Last year at Comicpalooza, I was honored to meet author Michelle Muenzler. In addition to being a great writer and mentor, she makes seriously awesome cookies. In fact, on the con circuit, she’s known as The Cookie Lady, as she always has cookies in tow.
Ms. Muenzler is kind enough to share her recipes on her website, and I have had great success with a few of them. My favorite, though, is her recipe for Earl Grey shortbread. Now, I’ve never actually made Earl Grey shortbread. I don’t care for Earl Grey tea, and as that’s the major flavoring agent, it didn’t seem like a wise choice. However, there are many, many teas that I do enjoy, and I’ve experimented with a few with great results.
My latest experiment with the Earl Grey shortbread recipe is this one: Smoky Bacon Shortbread. I subbed Tea Punk Tea’s Winter Smoke tea for the Earl Grey and added in some chopped candied bacon. Delicious! Below is the recipe, based on the one at Michelle’s website: http://www.michellemuenzler.com.
For candied bacon:
- 1 1/2 strips of bacon
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp water
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 2 Tbsp loose Winter Smoke tea
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 strips of bacon, candied and finely chopped
Prepare candied bacon
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Place bacon strips on rack over a lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.
- Flip bacon over. Baste with a mixture of 1 1/2 Tbsp of brown sugar and enough water to create a thick liquid.
- Return to oven for another 15 minutes or until bacon acquires preferred level of doneness.)
- Cream together butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Add flour, tea, and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Chop bacon (I use a Ninja food processer) and stir into dough.
- Roll dough into logs (1″ thick or so). I do this on waxed paper or a silicon baking max sprinkled with powdered sugar. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or the waxed paper and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Slice logs into thin disks and place on nonstick baking sheets or parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until edges begin to brown, about 10-12 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.
The Winter Smoke tea used here is available from the lovely people at: https://www.teapunkteas.com/store/c2/Black_Teas.html