When I get back to London, I want to have tea. Obviously I’ve had tea before. Ryan and I made it in our apartment and I even had tea and scones with some friends at the Victoria & Albert Museum. But I think you know what I really mean.
I bet you have some idea of the ridiculous picture I have in my head. Imagine: a restaurant, dressing up a little bit, a fascinator hat, pinky in the air, and a three-tier tray with tiny sandwiches and sweets. I know it’s not really going to be like that and my little fantasy is probably closer to a stereotype than anything else. Regardless, I still want to go to tea and Ryan and I have been collecting a few suggestions for where to go.
Until that day though, I’d like to pretend that these cookies would be one of the sweets served at tea time. They are simple looking and dainty in size. The cookies have a subtle citrus flavor while also feeling a bit like a decadent treat. Sounds like a nice tea-time pairing to me.
I was also drawn to this recipe because I love desserts that use citrus. My usual go-to are lemon desserts, but I wanted to expand my horizons and using grapefruit felt exciting and unusual. Grapefruit is nice because it has a little bit of lemon’s tartness while also being a bit sweeter. Eat these cookies however you like, but I’ll eat them while pretending I’m at tea with Ryan in London.
Adapted from Martha Stewart.
zest of 1 grapefruit, plus 1/4 cup of juice
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp grapefruit juice
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In a small bowl, combine the zest and 1 tbsp of sugar.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, and salt.
4. Using the paddle attachment on an electric mixer, beat the butter and remaining sugar on medium-high for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
4. Add egg yolks and beat until combined. The dough will turn a gorgeous yellow. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
5. Mix in the sugar-zest mixture.
6. Add flour mix in two batches, alternating with the juice. Mix until combined.
7. Collect dough into a disk shape and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
8. Flour your work surface and roll out the disk of dough to about 1/8″ thick. Using a 2″ round to cut out circles. Place cookies on parchment paper lined baking sheet about 1″ apart. These cookies don’t spread much as they bake so they can be pretty close together.
9. Bake until the edges start to turn golden. For me, this took 10 minutes. Martha Stewart recommends 18-20 minutes. So, set your timer and check them regularly.
10. Let cool completely before adding filling.
11. For the filling, using an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy – about 4 minutes. Then add the honey. Once the honey is incorporated, add the juice 1 tbsp at a time. Mix until creamy.
12. Spread filling onto the flat side of one cookie. Put another cookie on top of the filling with the flat side down. Store cookies in the fridge because butter cream will melt!
Messy level: I’m giving this two spoons. Anything with flour is inherently messy for me, but this recipe isn’t too different from sugar cookie type recipes. The grapefruit is actually the messiest part. During the zesting it releases a lot of oils and that makes things a little sticky. Also my juicer is too small for a grapefruit so I got a lot of juice on the counter. If you have a better juicer, you should be fine.