We have so much snow outside right now! I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to curl up at home with a huge mug of tea and a lot of sweet treats, and hibernate until spring. So in honor of that sentiment, I’ve decided to share two super-quick and easy recipes with you. The spiced tea we discovered a few years ago in Ruth Law’s book “Indian Light Cooking” and have tweaked a bit to suit our tastes better. The cookies I found in Dana Jacobi’s wonderful “12 Best Foods Cookbook” – if you’re interested in cookbooks, I highly recommend checking it out. SPICED TEA (MASALA CHAI) What you need: 1 two-inch cinnamon stick 3 green cardamom pods 2 cloves 3 heaped teaspoons or 4 tea bags of black tea (any generic black tea will do – Law recommends Orange Pekoe) 1/4 cup milk of choice (I love almond milk, but it’s really up to you) 2 tablespoons honey, agave or sugar
What to do: Boil 3 cups of water in a small saucepan. Add the spices, honey, and tea. If you have tea infusers or tea bags, you can also fill those with the spices and loose tea and put them in the water that way. Stir, then remove the saucepan from the heat. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Add milk and return to the heat, stirring constantly while you bring it to a brief boil. Strain into tea cups and serve! You can also add some extra honey, if you wish. Serves 4.
WALNUT CRISPS What you need: 1 cup walnuts 1 large egg 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed 1 1/2 Tbsp whole-wheat flour 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon 1/8 tsp baking powder pinch of salt
What to do: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, with racks in upper and lower third of the oven and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Chop up the walnuts in a food processor and set aside. In a bowl, beat the egg until yolk and white are blended. Stir in the sugar and beat energetically until well combined, about one minute. Note: Jacobi says it should look like “grainy caramel.” Mix in the walnuts, flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Drop the batter, one tablespoon at a time, onto the prepared baking sheets. With the back of a spoon, flatten and smooth each cookie into rounds. Leave two inches between each cookie. Bake for five minutes, then switch the pans around, rotate them 180 degrees and bake the cookies for another five to eight minutes – until the cookies are browned around the edges. Don’t worry if the cookies are still a little soft when they first come out of the oven, they’ll harden as they cool. Once they’ve completely cooled, remove them from the parchment paper. Makes 24 cookies.