Sometimes you just fancy something a bit posh… a bit ‘Downton Abbey’… along with your morning cup of tea. These Earl Grey & Raspberry Jam shortbread biscuits are just the ticket, and I’m sure the Dowager Countess of Grantham would have approved!
I loved the look of these delicious jam-filled biscuits – they reminded me of the classic English Shrewsbury biscuits, which have long been a favourite in New Zealand. This version is a little fancier than those, with its hint of Earl Grey tea. Actually, the original recipe from Taste.com.au used chamomile tea rather than Earl Grey, but actually you can use which ever tea blend you fancy. Alternatively, you could also use some edible dried lavender, or some finely processed citrus zest. I’m an Earl Grey tea lover from way back, so it seemed the obvious choice.
The biscuits – a light, crisp, melt-in-your-mouth (and gluten-free!) shortbread – paired beautifully with the raspberry jam (strawberry would be a great alternative) and the dusting of icing sugar on top made them as pretty as a picture. And, the tiny little cut-out shapes baked up give you the perfect little treat to have along with your daily cup of tea or coffee. The recipe said it made 8 filled biscuits; I used slightly smaller cutters and managed to make 24 – not sure why the big discrepancy. By the way, you can use whichever cut out shapes you prefer – flowers, hearts, circles… it’s all good.
So, grab your girlfriends, put on your Sunday best, and enjoy these delicious biscuits along with a large pot of Earl Grey tea!
- 2 tablespoons loose leaf earl grey tea (or you can use the contents of tea bags)
- 120g (4.2 oz) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- 250g (8.8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Large pinch of salt
- 80g (2.8 oz) almond meal
- 1 egg
- 340g (11.9 oz) gluten-free flour blend (or you can use regular flour)
- Good quality raspberry jam (or you can whichever flavour your prefer)
- Icing sugar, to dust (confectioner's sugar)
- Process the tea leaves in a food processor until finely chopped. Pass through a coarse sieve and discard any large solids. Add the sieved tea leaves and sugar back into the food processor and process again until well combined.
- In an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat the sugar mixture, butter, vanilla and salt in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add the almond meal and egg and beat until combined. Add the flour and beat on low speed until just combined.
- Gather the dough together and turn onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Divide in half and shape into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight to rest.
- Preheat oven to 180C (360F). Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Roll out 1 portion of dough between two sheets of lightly floured baking paper until 4mm thick (if the dough gets too warm and sticky, pop it back into the fridge to firm up). Use a 7cm (2.7 inch)* fluted cookie cutter to cut rounds from the dough, rerolling scraps as you go. Place on 1 prepared tray. Place tray in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.
- Roll out the remaining portion of dough. Use the same fluted cookie cutter to cut the same number of rounds as the last time, rerolling scraps. Use a 4cm (1.5 inch) shaped cutter to cut shapes in the centre of each round. Place the cut rounds on the second prepared tray and put the tiny cut out shapes on a separate tray or plate in the fridge to bake later. Place tray in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.
- Bake the two trays of round biscuits, swapping the trays halfway through cooking (or you can bake the trays separately as I did), for 12-14 minutes or until light golden. Leave on a rack to cool completely (they need to cool to harden).
- When ready to bake the tiny shaped biscuits, bake them for 7-8 minutes at the same temperature or until light golden and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Spread the whole round biscuits evenly with spoonfuls of jam. Dust the remaining round biscuits with cut out shapes with icing sugar (make sure you do this before sandwiching them together!). Sandwich together and serve.
- The biscuits store very well in a sealed container. Serve 2-3 tiny cut out shaped biscuits with a cup of tea.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting