Posts Tagged ‘Tea’

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Matcha Tea Cake Cookies

January 16, 2016

As you can probably guess from the lack of activity here, I’ve been a bit preoccupied for the past 7 months! Our daughter Vivienne was born on June 24th after a (very very thankfully) short labor and uncomplicated delivery. So with the arrival of our newest family member, food photography and blogging have unfortunately fallen so far down the to-do list that it’s something that hasn’t even crossed my mind to pick back up until recently.

Poor Vivienne isn’t feeling well this weekend, so while she was getting some much-needed snuggle time with her dad this morning, I decided to try out these easy cookies. I recently cleaned out my cooking magazine stash – I’m hanging on to all my old Bon Appetit issues, but I looked through my copies of Food and Wine and clipped out recipes that sounded like I might actually make now that my cooking and baking time is much more limited. This cookie recipe was in the February 2015 issue, and while matcha isn’t something I usually keep on hand, I cut it out because their color was so striking (plus they sounded easy to make – no creaming of butter and sugar).

Matcha is a ground green tea powder from Japan. If you’ve ever seen a traditional Japanese tea ceremony performed, matcha is the type of tea used. It’s also used in various Japanese confections like mochi. The green color permeates everything that the powder is mixed with, giving baked goods and sweets an almost unnaturally intense hue.

These cookies may not appeal to everyone, but I really enjoyed the way they turned out! They’re not overly sweet and they have a strong matcha flavor (there are two whole tablespoons of the powder in the dough, plus more for dusting on top), and there’s a hint of almond which complements the green tea flavor nicely. I also enjoyed the cake-like texture – I think it suits the flavor better than a more traditional drop-cookie texture would.

If you’ve enjoyed other Japanese confections made with matcha, I think you’ll love these cookies! If you give them a try, let me know what you think!

Matcha cookies

See recipe

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Chocolate Earl Grey Truffles

January 19, 2012

I still haven’t run out of party/entertaining foods! I love these homemade truffles from the Gourmet Today cookbook; they are easy and delicious (and isn’t the rodent plate that my friends gave me for Christmas adorable?). I’ve never attempted chocolate-coated truffles before – tempering chocolate and doing all that careful dipping is fun to think about but I never really feel in the right mood to tackle it. Maybe next Christmas!

These truffles are a simple chocolate ganache rolled in cocoa powder, and even if you think Earl Grey tea and chocolate sounds like a weird combination, I promise that it’s amazing. The bergamot flavor is very subtle; the first year I made them, I couldn’t actually taste the tea at all, so this year I let the tea steep in the cream for a few extra minutes to bring out more flavor. Try to find loose-leaf Earl Grey for maximum flavor – the leaves in tea bags may make a decent cup of tea, but they are probably too mild for this recipe.

Earl Grey truffles

See recipe

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Chai Pots de Crème

April 21, 2011

Masala chai is an Indian beverage which consists of tea and spices brewed in hot milk. The first chai I ever drank was at Java’s Café in downtown Rochester, which they brew from scratch while you wait. Java’s offers two different varieties: Tra-que, which is sweet and cinnamon-y, and Kashmiri, which is peppery and spicy. After having their fresh-made chai, and especially after having real homemade chai every day on my trip to India last winter, I have always been disappointed that other coffee shops and cafés in Rochester serve only powdered mixes. The mixes are overly sweet for my taste and often contain nontraditional flavors such as chocolate or raspberry, which overwhelm the flavors of the spices and tea. I’ve tried making my own chai at home, but it never comes out as intensely flavorful as what I was served in India.

I made these pots de crème from Bon Appètit Desserts anticipating a mild spice flavor similar to my homemade chai, but the results far exceeded my expectations! The spice is potent but not overwhelming, and the custard has the perfect amount of sweetness. I will definitely be making these more often as the weather becomes too warm for hot tea!

Chai pots de crème

See recipe