In Elite Daily's I Tried series, we put celebrities’ favorite products, recipes, and routines to the test to show you what living like your fave star is really like. In this piece, we try to recreate Ted Lasso’s secret biscuit recipe.
If there’s one symbol that sticks out the most in Ted Lasso, it’s Ted’s mysteriously delicious biscuits. The winsome confection captures the feel-good vibe of the show perfectly. Nobody knows why Ted is so uplifting and optimistic all the time, the same way nobody knows how he makes the perfect cookies — both are recipes for success. After a not-so-warm welcome from new AFC Richmond owner Rebecca (who only hired the inexperienced Ted to coach her ex-husband’s beloved football team in a fit of vengeance), it’s Ted’s biscuits that finally win her over and break through her tough exterior. Fans of the show who’ve seen Rebecca’s ecstatic appreciation of the sweet treat have probably been wanting to try the biscuits for themselves, so even though I’ve never baked anything before in my life, I tried to recreate Ted Lasso’s shortbread biscuits recipe. Just like Ted himself, I may have been totally new to this, but I was determined to give it my best shot.
Since Ted famously keeps his biscuits recipe a secret, there’s no way to know exactly how he makes them, but luckily, plenty of Ted Lasso fans have shared their own takes on the fictional treats. One of the simplest I found comes courtesy of People food editor Ana Calderone. It requires only five ingredients and a few steps, which was important to me given my complete lack of baking experience. Plus, I feel like Ted probably used a very simple recipe for his biscuits, so it felt more authentic.
The first step was to get all the ingredients together. Calderone’s recipe requires the following:
- 1 cup of unsalted butter (which I learned translates to 2 sticks)
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- Half a cup of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- Half a teaspoon of fine sea salt
In addition to ingredients, I also needed a few baking tools that I didn’t have. For the sole purpose of trying this recipe, I became the proud owner of a large metal mixing bowl and a 9-inch square pan, as well as a roll of parchment paper. The recipe also calls for a stand mixer, but I wasn’t about to break the bank. Instead, I Googled around and learned I could mix cookie dough with a large spoon or my hands instead of a mixer. I told you, I’m new to this — I had to double-check everything!
After one final mental pep talk from my inner Ted Lasso, I got started on the recipe. First, I had to let my two sticks of butter sit out for about a half hour to soften. While I waited, I dumped all the flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract into a mixing bowl. Then, I cut my softened butter into cubes and threw them in with the rest of the ingredients.
This is the point when the stand mixer is supposed to come in. If you do have your own mixer, Calderone suggests putting it on low speed with the paddle attachment for about a minute, until the dough starts coming together. If you’re like me and you don’t have a stand mixer, don’t worry! It’ll take longer, but using your hands is a totally effective option.
After about 20 minutes or so of mixing, my dough started to form. I should also note the hand-mixing process was actually kind of fun and began to feel a bit like playing with Play-Doh toward the end. Plus, I found that mixing by hand takes about the exact same time as it’ll take your oven to preheat to 350 degrees.
With my dough actually looking like dough and my oven preheated, I greased the bottom of my square pan (Calderone recommends using butter, but I just used cooking spray because it was easier) and lined it with parchment paper. Then, I pressed my dough as evenly as I could into the pan and put it into the oven.
Calderone’s recipe calls for 30 to 35 minutes in the oven, noting that the shortbread will be done when the edges are golden brown. My dough took a bit longer to bake, but after about 40 minutes, I saw the golden brown edges and the finished product looked just right.
The next step was definitely the worst one: Once out of the oven, the shortbread needs to cool for about an hour. So I marched back to my living room, plopped down on my couch, and started watching a movie while the smell of fresh-baked cookies filled my apartment for the first time ever. I was surprised that the vanilla smell was so strong when so little of it went into the dough.
Finally, after an hour of waiting, I cut the cooled shortbread into 15 cute little bars that looked just like the ones Ted gave to Rebecca.
The Taste Test
My baking journey had come to an end at long last, and since I didn’t burn my apartment down, I’d say it was a success. But the real test came when I finally got to try the biscuits. The true MVPs of the recipe are definitely the butter (duh!) and the vanilla extract. As I noted with the smell, I learned a little vanilla extract goes a long way in terms of flavor; it gave the cookies a very welcome sweetness.
The texture of the cookies was another big standout. They’re super crumbly, but not so much that they easily fall apart. They will make you quite thirsty, though, but luckily they pair perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee.
I’d recommend this recipe to any other baking newbies who want to give it a try, because it wound up being super easy and totally rewarding in the end. Now I see how Ted could make these shortbread biscuits so quickly, and why Rebecca loves them so much. The whole process felt so quintessentially Ted Lasso — I thought I may be in over my head trying out something totally new, but remained optimistic and ended up with a sweet reward. Plus, now I’m confident I can make these delicious cookies again whenever I need to make a good impression, especially if that’s with a new boss who needs some buttering up. Maybe I will invest in a stand mixer after all.