Sunday, September 16, 2018

Almond Shortbread and Adagio Tea


I have loved shortbread ever since I tasted my first bite.  I've tried many different recipes and usually I end up going back to my tried and true Classic Shortbread recipe, which you can view here and here (I love them so much I've posted them twice!).  Also delicious are these Pecan Shortbread cookies from Dorie Greenspan.  But today, I bring you Almond Shortbread cookies from Taste of Beirut


These shortbread cookies are quite popular in the Chouf Mountain area of Lebanon. The almond tree is native to the Middle East and was eventually brought to the United States in the 1700s by Franciscan Padres.  Now California is the world's largest supplier of almonds! Deliciously flaky and filled with finely chopped, toasted almonds these cookies have a delightful flavor and aroma.  I actually prefer them without the powdered sugar coating as it's been quite humid here in the Midwest and the sugar didn't stay pretty for long.  

We all know that cookies are perfect with coffee, milk or tea in the afternoon and tea is another of my loves.  Now that there is a hint of fall here and there, I will be enjoying hot tea more often in the afternoon.  

When Ashley from Adagio Teas asked if I would like to try a sampling of their teas I couldn't say YES fast enough!  I was able to select a sample of five different teas and there was another sample of iced tea brew sent with my box.  I loved reading about the family-owned business and how their company began and evolved.  I picked my samples based on reviews of 95 of greater and they were all wonderful. 


The sample packs come in resealable heavy weight plastic bags with about 15 pyramid tea pouches per bag and the Master Teas come in a small tin.  I began my tasting with my favorite flavor, Citrus Mint Green tea.  


As I filled the tea cup with hot water, the color and aroma was immediate.  I loved this flavor and I was able to get 3 tea cups full of delicious tea with one pouch.  My second favorite flavor was the White Peach that you can see below.  


#1 Green Citrus Mint contains green tea, spearmint leaves, lemon grass, lemon verbena, orange peels, marigold flowers, lemon and orange flavor.  

#2 White Peach contains white tea from China, apricots, natural peach flavor and marigold flowers.



My next favorites were a tie between the Formosa Ali Shan which is a Masters Tea (meaning premium and rare select teas, unique outside of Asia, and entirely hand processed), and the Jasmine Silver Needle.  Much more delicate in flavor, they were both delicious.

#3 Formosa Ali Shan is an oolong tea and brews into a creamy cup of tea, with notes of honeysuckle and lilac.  It may be steeped several times.

#4 Jasmine Silver Needle is a white tea with young long tea leaves, hence the name silver needle.  It has a classic Jasmine flavor but soft and delicate.  The aroma of this tea is beautiful!


#5 One of Adagio's most popular teas, traditional black tea called Irish Breakfast tea.  Everything a 'cuppa' should be in the morning...spicy aroma with deep flavor.  Enjoy with or without milk!

#6 Blood Orange Iced Tea Brew is an herbal mix of blood orange peels, hibiscus flowers and rose hips.  Each pouch makes about 4 cups of tea.  It's caffeine free and very refreshing!

I hope you enjoyed my little evaluation of Adagio Teas!  If you are a tea lover, as I am, or know someone who is, I hope you will visit their site and try some of their lovely teas.  Although the samples were provided to me by Adagio Teas my tastes and opinions are my own.


Almond Shortbread Cookies

Printable Recipe

Adapted from Taste of Beirut 

Makes about 4 dozen cookies, depending on the size of your cutter.

1 cup unsalted butter plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour (or cornstarch)  I used Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice Flour
1-3/4 cups almonds, finely chopped in a food processor

1 cup powdered sugar for dusting, optional

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a food processor, pulse almonds in short bursts until finely chopped (stopping to scrape the bottom edges frequently.  Don't over process or it will turn into almond butter! 

Place the finely chopped almonds on a small, rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes or so, until slightly golden and fragrant.  Remove and cool completely.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.  Slowly add in the AP flour and rice flour (or cornstarch) until incorporated, then add the cooled chopped almonds.

Cover dough and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

On a large sheet of parchment, waxed paper, or lightly floured surface, roll out one-third of the dough, using another sheet of parchment or waxed paper on top if the dough sticks to the rolling pin, to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.  Cut with a cookie cutter.  Incorporate scraps into next one-third of the dough and repeat.

Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 13-15 minutes or until light golden in color.  Cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing. 

If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar when cool enough to handle but still warm.  I preferred them without powdered sugar.

34 comments:

  1. The shortbread cookies sound wonderful, Susan, and so perfect with a cup of tea. I have ordered from Adagio Teas, as a friend told me about the company several years ago. They are very good teas! Thank you for your reviews of them. I do love your pretty black and white teacups, too...lovely!

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    1. I do love tea and shortbread together! So glad to hear that you already know about Adagio Teas! I was very impressed. Thank you, Kitty!

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  2. I’ve never heard of this tea brand, but I’m sure they were perfect with those cookies. Shortbread and almonds is a great combination. I don’t know why I’ve never seen it before, but would love to try these.

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  3. I love all about Tea and these almond shortbread look stunning Susan! xo A lovely recipe!

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    1. Thank you, Gloria! I loved these almond shortbreads and they are perfect with tea ♥

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  4. I am a lover of tea and I am always looking for new and fabulous teas. Thank you for the recommendation. I love shortbread cookies, and they go so well with tea!

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    1. I know you would love their tea, Bonnie. They are a great combination together ;)

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  5. I am a tea drinker all my life! Can't imagine life without tea :-) Wonderful with my favourite shortbread cookies!

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    1. I only started drinking tea as an adult as my parents were both coffee drinkers. I still drink coffee in the morning but I love tea in the afternoon, especially with a little treat like shortbread :) Thank you, Angie!

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  6. Don't you just love being a taste tester with such lovely products?👏🏻🙂👍🏻Of course I am going to try these..There are some recipes you only need one of but others so fun to try!Like shortbreads ..choco chip cookies..banana breads.Thanks for sharing the new to me teas and the cookies!Bonne journée ma belle Susan!

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    1. I so enjoyed tasting these :) I think you would love both ♥♥ I don't always stray from my favorites but sometimes you can just tell it will be delicious and it was. Thank you, Dear Monique!

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  7. Those shortbread cookies look so good. They'd fit right into our fika (coffee break with sweets) tradition. I've never made shortbread cookies, but should.

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    1. We had that too growing up :) Usually it was with Kringle or nut bread. You do need to try shortbread, Ron. I think you'd really enjoy it!

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  8. I know I would love these cookies and the tea! What would the day be without a great cup of hot tea? Beautiful cookies Susan :) Bravo!

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    1. Thanks so much, Tricia! Tea and cookies...It's such a relaxing part of the day :)

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  9. Hello Susan!

    Simply mouth watering almond cookies. It looks so delish. A perfect accompaniment with tea in this changing weather.

    Keep sharing your best recipes and look forward to your future creations and write ups.

    Thanks and much luv
    Sonia
    http://www.mycreativeflavors.com/

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  10. Hmmm to shortbread cookies so well loved that they have been shared twice. I am very intrigued by the teas...great descriptions!

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  11. I love almond flavor and also the Taste of Beirut blog. The teas sound delightful. I like their pyramid shape.

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    1. I love that this recipe calls for real almonds and not almond extract! The teas are delicious too ;) Thank you, Pat!

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  12. Love those cookies and the tea, Susan! And the china is perfect for them. What a nice little tea break!

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  13. Susan, what a perfect combination...almond cookies paired with awesome tea...
    Your cookies look amazing...professionally baked and the teas so fragrant...
    Thanks for the cookie recipe and review of the teas...I hope you are enjoying your week!

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    1. They are delicious together :) Thank you, Juliana!

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  14. These cookies look absolutely perfect and a great accompaniment with any warm or cold beverage!

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    1. So true, Katerina. The cookies are perfect with almost anything, even a glass of liqueur after dinner :)

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  15. I know these have to be delicious! And of course you make them look so pretty :-) I'm glad for fall settling in.

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    1. Hi Suzy!!! Wish we could have tea together ;) I'm ready for cooler but I need some dry weather after our unusually wet summer.

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  16. The tea sounds fabulous and I prefer tea over coffee. But mostly I prefer these cookies. Next to a good chocolate chip cookie, shortbread is my fave too! Hope you are doing well Susan!

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    1. For me it's coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon :) I couldn't agree more on the cookie preference! Thanks, Abbe!

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  17. These cookies sound wonderful, Susan, and the tea as well. I love shortbread but have never tried making it at home, Walkers' has always been good enough for me, but I'm going to try yours. I have a ton of almonds at home and will put them to good use.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. I find homemade shortbread is so much more flavorful than store-bought. Hope you try them one day :) Thank you, Amalia!

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