The Issaquah, Washington-based Biscottea company recently launched a line of gluten-free, tea-flavored shortbread cookies and asked if I would like a free sample to review. I am always in favor of blogger swag, and delighted when it turns out to be high quality swag that I can heartily endorse, as is the case with this trio of sweet treats.
Biscottea sent a package of their Blueberry and White Tea, Chai and Earl Grey shortbreads for Dan and I to sample and we were happy to conduct a teatime taste test. I brewed up a pot our own home-grown and dried mint leaves in my vintage tea pot, which was a long-ago gift from my wonderful Aunt Priscilla. I just recently noticed that it is decorated with wheat sheaves (!), ironic for our gluten-free kitchen, but I do love it still.
Dan and I tried each of the three GF shortbreads and found that each was delicious and CRISPY and full of tea flavor. I liked the Earl Grey the best. It has that lemony bergamot perfume that makes Earl Grey so distinctive. Dan grooved on the Chai Biscottea with its cinnamony spiciness. We both ranked the Blueberry version third, though it was pleasant enough with its nuggets of dried berries. The two other flavors just seemed much more flavorful and buttery.
We enlisted the tasting help of our younger and perpetually-hungry athlete daughter (Go Bulldogs!) and she just shrugged and said they were "alright". I suspect that is because youngsters favor sweeter, gooier cookies in general. Shortbread cookies just don't compare with fudgy soft brownies and chocolate chip cookies for the juvenile palate. But both snobby, sophisticated adult taste tasters gave these delightful cookies an enthusiastic thumbs up!
The Biscottea website doesn't yet indicate what local retailers are carrying their products and even the uber-retailer Amazon doesn't yet have the GF Biscotteas available for sale. One can buy Biscottea's non-GF shortbreads on Amazon in boxes of a dozen packages containing two cookies each for $19.94 plus shipping, so hopefully the GF Biscotteas would not be priced any higher. They would certainly make an elegant addition to a tea gift basket and were a sophisticated gourmet treat for the two of us on a blustery afternoon.
I applaud Biscottea for adding a gluten-free line to their existing tea and coffee flavored shortbreads, and wish them well in marketing these delicious cookies. I look forward to buying some from my favorite upstate New York retailers when they become more widely available. Thanks Biscottea!