Although the chilly winter air is still lingering in San Francisco, citrus has been making their comeback on store shelves. I walked into the grocery store the other day and instead of seeing only lemons and limes, I saw an array of different citruses. This makes me happy because I get reminded that summer fruits are quickly approaching! For now, the parade of citrus before my eyes was good enough for me. I couldn’t help myself so I picked up a bag each of lemons, limes, oranges, grapefuits, and blood oranges. I figured I’d figure out what to do with them when the time comes.
For now, let’s tackle the lemons. Since it’s been so cold lately, lemons make me think of holding a huge mug of tea and a squeeze of lemon with my hands tucked into my sleeves. What tea goes best with the flavor of lemon? Earl Grey of course!! Funny, because I used to deteste earl grey…. until I found out how to drink it. I used to work for Starbucks and had prepared many cups of earl grey tea. Every time I pulled the tea bag out of its wrapper and poured hot water over it, I would smell the delicious floral scent it gave off. One day, I finally decided I was going to try it. I dunked the tea bag in hot water and let it steep for a few minutes then excitedly reached in for my first sip when it was cool enough. I spat it out. Never tried it again.
Months later, a new drink was on the menu – London Fog. It was made using earl grey tea. YUCK. At least that’s what I thought until I took a sip of my coworkers drink not knowing what it was. It was soooo delicious and I’ve been hooked ever since. Ladies and gents, don’t drink your earl grey tea, black. Make sure to add some milk and a tad bit of sugar!
What other way to transition winter thoughts of lemon and tea into spring? By making light, floral, lemony, and buttery shortbreads! The smell of these in the oven is AMAZING!! My mouth was watering as I was sitting in the livingroom waiting for these babies to finish baking. I kinda wanted to jump into the oven and sit next to them.
P.S. These are the easiest cookies I’ve ever made in MY LIFE!!!!
Lemon Earl Grey Shortbreads
*2 light cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. earl grey leaves
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 C. confectioners sugar
1 C. butter
*spoon flour into your measuring cup without pushing any of the flour down. When the measuring cup is full, Use a straight-edge to push the excess flour off.
Put flour, tea leaves, and salt into a food processor. Process until the tea leaves look like small specks in the flour.
Next, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, confectioners sugar, and butter into the processor and pulse until the dough comes together. When the dough pulls away from the walls of the food processor, the dough is ready.
Pour the dough onto parchment paper or a surface lightly covered with confectioners sugar and roll into a log (I tried to make a square and failed miserably). Roll in seran wrap or parchment paper, sealing the ends and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
When the dough has hardened, preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
Take the dough out of the wrapper and slice into about half inch slices. Place on cookie sheet about an inch apart and back for 12 minutes or until the bottom becomes slightly golden.
Let the cookies sit for about 2 minutes then transfer onto a cooling rack.
Last step-nom nom nom like Cookie Monster!