shortbread, cookies, earl grey, tea cookies, kim hendrickson, salvia press
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The Tea House Times Guest Blog featuring KIM HENDRICKSON, Salvia Press

March 2016 Posts

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TEA IS NOT JUST FOR DRINKING by Kim Hendrickson

Monday, March 21st 2016 @ 11:33 AM

Like ​you, ​ I enjoy tea as a beverage​,​ but over the years I've​ also ​tested and sampled many recipes for desserts and ​savories that feature ​​it as ​the main flavoring ingredient. I have to say, I've often been disappointed by my inability to taste a particular tea's influence in a recipe. While I continue to try including tea in edible items (and will share my success​es ​when they happen!), ​one recipe I found makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

I'm a fan of shortbread, so one needs not do anything to a good shortbread recipe for me to delight in it​. ​However, because one of ​my  favorite cookie books​, THE GOOD COOKIE​,​ is written by Tish Boyle, a pastry chef  I trust and respect, I tried her Earl Grey Shortbread ​below​ and was overwhelmed by a harmony of ​unexpected ​flavors. I suspect that even if you are not a fan of Earl Grey tea, ​you will find that its bergamot flavor does something wonderful when paired with buttery shortbread and chocolate accents.​There are a few more steps in this recipe than for standard shortbread but don't be discouraged; the result is well worth it.  

If you have warmed your chocolate too much and a day later you see grey streaks or spots, just know that is ​harmless ​chocolate bloom (when the cocoa butter separates from the chocolate in uneven temperatures)​.  Your cookies ​will still be very edible and tasty!


EARL GREY SHORTBREAD
Yield: 16 wedges

2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea leaves
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil


Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan.

In a medium saucepan, combine the tea leaves and butter; heat over low
heat, stirring occasional, until the butter is melted. Take off the heat
and set aside as it cools and the butter becomes infused with the tea
flavor.

Strain the butter through a sieve into a large bowl. Discard the tea leaves. Stir in sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flours and stir until just blended. Scrape dough into the prepared pan and pat it into and even layer. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or until firm. 

Preheat oven to 325F. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown. While shortbread is still hot, cut into 16 pieces with a sharp knife. Cool completely. 

To garnish your shortbread, melt chocolate over a double boiler, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the oil. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Brush of crumbs from each piece before you spoon the chocolate over the edge. Set each coated piece on the parchment until chocolate is set, about 1 hour at room temperature or 15 minutes in the refrigerator. 

 

You will love these!

 

~ Kim Hendrickson, Salvia Press

 

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KIM HENDRICKSON, author of the Tastefully Small cookbook series, has been teaching for nearly twenty years. A regular instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School, she is a frequent speaker at culinary events throughout the U.S.  She has catered for The Travel Channel’s Bizarre Food Show, the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Penguin Repertory Theater. And TV’s “Slangman”, David Burke. Kim's book, "Finger Sandwiches", is the only one of its kind, dedicated exclusively to a celebration of unique and flavorful tea sandwiches, and her "Savory Bites" and "Dessert Canapes" books help round out the Tastefully Small series to make any gathering both fun and delicious. If Kim has one abiding passion, it’s helping people find their inner chef.  From the importance of selecting the proper ingredients, to garnish and plating ideas, to shortcuts that can help reduce the stress of planning an event, the sole aim of Kim’s passion for food and teaching is to make sure it’s as much about the joy of creating something beautiful as it is sharing that food with others. See http://www.SalviaPress.com

   

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