Tea Recipes

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Gingerbread Cookie Recipe Recipe

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

12.24.10 by Jackie

I used gingerbread cookies as a fun and playful way to get to know my niece and nephew when I met them for the first time. I baked a few gingerbread men for them, and asked them what they thought of the designs. My little nephew is just a year old, so I didn't use any egg in the  gingerbread dough.

We're finally back from a few days in Rome and now are spending Christmas with my parents and my sister's family in Paris.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Gingerbread Men Recipe with Picture


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Peppermint Bark Candy Recipe Recipe

Peppermint Bark Candy Recipe

12.07.10 by Jackie

Peppermint bark is my husband Lulu's favorite Christmas candies. We usually get it from the store, but this year I thought it would be a nice touch to make it at home. It’s an incredibly simple recipe and makes a great gift. I made a large batch and hid the most of it from Lulu so that I can distribute it to friends and family.

To prepare peppermint bark, all you need to do is melt two kinds of chocolate and add a sprinkle of crushed candy canes. I made this with the traditional candies, but you could be more creative and replace the peppermint candy canes with chopped nuts, crushed pretzels, crushed cookies (such as ginger snap cookies) or other candies such as M&Ms or even chopped peanut butter cups. The possibilities are endless.

Peppermint Bark Recipe with Picture


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Lemon Balm Tea Recipe (Herbal Iced Tea) Recipe

Lemon balm is known by many names, such as balm mint, bee balm, blue balm, cure-all, garden balm, honey plant, melissa, sweet balm or even sweet Mary. These names describe the properties of the herb very well. Lemon balm was dedicated to the goddess Diana, and used medicinally by the Greeks. It is believed that lemon balm tea is a tension reliever and enhances relaxation, especially in expectant women.

My husband Lulu planted lemon balm in our garden a couple of years ago. Like mint, lemon balm grows easily and requires very little maintenance. The first crop of leaves was ready to be used this week, and we were all looking forward to a tall pitcher of lemon balm iced tea. For optimum fragrance, I waited for a sunny day to pick the leaves. First, I bruised the leaves and infused them in hot water. I added simple syrup and lemon juice to balance the flavor. I then added ice cubes to bring down the temperature of the tea. After a little time in the fridge, it was ready to serve.

The tea is incredibly soothing. When you swirl it, you can see the reflection of the essential oils from the lemon balm on the surface of the drink. It definitely sets the mood for a lazy summer day.

Lemon Balm Tea Recipe with Picture


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Masala Chai Creme Brulee Recipe

Masala Chai Creme Brulee

02.05.10 by Jackie

This version of crème brulée is flavored with the spices that are used in masala chai. Cloves, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon give the dessert the distinct flavor of masala chai combined with the richness of a French custard. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but after the first bite it has become my favorite flavor. Don't get me wrong; lemon, butterscotch and green tea are great flavors, but the masala spices are absolutely intoxicating.

I'm not a big tea drinker, but whenever we have a party and serve masala chai, I end up drinking all the leftovers. What can I say, I'm addicted. Even though the flavors of this drink are fabulous, it's probably good that I don't drink this particular tea that often because of its high caffeine content. Masala chai crème brulée has as much caffeine as a cup of masala chai, along with all the fat that is found in a crème brulée. Something else to keep me awake at night!

Chai Tea Creme Brulee Recipe with Picture


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Cardamom Spritz Cookies dipped in Mint Chocolate Recipe

I've made spritz sablé cookies before. The most recent variation was one made of orange and dark chocolate. The girls felt like baking today and they really wanted to make a fresh batch of the sablé cookies. I was all for it but I wanted to teach them to be creative and come up with a new flavor combination.

There was a tall pitcher of my mint and cardamom-flavored Arnold Palmer on the counter. Sunny, the eldest, looked over at it, then back at me, and said "why not mint and cardamom-flavor spritz sablé?". - I thought it was a brilliant idea. If you browse through the recipes on the website, you'll notice that I use cardamom in almost everything, from savory dishes, to drinks, to desserts. I knew it would make a perfect flavoring for the cookies.

I didn't want to add mint extract directly to the cookie dough because I thought it would be to overpowering. Instead, I used Guittard pink-colored mint chocolate chips to make a ganache, which I dipped the cookies in, once they baked and cooled. These particular spritz cookies are thicker and chewier than the orange and dark chocolate version. They both taste great so it's really a matter of personal preference. Try both and see which one you like!


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