And, although I can certainly make shortbread, one of my all-time absolute favorite cookies, buttery and sweet ~ and oh, just teasingly salty ~ I can't make Walkers shortbreads. No, Walkers Scottish shortbreads are an entity unto themselves, and the folks at Walkers do just fine, making shortbreads the way they've been doing it since 1898. You just have to respect that kind of track record.
But unlike the case with some of my more dubious cravings, I have no regrets when I purchase Walkers. I put that little red plaid box right up there on the checkout conveyor belt with my dried black beans and whole wheat flour. I don't feel obligated to eat them out of a brown bag; I happily give them to my kids (well, okay, not "happily," but I do share if pressed). Why? The ingredients listed on the Walkers Shortbread Highlanders box directly in front of me as I write this are as follows: "Wheat flour, butter, sugar, demerara sugar, salt." Precisely what I'd put in there myself. And no mixing bowl to wash.
If you're already a fan of Walkers, then I'm preaching to the choir. If you haven't made their acquaintance yet, then you're in for a treat. In either case, dear readers, you will be happy to hear that the generous folks at Walkers would love to give away an Afternoon Tea Box to a reader of At the Baker's Bench! Trust me, this is a terrific prize, a veritable tea party in a box ~ and who doesn't love a tea party?!
The tea box features several different kinds of shortbread, biscuits for cheese, and two varieties of tea. If you are a tea drinker, prepare to be transported with delight . . . and start praying for lovely cool, rainy afternoons to host some spectacular tea parties. If you are not a tea drinker ~ even better! If you win, you can use your tea to make the very special Earl Grey ice cream recipe I've got for you. Read on after the jump for my recipe for ice cream sandwiches using Walkers Shortbread Thins! You'll find instructions for how to enter the giveaway following the recipe!
Scottish Shortbread Sandwiches with Earl Grey Ice Cream and Crystallized Ginger
- 11/2 cups whole milk
- 11/2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 6 Earl Grey tea bags, tags and strings removed
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
- 16 Walkers Scottish Shortbread Thins
- In a large saucepan, combine milk, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring just to the scald and remove from heat. Add teabags, cover pot, and let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Place egg yolks and remaining sugar in a medium nonreactive mixing bowl; whisk to break up yolks. Cover bowl with a clean dish towel and set aside.
- Remove tea bags, squeezing gently to release all liquid into the pot, and discard. Return milk mixture to medium-high heat until it just reaches a simmer. Remove from heat and carefully pour into egg-yolk mixture while whisking constantly. When all the cream has been added. Pour yolk mixture back into pan and return to stove.
- Heat custard base over medium-low heat, stirring in a figure-8 motion with a wooden spoon. Be careful to scrape the bottom of the pot as you stir. The custard is done with it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (holds a line drawn through it).
- Remove the custard from the stove, pour through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, and place in an ice bath or in the fridge to cool completely. Spin in your ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. When finished, spoon into a storage container, sprinkling the crystallized ginger over it between spoonfuls.
- Freeze the ice cream until solid, then sandwich scoops between 2 shortbread thins and serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to serve.
It's easy! Just leave a comment below with your answer to this question: If you won the Walkers Afternoon Tea in a Box and hosted a tea party, which 5 people ~ living or dead ~ would you invite?
Leave your comments by 8 p.m. (EST) Monday, June 21, 2010, please. I'll use a random number generator to choose a winner and make the announcement on Tuesday, June 22, 2010. U.S. readers only, please, due to shipping constraints.
One comment per person, please. If you'd like a couple of extra chances to win, you can (1) Tweet about this giveaway and comment here with a link to your Tweet and/or (2) mention this giveaway on your blog with a link to it and comment here with a link to your post.