Orange shortbread cookies couldn’t be easier or more delicious. Pair them with a mug of tea and your afternoon is complete!
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Twinings. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that continue to make My Baking Addiction possible.
Being that I am a food blogger, I sometimes get caught up in the hype of making making over-the-top desserts like Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake and Coca-Cola Cupcakes and I forgot about the simple things like shortbread cookies.
I’ve always had a special place in my heart for shortbread cookies because of my Nana. Now, I don’t remember Nana ever making shortbread cookies, but she often had a blue tin of them on hand during the holidays.
And of course, my faves were the one ones with the extra sprinkling of coarse sugar. I’ve also always had an affinity for Trefoils over any other cookie from the Girl Scouts.
As a kid I loved dunking them in a glass of ice cold milk and as an adult, I love them paired with a mug of hot tea.
Shortbread cookies are one of the most simple and delicious cookies you’ll ever make. And since they require only a handful of ingredients, you probably won’t even need to make a special trip to the market.
You really only need butter, sugar, flour, and an egg. I mean, it doesn’t get much easier than that.
Using those basic ingredients, you can make crispy, buttery cookies that are perfect for just about any occasion. Or, you can kick things up a notch by adding in extract, citrus zest and even herbs to take your shortbread cookies to a whole new level.
When the lovely folks at Twinings contacted me to create a recipe to pair with one of their new blends of Earl Gray teas, my mind immediately thought of shortbread. But not just any shortbread.
I decided to take cue from my friend Emily’s recipe for Rosemary Lemon Shortbread and add in loads of fresh orange zest. This butter citrus combination paired perfectly with Twinings Extra Bold Earl Gray which was only enhanced by the natural orange flavor in the orange shortbread cookies.
If you know anything about tea, you know Twinings. They’ve been in business for more than 300 years! Earl Grey Tea actually came about when the Prime Minister in 1831, Charles Grey, asked Richard Twining to replicate a tea he had been given by a Chinese Mandarin.
It’s pretty awesome that a tea blend created over 186 years ago is still going strong, and in fact, growing. Twinings has three new blends of bergamot-flavored tea; Jasmine Earl Gray, Lavender Earl Gray, and my personal favorite, Extra Bold Earl Gray.
If you’re not familiar, bergamot is a citrus fruit similar to an orange, but more like a lemon in flavor. I’d love to get my hands on some to make more baked goods with them, because I’m obsessed with the flavor in tea. But, since bergamots certainly aren’t going to grow in too-cold-for-its-own-good Ohio, I’m simply going to relish a steaming mug of Extra Bold Earl Grey like five times a day. Kidding not kidding.
Because it’s a citrus fruit, pairing it with other citrus is a no-brainer. These Orange Shortbread Cookies are delightful and just perfect for dipping and nibbling while you sip any one of these new varieties of Earl Grey tea.
Now let me tell you how to make a perfect cup of Earl Grey tea. Start with fresh, cold water. I prefer to use an electric kettle for boiling water. My friend Amber convinced me to buy one years ago, and I’ve never looked back. If you’re British and reading this post, you’re probably thinking, “Um, yeah, duh, who doesn’t own a kettle?!”, but they’re not commonplace in the U.S. I think they should be.
Boil water in a stove-top kettle or electric kettle. Do not use the microwave. It makes tea taste funny (to me, anyway).
When the kettle is just boiled, add a tea bag – Extra Bold Earl Grey for me, thanks! – to your tea cup, and pour water over it. Don’t over-boil the water, it can make the tea taste flat once brewed.
Allow the tea to steep for 2-4 minutes, but no longer. Any longer and you might end up with a cup of tea that tastes bitter and overdone.
Sometimes I prefer my Earl Grey with a bit of milk, or if I’m feeling extremely decadent, half and half. You can add a bit of sugar now too, but the cookies also provide plenty of sweetness if you eat them together.
I’m here to tell you there’s not much more restorative on a cold day than a steaming mug of tea. Except maybe a steaming mug of tea and some Orange Shortbread Cookies!