I must admit to you all, that i was never a tea girl. Drinking Tea for me was only when i was sick or when i needed hydration after a lustful encounter with a bottle of kettle one. But as my twenties left me behind and my thirties came pounding at my door i found myself looking at tea in a different perspective. Now a day doesn't go by that i don't find myself sipping on a cup of tea. From that first drowsy sip of strong english breakfast tea blend in the morning, that clears your boggled mind and senses, to that really needed afternoon pick me of oolong.
I can't say that it's just the taste and smell of the tea that makes me enjoy it so, but the actual ritual of brewing it. Warming the pot, measuring out the leaves, heating the water to just the right temp and steeping it for the exact amount time is so soothing. It so simple yet so easy to screw up that it takes patients and practice to perfect it. It is truly an art. An art that the Japanese have brought to the next level with their exquisite tea ceremony.
Cooking with tea has become such a big trend. Its in cookbooks in magazines as well as in the blogging world. The momentum that tea has received is not what has amazed me but its versatility as an ingredient. Each different tea has it's own character that adds remarkable complexity to the dish you add it to.
I am very lucky to have such a wonderful friend and tea purveyor that lets me sample his teas and create new recipes for his tea site/blog and tsai.gr
|Left photo by: Athens, Greece based photograper, Monika Kritikou fiorello photography|
And even though my twenties are long gone and plenty of tea tins take up most of my cupboard space, i will never forget my lustful encounters with my bottles of kettle one.
Here is a wonderful recipe that has been inspire by the exotic stock of teas form and tsai.gr.
Black Chai Tea Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup powdered (confectioners') sugar
1 teaspoon loose leaf black chai tea finely grinded
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. Baking powder
3/4 cups cornstarch
1/8 tsp cinnamon
powdered sugar for dusting the cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy looking. Add powdered sugar; mix until light and fluffy. Add black chai tea and vanilla extract; beat well. Add flour, baking powder, cornstarch and cinnamon, into butter mixture and mix well until well combined. At first the dough will look dry - but don't worry, as the dough slowly comes together as you mix it and the butter melts into the dry ingredients.
Do not refrigerate this dough, as the butter will harden and make the dough unmanageable for rolling into a ball. Using your hands, roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake 15 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Remove from oven, carefully remove from baking sheet, and cool on wire cooling racks (when warm the cookies are delicate).
When cookies have cooled completely, dust with powdered sugar.
Yields about 3 dozen cookies depending on the size.
NOTE: Grind loose leaf black tea with spice grinder. The butter you use must be room temperature (not softened or melted butter). If you cookies turn out very crumbly then your butter was not room temp.
Do not be afraid of the cornstarch that the recipe calls for. It is correct.
- Black chai tea can be found at tsai.gr or any other loose leaf tea purveyor.