Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze

These delicious shortbread cookies have a classic buttery taste with the special touch of Earl Grey tea and lemon. Refrigerate the dough and then slice and bake — they’re so easy to make!

Hey, friends…are you in the mood for baking? Today we’re making yummy Earl Grey shortbread cookies with lemon glaze. As we know, a good shortbread cookie has a lot of butter — and these are no exception.

Are you wondering if they’re healthy? Hmmm…well not in the strict sense, to be honest. But we’re just having a cookie or two with our tea, so I promise your secret is safe with me! Plus, don’t hog the plate. You’re going to want to share these with family and friends or add them to a holiday cookie tray.


As a side note, this was my second attempt at Earl Grey cookies. My first batch had a bitter after-taste and ended up in the trash. It takes a lot for me to trash cookies! I think it was just a bad recipe…it seemed like too much tea and not enough sugar, plus a “strange-to-me” type of flour called einkorn. Moving on.

Want to learn more about Earl Grey tea + get another recipe?
Check out my Easy London Fog Tea Latte
What’s to Like About These Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies?

For my second attempt, I scoured the internet looking for a recipe with lots of positive reviews and I landed at The Food Network. I made some changes to the basic recipe: I reduced the tea a little; added lemon zest to the batter and then topped the cookies off with a lemon glaze.

I think we hit the right note with this “tweaked” recipe. They have a delicate melt-in-your-mouth crumb, a nice touch of lemon and tea plus just enough sweetness. This batch of cookies disappeared fast in our house!

A Look at the Ingredients

Other than Earl Grey tea, all the ingredients are probably already in your pantry. That’s another reason I love this recipe.

  • All-purpose flour
  • Earl Grey tea leaves (I cut open tea bags and measured out the tea)
  • Salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Lemon(s)
Tools and Equipment Needed

I debated about taking out my stand mixer because I wasn’t sure my small food processor (recommended by the Food Network) could handle this dough. Guess what? The 8-cup food processor worked just fine! (Note: If you scale the recipe up, you’ll need something larger.)

  • Plastic wrap for the dough
  • Baking sheet(s)
  • Parchment paper or silpat to line baking sheets
  • Wire racks for cooling
Tips for Success with Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze

I’m definitely an amateur baker. [There’s no Great British Baking Show in my future…ahem.] But I’ve learned to pay close attention to some things that I used to skip over. If we’re going to spend money on ingredients and precious time baking — my new motto is…let’s plan for success.

  • Allow the butter to come to room temperature. This means, take two sticks of butter out of the fridge; go to yoga class or the hair salon and then come back and start baking. I used to let it sit on the counter for about 15-20 minutes, but this doesn’t really do the trick. Letting the butter sit out for at least a couple of hours makes a difference in the way the whole recipe comes together.
  • When working with fresh lemons (without a juicer) — roll the lemon on the counter or cutting board first to break up the membranes and more easily release the juice. I also just saw a hack on how to juice a lemon without a juicer or a knife. Genius! I’m going to try this next time.
  • Do not overmix the dough. The directions call for pulsing it in a food processor just until the dough starts to form. Overdoing it leads to a tougher cookie.
  • Be sure to chill the dough. Thirty minutes is recommended, but you could even leave it overnight or freeze it for another day.
  • Be sure to slice the dough thin (about 1/3-inch); I made mine too thick so they took longer to bake and didn’t have the delicate “tea cookie” look and feel I hoped for. Next time I’ll slice them thinner.
You don’t need to search for loose Earl Grey tea leaves.
You can cut open tea bags and measure out what you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Earl Grey Tea Should I Use?

The Food Network recipe called for loose leaf Earl Grey tea leaves, but I’ve seen many versions using tea bags. I didn’t want to turn this into a hunt for specialty ingredients — so I used Bigelow Earl Grey tea, which was the only option at my grocery store. As mentioned, I cut open the tea bags and measured out the tea.

Obviously, a good quality Earl Grey tea (in any form) would be a great choice.

Do These Cookies Have Caffeine?

Yes, they do have caffeine unless you specifically choose decaffeinated Earl Grey tea. Earl Grey is made from black tea, which has about half the caffeine of a cup of coffee, however. You can read more about that in Easy London Fog Tea Latte.

Let’s Get Baking!

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Course: Dessert
Servings

24

servings

These tasty shortbread cookies are easy to make and great for a holiday cookie tray. The dough can be made ahead. Just slice and bake when you’re ready.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 5 to 6 tsp. Earl Grey tea (I used five tsp.)

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest

  • Lemon Glaze
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

  • Lemon juice from one lemon

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or a Silpat liner.
  • In a food processor, pulse together the flour, tea and salt until you can see spots of tea in the flour.
  • Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and butter and pulse until a dough begins to form.
  • Add in the lemon zest and pulse just until the dough is ready to be shaped.
  • Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it into a log about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Tightly twist the ends of the wrap and place the log in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can refrigerate up to 24 hours or even freeze the dough, then thaw before slicing.
  • Slice the log into cookies, about 1/3-inch thick and place them about two inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat.
  • Bake until the edges are brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool to room temperature.
  • Make the Lemon Glaze
  • Add 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar to a measuring cup or bowl and slowly add lemon juice, stirring until you get the desired consistency. Add more lemon juice if the mix is too thick or more sugar if it gets too thin and runny. ( I used 1 to 2 tsp. of lemon juice.)
  • Be sure cookies are completely cool. Then drizzle lemon glaze over the top.

Did you make these Earl Grey shortbread cookies? Let me know in comments and/or take a picture and tag me @honest_and_simple on Instagram.

I am not a licensed nutritionist, medical professional or cosmetics expert. The information provided on Honest + Simple is for general informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food + Drug Administration and are not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease. Before making decisions about your health or other concerns, please consult a qualified professional and do not rely on this website for medical advice.

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