut open the tea bags and throw it right in. I start first by mixing in a stand mixer my favorite vegan butter and powdered sugar. While I don't love using refined sugar, I do think there are times (like the holidays) which its okay to splurge. Once the butter and sugar become smooth, add in vanilla, baking powder, salt and the tea. Blend again until smooth. I then first sift the flour (no need to with the almond flour) and add about 1/3 of a cup at a time to the mixer until a dough forms. Just wait until you smell the tea coming out of this dough. Once it starts to ball up, remove from mixer and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the butter to harden back up, making it easier to roll out later.
When you're ready to roll, flour your counter and roll out the dough to about 1/4 of an inch. I like my shortbread to have a nice snap, and be crunchy, but if you like them a little thicker, do that. I then use cookie cutters to cut out the cookies and place on a baking sheet. I love using stars - super festive with the light speckled color. Keep rolling and re-rolling until all the dough is made up.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 13 minutes, rotating halfway through. They will be done when they are slightly browned on the bottom. Let cool on rack and if you desire icing, do that once cooled.
If you're doing icing its just mixing about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 tablespoon of almond milk. I like to let it sit in the fridge to harden up a little before putting it in a baggie and piping around the edges.
Vanilla Earl Grey Shortbread
Prep Time: 15 minutes (plus 30 minutes minimum in the refrigerator)
Cook Time: 13 minutes
½ cup plus one tablespoon Vegan butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup gluten free flour
1/3 cup almond flour
2 bags of earl grey tea
In a stand mixer, blend sugar and butter until smooth.
Add in vanilla, baking powder, salt and tea from two tea bags and blend again until mixed thoroughly.
Sift flour and add into mixer about 1/3 of a cup at a time until mixed completely.
Once dough forms into a ball, put into refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and take out dough.
On a floured surface, roll out dough to about a 1/4 of an inch. Using cookie cutters cut out desired shapes and place on baking sheet.
Bake for about 13 minutes, until bottoms are slightly browned, turning halfway through.
Let cool completely on a rack before storing or icing. (See my notes above if you're icing.)