Arnold Palmer Shortbread Cookies

Arnold Palmer Shortbread Cookies

I have some time off from work right now. A little staycation, shall we say. The house looked like a bomb had exploded so I decided to do some cleaning. As I was cleaning out the pantry, I found the earl grey tea I had bought for panna cotta. I racked my brain to figure out what went best with tea. The first thing that popped in my brain was lemonade. Tea and lemonade, the awesome Arnold Palmer; but can I make it in a nonconventional way that wasn’t a drink?


And thus, the earl grey shortbread cookies with a lemon glaze was born!

Arnold Palmer Cookies

Cookie Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons tea leaves (about 8 tea bags)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup butter, room temperature and cubed (1½  sticks)


Lemon Glaze Ingredients

  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 lemons, zest finely grated


Directions for cookies

  1. Mix flour, tea leaves, and salt together in a food processor. Pulse a few times until tea leaves are well incorporated in the flour.
  2. Add sugar, almond extract, and butter. Pulse until the mixture becomes clumpy.
  3. Dump contents onto a clean work surface and work together with hands until crumbs form one ball of dough. This will take some work as I lowered the butter ratio to make the cookies “healthier”.
  4. Roll dough into a log, about 2½ inch in diameter, and wrap in saran wrap. Tightening the ends and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (I prefer to keep it in there for a few hours or overnight to really firm up the dough).
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  6. Slice the dough log about ⅓ inch thick and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper with about an inch of space in between the cookies (you may need to bake the cookies in two batches).
  7. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the edges are just slightly brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack with a flat spatula.
  8. Let the cookies cool before eating or glazing (but do try one when they’re still warm, SO GOOD).


Directions for lemon glaze

  1. Mix lemon juice and sugar until dissolved in a bowl (double-boiler method).
  2. Whisk in butter and lemon zest until fully incorporated.
  3. Drizzle on top of cookies and let glaze to rest for about 30 minutes before packing away.


Store the cookies in an airtight container and you can enjoy them for up to a week!


I also made a pomegranate glaze as well. My mom’s garden is in full bloom again and she gave me so many pomegranates from her first harvest. I figured the tangy, sweet pomegranate juice will pair up nicely with the toasty, earthy earl grey cookies. Use the same amount of liquid and omit the lemon zest.


So why shortbread style? There are so many different types of cookies out there I could have made, but I really wanted a rich, tender, and crumbly cookie. I didn’t think a chewy or crispy cookie would have really matched the concept or flavor profile of the cookie. The idea of this Arnold Palmer cookie is that it’s so deep and rich in flavor that you won’t need to eat too many of them to go with your afternoon tea. That’s another reason why I didn’t swap out butter for oil – I really wanted to keep it nice and rich. Not telling you how to run your life, but do be cautious that there’s a high ratio of butter in the cookies so eat sparingly. And don’t blame me when your pants are snug afterwards.


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