Lemon Thyme Shortbread with Earl Grey Glaze: Tea and Cookies

Lemon and thyme shortbread gets an Earl Grey glaze for a tea and cookies treat that is really more cookies with a touch of tea (but also divine with a cup on the side).
Lemon Thyme Shortbread with an Earl Grey Glaze #recipe via FoodforMyFamily.com

My kitchen has been taken over by cookies. They dot the surface of the counter, are tucked into boxes and bags that line the dining room table, have made themselves comfortable on the wire shelves in my small refrigerator, completely blocking the access to any food you might consider eating for dinner or lunch or breakfast or anything in between.

The first gift boxes headed out the door early this morning, clutched in the gloved fists of my middle two children as they made their way through the snow to school. Eager to bestow them upon their teachers and then to immediately start the freedom known as winter break, they were up at dawn picking gift bags and tying ribbons to secure their package. Inside each box was tucked an assortment of sweets from truffles to family secrets to shortbread that found its way to the lineup late in the game.

Tonight we take on yet more sweets in preparation for holiday gatherings that begin tomorrow. I am rolling up my sleeves and diving into the kitchen, its surfaces dusted with a fine layer of powdered sugar, a giant bowl of flour propped up on the counter for easy access, cookie cutters an arm’s length away.
Lemon Thyme Shortbread with an Earl Grey Glaze #recipe via FoodforMyFamily.com
And then there was butter, a whole case of it, in fact. The fine folks at PlugrΓ‘ were kind enough to send a case of unsalted butter for my holiday baking, and I’ve been using it in everything from Brussels to mini molten cakes to shortbread. Shortbread showcases butter, a simple cookie where you can taste the quality and richness. European-style butters have a slightly higher butterfat percentage and less water which makes them great for baking.
Lemon Thyme Shortbread with an Earl Grey Glaze #recipe via FoodforMyFamily.com
Making these cookies, I wasn’t sure if I could make out the individual flavors (too much dough nibbling and tea drinking). The flavor profile is subtle, the lemon and thyme melding together, and the tea accenting the cookie with just a hint of bergamot-laced boldness.

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tablespoons brewed Earl Grey

Cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon extract. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, thyme, and salt. Mix the flour into the butter until thoroughly combined.

Split the dough into two equal-sized balls. Form into logs and roll in parchment. Refrigerate for at least one hour until the dough is chilled and firm.

Preheat the oven to 300ΒΊ F. When the oven has preheated and you’re ready to bake, line baking sheets with parchment. Slice 1/4″ slices off the logs and place on the baking sheets about 1″ apart. Bake for 20-25 minutes, just until the edges start to turn golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, mix together confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of tea until a thick glaze is formed. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies. Allow to set before packaging.

Makes approximately 30 cookies.
Copyright © Food for My Family.


  1. those cookies look so good. what a create way to combine the flavors of grey earl tea with lemony thyme. such a great combination! it is nice to know that my kitchen is not the only one full of edible treats in the form of cookies but still creating the sensations as well. i am baking as we speak! don’t you love this time of year? πŸ™‚

  2. Are you ever going to share those “family secrets”??? You know how much I love them! πŸ˜› Great combination of flavors!

  3. So simple and yet so delicious – that’s my favorite kind of cookie! Can’t wait to try this one.

  4. A case of butter is a great gift! These cookies look perfect for Christmas. You should send me some πŸ˜‰

  5. I’ve never heard of using tea in baking before – this is so clever! The cookies are stunning, as well. By the way, I think that a case of butter is a great gift, too. Thanks for this recipe!

  6. I love the idea of using Earl Grey tea in cookies – I’ve seen something similar in the stores around here.

  7. I have been taken over by cookies too. I love so many things about these. Shortbread is a holiday must for me too. And I love the styling!

  8. I gave a very similar recipe to my daughter for cookies for work…without the Earl Grey component. I’ll have to try that; cookies and tea all wrapped up together works for me!

  9. Shaina, I love these!! And they look so cute!

  10. These look lovely!

  11. Perfect cookies, Shaina! I’m tempted to start baking all over again tomorrow, but I *just* finished cleaning my kitchen. πŸ˜‰

    Merry Christmas!

  12. Merry Christmas Sweet Friend–gorgeous cookies!

  13. A case of Plugra sounds pretty heavenly to me!! There are some pretty lucky recipients for these lovely tea cookies! πŸ™‚

  14. Earl Grey is one of my favorite teas, I like the idea of it here with the lemon and thyme.

  15. Tea-flavored sweets have always intimidated me but this sounds too easy. I must try it. Thanks! Have a happy new year!

  16. Gorgeous shortbread. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost…

  17. these are so super pretty Shaina. Your blog is always loverly lady! πŸ™‚

  18. I realize that in finding these a year and a half after the fact, but in wondering how much the consistency and flavor would change in using fresh lemon juice instead of extract? I don’t have it on hand but these cookies sound soooo yummy!

    • Hi, Jesica! You can definitely add in a teaspoon of lemon juice rather than the extract. Lemon juice won’t be as concentrated, but as long as you have the zest in there, it won’t be too different from the original. Let me know if you have any other questions, and I hope you enjoy them!


  1. […] adapted to suit your tastes. Whether you dot it with ginger and orange zest or drizzle it with tea-infused glaze, or spice it with peppermint pieces and dip it in dark chocolate its versatility is one that should […]

  2. […] Magnus that he was going to have to share with his girlfriends in West Virginia. I’ve done tea-spiked glaze on shortbread in the past, so for these shortbread I went with crushed tea leaves added directly to the dough. I […]

  3. […] Lemon Thyme Shortbread with Earl Grey Glaze […]

Speak Your Mind