Sunday, January 07, 2018

Thai Tea Infused Cookies

I woke up this morning, thinking about how lovely Thai tea smells when it's brewing. Like sweet baking cookies. It has notes of vanilla and caramel. I started my day with a cup and then thought, "there has to be a way to get those flavors into cookies!". I went to Google of course, and searched, 'how to incorporate tea into cookies' and was delighted by the first post I found. Stef of the blog "Cupcake Project" posted a very helpful tutorial for how to infuse tea into baking. I'll walk you through the recipe I altered, but please follow the link over to her post "The Secret To Baking with Tea" for full instructions as well as more delightful recipes. The recipe I altered came from a blog called "This Silly Girl's Kitchen" and utilized her recipe for "Cinnamon Cream Cheese Cookies". Check out her blog for more delicious recipes as well! Lets get started!
The tea I used which is found on Amazon.


Creamy Thai Tea Cookies


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) softened
  • 12 teaspoons Thai tea
  • 3 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions For Tea Infused Butter

  1. In a saucepan, place butter on low heat and melt until just liquid. 
  2. Add tea leaves and stir. 
  3. Allow to steep on low heat for five minutes, and remove from heat. 
  4. Allow to stand for an additional five minutes. 
  5. Strain butter out of tea by placing cheesecloth in a strainer. Press well to get as much butter out as possible. You can gather up the cheesecloth and twist to get the last bits. You'll lose a little butter, but that's okay. I increased the amount of butter for this recipe in order to compensate for that. 
  6. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Instructions For Cookies

  1.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar until combined. Add egg, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine. Add flour in slowly until fully incorporated, scraping the sides as needed. Place in fridge for one hour to rest.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, add sugar. Set aside.
  3. Roll dough into 1 inch sized balls, about 2 teaspoons worth of dough. Roll until coated in sugar. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. 
  4. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until just set. Do not over bake, it is hard to tell when these cookies are ready, they will puff up but won't get golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely.

    And there you have it! Delightful tea infused cookies! Serve with either a warm mug of Thai tea with a splash of milk or tall glass served as a classic iced Thai tea with sweetened condensed milk. Yum!


    How to make Iced Thai Tea:

    Thai Tea is made from strongly-brewed black tea, often spiced with ingredients such as star anise, crushed tamarind, cardamom, and occasionally others as well (often making this beverage a favorite among masala chai tea fans). This brew is then sweetened with sugar and sweetened condensed milk, and served over ice.

    • 1 cup (80g) Thai tea
    • 4 cups (960ml) water
    • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
    • about 1 cup (240ml) sweetened condensed milk 
              or half and half
    • ice
    1. Bring water to boil and add the Thai tea mix. Add sugar and gently stir to completely dissolve sugar. Gently boil tea for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
    2. Allow tea to steep for at least 30 minutes and allow it to cool. The more concentrated the tea flavor, the better the Thai tea tastes.
    3. If you are using the Thai tea mix, strain the tea leaves. Set finished Thai tea aside to cool.
    4. You can make this ahead of time and have the Thai tea chilling in the fridge. I like to make this tea mix one day ahead.
    5. Fill glasses with ice and pour in Thai tea leaving enough room to fill in your sweetened condensed milk (or half and half for less sweet flavor). Stir. ENJOY!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Scrambled Eggs w/Umami

If you don't know what umami is, let me first explain that.

According to Wikipedia, Umami, or savory taste, is one of the five basic tastes (together with sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness). It has been described as brothy or meaty.
Since umami has its own receptors rather than arising out of a combination of the traditionally recognized taste receptors, scientists now consider umami to be a distinct taste. 

Some of you might not know what miso is, so lets next explain that.

High in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, miso played an important nutritional role in feudal Japan. Miso is still widely used in Japan, both in traditional and modern cooking. Typically, miso is salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process. Different varieties of miso have been described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory.

So now lets get down to how to make some of the most delicious and satisfying scrambled eggs you've ever tasted. I didn't invent this. I stumbled across a recipe that touted, "You have to drop everything and try this right now!!" So I did. Now you can too!

Umami Scrambled Eggs

4 eggs
4 tsp white miso paste
3 green onions (scallions) diced
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 C finely diced onion

1. Carefully crack eggs into bowl. Add miso paste. Whisk until well combined and slightly frothy. Stir in 1/2 green onion into egg mixture.

2. Melt butter in skillet until bubbly. Saute onion until soft. Pour in egg mixture and agitate with a heat proof spatula. Do this carefully for 15-20 seconds, then remove from heat and continue stirring. (add rest of green onions at this point) Do this until eggs are just barely cooked. Since they continue cooking in the hot pan, you don't want to wait until they are actually done. You'll dry the eggs out and the texture will suffer.

3. Plate and enjoy with bacon (more umami!), and/or toast... or whatever you fancy with eggs.

Note: I live in southeast Alaska and it's really hard to find exact ingredients so we often have to be creative. I couldn't find miso paste. So I bought miso soup mix and used a sifter to separate out the freeze dried veggies and tofu. Then used 2 Tbsp of the powder, and added 1 1/2 Tbsp boiling water to create the paste. I'll be checking Amazon for white miso paste in a tube on Amazon.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Rhubarb Ginger Freezer Jam

It's fall. Time to harvest rhubarb (or pull out the frozen rhubarb from an earlier harvest) and make something delicious with it. I love the tart sweet flavor of rhubarb jam on hot buttered toast. This is partially from looking for recipes for rhubarb that didn't require canning expertise and a little experimentation. Everyone makes rhubarb with strawberries and I had to do something different. The hint of spicy ginger was just the ticket. Have fun and don't be afraid to taste and play with spices and additions to make this jam your own!
I just love the color!

Rhubarb Ginger Freezer Jam
  • 4 cups rhubarb (chopped, about 1 1/2 pounds rhubarb stalks)
  • 3/4 to 1 1/4 cups sugar (taste as you go)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 C finely chopped candied ginger
  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium sized pot over low heat, starting with the lesser amount of sugar. Stir constantly until all of the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb pieces fall apart. When the compote is about as thick as applesauce, turn off the heat and add ginger. Stir until well incorporated.
  3. Taste, and add additional sugar if you desire more sweetness. Keep in mind, though, that the sour flavor is part of what is special about rhubarb. If you do add additional sugar, return the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. Fill freezer containers with the rhubarb jam, leaving an inch of head space. Small containers no larger than a pint are recommended, so that when you thaw one it isn't an overwhelming amount of jam to use up. Alternatively, fill quart size freezer bags with 8 to 16 ounces of the jam.
Rhubarb jam will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. It is still safe to eat after that but the quality will decline. Freshly made, unfrozen rhubarb jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Pickled Avocados: Brave A New Flavor

When I first heard about pickled avocados, I was a bit skeptical. I am now a fan. I love savory pickled veggies... and yah, so avocados are technically a fruit, but never mind that. You wouldn't believe how hard it was to find a pickling recipe that didn't have sugar in it. I am not a fan of sweet pickles. Yuck. I like savory. So I found a basic recipe that was just vinegar, water and salt. Then I experimented with seasonings and what was really great about this recipe, is that it doesn't take long to get your reward. Just 24hrs before it's minimum flavor is reached. I thought it was best after 4 days. Another plus is that it uses unripe avocados. Costco gets bags of them and they're all usually unripe and very firm. As the avocado pickles, it softens and is the PERFECT consistency.

You can eat these right out of the jar or have them on salads, burgers, sandwiches, hotdogs (yes!) and a friend of mine made portobello mushroom burgers and these pickled avocados were made for them. She's vegan and used vegan cheese too and it was a fabulous flavor profile. The plus to this recipe is it's a small batch. Just enough to share with friends/co-workers and enjoy in short order. So, I'm sure you're curious and want to try this out, so here is the recipe:

I ended up with three jars from 2 1/2 avocados.
Pickled Avocados
2 unripe avocados sliced or chopped
2 cloves garlic sliced thin
1/2C cilantro leaves
Place in clean pint jar.
While preparing jars, boil:
1C white or apple cider vinegar
1C water 1 Tbsp iodized sea salt
1 Tbsp pickling spice
2 tsp dill weed
1 tsp cayenne
1 Tbsp dried onion

Pour brine over avocados, cover with lid loosely tightened and allow to cool before putting in refrigerator. Not shelf stable! Full flavor after 24hrs. Keeps for 3wks in refrigerator.

I encourage experimenting with the amount of seasonings and adding or subtracting anything to make it what you want. Just imagine how you would want a customized pickle to taste and go for it!

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