FOX43 Christmas Cookies and then Some!!These recipes feature the fabulous teas from The Spice and Tea Exchange. You can substitute any highly aromatic herbal tea mixture instead, but why not use your FOX43 Discount Code ("donna1") and sample some of TSTE's delicious teas and spices this Christmas?
Recipe: TSTE Cinnamon Plum Butter CookiesMakes 36 Cookies
IngredientsFor the cinnamon plum cookies1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour1/4 teaspoon salt2 teaspoons TSTE Cinnamon Plum Tea leaves ground fine in a spice blender3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter at room temperature1/2 cup confectioners' sugar1to 2 tablespoon(s) heavy whipping cream1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
For the plum jam glaze2 cups confectioners' sugar3 tablespoons light corn syrup2 tablespoons hot water3 tablespoons plum jam softened and whisked until smooth1/8 teaspoon lemon extractTSTE Raspberry Sugar, to garnish (optional)
ProcedureMake the cookies. Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl whisk the flour, salt, and ground tea leaves until combined.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the confectioners' sugar until incorporated. Raise the speed to medium and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Add the cream and lemon extract, mixing until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. (The dough should be fairly moist and hold together when you squeeze it in your hand. If the dough is too dry mix in 1 teaspoon additional cream, repeating if necessary.)
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Shape the dough into a large disk and divide into quarters. Roll each quarter into a log about 1-inch in diameter. Cut the dough at about 1-inch intervals and shape into a disk. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies for about 20 to 25 minutes until very light golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes then remove to a baking rack to cool completely. Note: Cookies can be stored (once cooled) in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Make the glaze. In a large microwave-safe bowl combine the confectioners' sugar, corn syrup, hot water, plum jam, and lemon extract and whisk until smooth. Place the bowl in the microwave and warm the glaze to thin it a bit, which makes it easier to coat the cookies.
Arrange the cooled cookies on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. One by one, turn the cookies upside down and place into the glaze. Turn the cookie over with a fork and remove from the glaze allowing the excess to drip down the sides of the cookie. Return each cookie to wire rack and sprinkle with a bit of TSTE Raspberry Sugar if using. Warm the glaze as necessary in the microwave to keep the glaze thin and pourable throughout the process.
After all the cookies are glazed use the tines of a fork to carefully turn and move each cookie on the rack. This will prevent the glaze from ponding at the base of the cookie. Leave the cookies out to dry in a cool area until the glaze is firm, about 45 minutes.
Recipe: TSTE Cinnamon Plum Infused Cupcakes with Cinnamon Plum Mascarpone/Cream Cheese IcingMakes about 24 cupcakes
IngredientsFor the cupcakes1 white boxed cake mix, prepared according to manufacturer's directions for cupcakes1 tablespoons TSTE Cinnamon Plum Tea leaves ground fine in a spice grinder (or more to taste)*
For the mascarpone/cream cheese icing4 tablespoons butter, room temperature1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, room temperature1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature2 cups plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar2 tablespoons plum jam1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract2 teaspoons TSTE Cinnamon Plum Tea leaves ground fine in a spice grinder
ProcedurePrepare the box cake mix adding all the ingredients according to instructions. Before blending, add in the ground tea leaves. Mix according to instructions and bake the cupcakes. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the icing.**
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until smooth. Add in the mascarpone and cream cheese and mix on medium speed until well combined. Turn the mixer off and add in the confectioners' sugar, the jam, vanilla, and ground tea. Mix on low speed until the confectioners' sugar is incorporated into the cheeses, scraping down the sides once or twice. Mix on medium-high speed until the icing is smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
When the cupcakes have cooled completely, spread or pipe the icing onto the cupcakes. Refrigerate to keep the icing firm.
*Chef's Note: 1 tablespoon of tea, when ground, produces a gentle aromatic infusion. If you make the cupcakes with the icing, don't overdo it. If, however, you choose to use another icing, you may want to up the quantity of tea. As the cupcakes bake the flavor intensifies.
**This recipe yields more icing than you need to ice 24 cupcakes. But, for a generous dollop of icing, halving the recipe doesn't seem to be enough. In my kitchen, I opt for more… there always seems to be something to spread the icing on, or mouths that want more than just a taste!
Recipe: White Rose Tea-Infused Chocolate TrufflesMakes approximately 100 Truffles
IngredientsFor the bittersweet chocolate truffles:1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, plus additional cream as needed1 pound high quality, bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 3 teaspoons TSTE White Rose Tea leaves ground fine in a spice grinder (or more to taste)About 1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
For white chocolate truffles:2/3 cup heavy cream, plus additional cream as needed12 ounces premium white chocolate3 teaspoons TSTE White Rose Tea leaves ground fine in a spice grinder (or more to taste)1 cup pistachio nuts (shelled) and finely chopped (by hand, a food processor will puree the oils; you will end up with pistachio butter rather than dust!)
ProcedureFollow this procedure for either of the chocolate combinations:Pour cream into 1-quart saucepan and bring to boil on medium-high heat. Add the tea stir. Remove from heat and cover. Steep for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. Strain cream infusion through fine mesh sieve into large liquid measuring cup pressing down firmly to extract liquid from leaves. Check measurement of infused cream: it should equal the same amount that you started with. Top off with additional cream if needed. Wipe out any tea leaf residue from the saucepan; return cream to saucepan.
Place chocolate in a large warm bowl. Heat the infused cream over medium-high heat until it comes to full boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour it over chocolate. Let mixture sit 1 minute, then using a whisk combine the chocolate and cream until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set out at room temperature until chocolate sets up, about 2 hours. Then, refrigerate until firm about 1 hour more.
Using a teaspoon, scoop chocolate into truffle-sized balls and put them on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Quickly roll each one between your palms using steady light pressure to form balls.
Coating: Place cocoa or pistachios in a small deep bowl. Roll truffles in the coating. Place coated truffles in plastic storage container separating layers with waxed or parchment paper. Refrigerate, well-sealed, up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before serving.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times