It's no secret - I love tea just as much as the next person (or perhaps even more so). Even when I was hopping from country to country in Europe, tea was everywhere I went. We started out with a classy box of caramel tea from Carrefour in Paris, then our hosts began offering us a cup from their overwhelmingly enormous cupboard selection; and it escalated so much so that we purposely visited teashops that served tiny macarons, easily fitting on tiny teaspoons (I felt a little bad for not eating mine).
Kusmi was our tea of choice in Le Marais, Montmartre, and even Amsterdam where we found it hiding in many shops, but unfortunately, in this recipe, I had to use some random tea lurking at the back of our pantry, its dried contents seeping (fittingly) grey dust over nearby containers and packets. What better way to use up random teabags than to make shortbread, then a cuppa quickly afterwards to allow for dunking? Although vegan shortbread may sound a little dubious considering that the traditional recipe consists of almost half butter, the proof is certainly in the biscuit. It's got the 'Dad Seal of Approval', which is rather rare, particularly for something with an electric pink rosewater drizzle.
EARL GREY SHORTBREAD
3/4 cup of virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup of coconut sugar (or any other granulated sugar)
2 tablespoons of ripe banana, mashed
1 earl grey teabag
1 teaspoon of ground vanilla bean powder or extract
Pinch of sea salt
1 2/3 cups of flour of choice (I used a gluten-free flour blend)
2 tablespoons of shelled pistachio nuts
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
1 frozen boysenberry
1 teaspoon of rosewater
- Preheat your oven to 170°C bake. Place the solid coconut oil and coconut sugar in a medium-sized bowl and cream them together until well combined. Add the mashed banana, contents of the teabag, vanilla, and sea salt, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Add the flour and work with a wooden spoon or your hands until it comes to a crumbly dough. Empty the contents of the bowl onto a work surface covered in a sheet of plastic wrap, press flat, sprinkle pistachios on top, and knead into the dough. Shape into a compressed rectangular log, roll up in the plastic wrap, and place in the freezer until almost solid (at least 20 minutes).
- Once hard, take a sharp knife and cut the shortbread log into 2cm slices and lay on a parchment-lined baking tray. Place the tray in the preheated oven and cook for 22-24 minutes (or until golden), spinning the tray around halfway through. Don't be concerned if they're not at all hard because they solidify during the cooling process. Lay the shortbread on the cooling rack until cool.
- In a small saucepan, place a frozen boysenberry and melt over a low heat. Add icing sugar and rosewater, sieve into a small bowl, then drizzle over cooled shortbread. Garnish with additional pistachios and enjoy alongside a hot cup of tea!