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Cooking With Tea
Earl Grey Gives Cookies a Unique Lift
What can I make with Earl Grey tea?
What better accompaniment to tea than tea cookies? Earl grey tea is flavored with bergamot. If you are looking for a delicate, yet sophisticated shortbread-style cookie, try these Earl Grey Tea cookies from Martha Stewart.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons finely ground earl grey tea (about 8 teabags worth)
- 2 sticks of butter
- 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
Combine flour, tea, and salt. In a large bowl, combine butter sugar, and zest and beat for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the flour/tea mixture. Divide the dough in half, shape into two logs. Wrap each log in wax paper and freeze the dough for about an hour. Then slice each log into ¼-inch slices and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 13-15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned. Cool and enjoy!
Note: Grind the tea using a food processor or a mortar and pestle. If you use loose leaf tea, grind about 4 tablespoons, depending on the consistency of the tea.
Rooibos Raises Yeast Rolls To New Flavor Heights
What are some recipes I can make with rooibos tea?
Are you bored with the same old rolls? Rooibos raisin rolls include rooibos tea leaves to impart a unique flavor to a raisin yeast roll. For this recipe, boil 1 ¼ cups of water and stir in 1 tablespoon rooibos tea leaves, such as Mighty Leaf Tea’s Rooibos Renewal tea.
Combine ¼ cup of the warm tea with one package of yeast and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Stir this mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes so it can get foamy.
In a large bowl, mix the remaining tea with 2 cups of flour, a pinch of salt, and ½ cup of raisins (if desired). Gradually add another ¾ cups of flour. Turn the dough onto a floured countertop and knead for about 5 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly greased or oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for an hour. Turn the risen dough onto a floured surface and divide into 12 equal parts. Place on a greased baking sheet and allow to rise for another 20 minutes. Bake the rolls at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or cool, with your favorite tea!
Loose Leaf Tea Lends Flavor To Quick Breads
How do I cook with loose leaf tea?
There’s no trick to knowing how to cook with loose leaf tea. In fact, nothing could be easier. Think of loose leaf tea the same way you think of a spice, such as cinnamon, or a seasoning, such as basil or oregano. Just grind the tea up like spices before adding them to recipes.
Your favorite loose leaf tea lends itself especially well to baked goods such as quick breads and muffins. For example, take your favorite zucchini bread and add a tablespoon of loose leaf tea. Mix and match the flavors to find the combination you like best.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Banana bread: Try a tablespoon of a fruity tea, such as raspberry, or a nutty or vanilla tea.
- Zucchini bread: Try a tablespoon of a spicy black tea or and orange tea.
- Pumpkin bread: Try a tablespoon of a vanilla tea or cinnamon tea to complement the pumpkin flavor.
Use a tablespoon of your favorite loose leaf tea in muffin recipes, too. Try a tablespoon of lemon tea the next time you make blueberry muffins.
Lapsang Souchong Enhances Sauces and Spreads
What are some ideas for cooking with lapsang souchong tea?
The distinctive smoky flavor of lapsang souchong tea lends itself to many recipes where a hint of smokiness brings out the flavor.
When cooking with tea, you can either create a tea concentrate (steeping large amounts of tea in small amounts of water), or simply mix in the tea leaves. Experiment to see which method is right for you and your recipes.
Two ideas for cooking with lapsang souchong illustrate both ways of cooking with tea.
Smoky cheese spread: For an 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature, add 2 teaspoons of lapsang souchong, crushed to about ¾ teaspoon, along with any other seasonings you like, according to taste. Try adding a teaspoon of minced garlic, or a tablespoon of chives, or a few sprigs of fresh parsley.
Smoky barbeque sauce: Add a tablespoon of lapsang souchong leaves (or more, if you like) to a purchased BBQ sauce for a unique flavor. Or if you make your own sauce from your favorite recipe, starting scratch with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and water, let your imagination be your guide. Include lapsang souchong tea concentrate along with the mustard, garlic, brown sugar, and your other “secret ingredients,” and you will have a conversation starter at your next cookout.
Cupcakes Go Green (Green Tea, That Is)
How do I make green tea cupcakes?
Cupcakes are all the rage, and so is green tea. You can put a unique spin on the cupcake craze with a tasty green tea cupcakes recipe. And you can feel virtuous about the antioxidant benefits of green tea as you eat that cupcake! A great way to create your own green tea cupcakes recipe is to use matcha—a powdered green tea. Just add 1-2 tablespoons of matcha (depending on how much green tea flavor and green color you want) to a favorite plain cupcake recipe.
Don’t have a favorite? Try this one from bakespace.com:
-Beat 1 cup of butter until fluffy. Add 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks one at a time, beating after each.
-In a separate bowl, combine 3 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and a dash of salt.
-Mix 2 tablespoons of matcha (powdered green tea) into 1 cup of milk.
-Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk/matcha mixture to the butter and egg mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
-Pour into muffin tins that have been greased or lined.
-Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes.
More About Matcha
What is matcha?
When cooking with green tea, you can brew the tea, or use green tea leaves. But many people use matcha, a powdered form of green tea from Japan, to add a unique flavor to recipes.
Matcha is green tea leaves ground to a fine powder, so it is ideally suited to many types of cooking with tea, from the commonplace to the unusual. For example, green tea ice cream recipes have emerged as a popular way to use matcha. You can find a variety of recipes for green tea ice cream online, including versions that don’t require an ice cream maker. Green tea ice cream can be tricky, though. Some recipes call for cooking eggs and egg yolks for a custard-like consistency, but you may end up with green tea scrambled eggs!
Matcha also can be used in green tea cupcakes or other baked goods because it is easy to add along with dry ingredients in most recipes.
Put A New Twist On Traditional Tea Cake
Can I use tea in a tea cake recipe?
When you think of “tea cake” you may think of cakes to have with tea. But a tea cake recipe also may mean a cake in which tea is an important ingredient.
For example, try this easy and delicious Cranberry Crumb Cake:
-Cream 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of butter, then add 4 eggs.
-Add 1 cup of cranberry-flavored tea, ½ cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and ½ cup milk.
-In a separate bowl, mix 3 ½ cups of flour, 1 teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda, and a dash of salt.
-Add the flour mixture to the tea mixture. Stir in 2 cups of chopped fresh cranberries or dried cranberries.
-Spread mixture in 13-inch by 9-inch pan.
The crumb topping calls for tea, too. In a medium bowl, combine ¾ cup sugar, 1/3 cup softened butter, ½ cup flour, ½ cup quick oats (uncooked), and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Add about 2 tablespoons of brewed tea leaves (about what you used to make the tea used in the cake recipe). Combine all topping ingredients to form crumbs. Sprinkle over the cake and bake for about an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Main Event: Main Dishes Made With Tea
How can I use tea to flavor a main dish?
Cooking with tea need not be confined to side dishes or desserts. Let your imagination guide you and experiment with tea or tea leaves to make a memorable main course.
You can think of tea leaves as you would any other fresh herb, such as parsley or chives. As with any herb or seasoning, the exact amount you add to a recipe is open to interpretation and limited only by your taste buds. Start with a tablespoon or two, and add more if you want a stronger tea flavor. Here are some combinations to try to get you started:
-Darjeeling tea as a pork seasoning
-Oolong tea to perk up deviled eggs
-Lemon grass tea for soups and pasta
Or, you can brew a pint of tea and use it as a brine for poultry, such as game hens or chicken breasts. Brew the tea, and then, once it has cooled, stir in salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, or any other seasonings to taste. Pour the mixture into a plastic resealable bag, add your poultry (or pork, or even tofu) and place in the refrigerator to brine. Cook as desired.
Test Your Culinary Creativi-tea
What snack recipes can I make with loose leaf tea?
Don’t limit your enjoyment of flavorful loose leaf tea to simply drinking it by the cup or pot.
Use the many flavors of tea to inspire you in the kitchen. Cooking with tea need not be complicated. Just think of some of your favorite foods and snacks, and try enhancing them with complementary types of loose tea. While some tea experts swear by cooking with tea concentrate (steeping large amounts of tea in small amounts of water), others prefer mixing with crushed tea. Experiment to see which method is right for you and your recipes.
For example, you can make a “Teanut Brittle” by adding 2-3 tablespoons of a cinnamon or nutty tea to 2 cups of oats, ½ cup of whole wheat flour, and 1 cup of chopped nuts of your choice. Then melt 6 tablespoons of honey, 1 tablespoon of butter, and 2/3 cup of brown sugar and stir to combine. Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. Press the mixture into a 12x16-inch half sheet pan or a 13x9 pan for thicker bars. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Vary the flavor by using different types of tea, such as vanilla or cranberry teas, and substitute dried cranberries or raisins for some of the nuts.
Green Tea Adds New Taste to Sweet Teatime Treats
How can I use green tea in a tea bread or pastry?
While some people prefer savory teas and teatime treats, others have prefer a sweeter taste in their tea sandwiches and pastry or in their tea breads.
An easy way to use tea as an ingredient in teatime treats is to substitute brewed tea for some of the liquid in a favorite quick bread recipe.
For example, try this green tea twist on lemon poppy seed bread:
-Combine 2 ¼ cups of flour, 2/3 cup of sugar, 1/8 teaspoon each of salt, baking soda, and nutmeg, along with 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 3 tablespoons of poppy seeds.
-In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 egg, ¼ cup of vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1 ¼ cups of brewed, chilled green tea.
-Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine but don’t overmix.
-Spread the batter in a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes.
Want to make it fancier? Drizzle the loaf with a light confectioner’s sugar glaze once it has cooled.