Baskerville Earl Grey tea biscuits recipe

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Baskerville Earl Grey tea biscuits recipe
Edible typography
Using food to describe the experience of typography

Baskerville is a transitional serif typeface that sits between the old style serif typefaces of William Caslon and the modern serifs created by Giambattista Bodoni & Firmin Didot. English printer and type designer John Baskerville developed a typeface with more defined angles and greater stroke contrast. This was a refined face with improved legibility which also took advantage of the improvements in technology happening in the 1750s. Baskerville is a recognisably English typeface that has stood the test of time as a legible, everyday text face.

My interpretation of Baskerville are Earl Grey tea biscuits for an authentic eighteenth century flavour. At this time improved technology and transport allowed foods to be enjoyed throughout the country. Tea had become the national drink and the tea leaves would be dried, rolled and used again. I had initially thought that Baskerville should be savoury, since it’s an everyday ‘jobbing’ typeface, but sweet biscuits tasted better.


200g butter
200g caster sugar
2 tsp finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves (use decaffinated tea for less of a caffeine hit)
1 large free-range egg, lightly beaten
400g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 175C/350F/Gas 4, prepare baking trays by greasing them and lining with non stick baking paper.

Either use Baskerville biscuit cutters, or print out your letters at actual size and cut them out to create templates.

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1. Cream the butter and sugar with the finely ground tea using a wooden spoon. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the flour and mix until the mixture forms a dough.
2. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour.
3. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface to approx 0.5cm thick.
4. Cut out your biscuits either using the biscuit cutters or templates you prepared earlier.
5. Place on a greased and lined baking tray. Wash with beaten egg and sprinkle with tea.
6. Bake for about 8 minutes until golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Inspired by a BBC food recipe for Earl Grey biscuits

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Baskerville is a transitional serif designed in England in the 1750s by John Baskerville.

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See also: Helvetica water biscuits recipe

me talking by JLW eye logo 2 st bride posit
Sarah Hyndman talking Edible Typography at Eye Magazine’s Type Tuesday at the St Bride Library.