Friday, November 18, 2011


Another great cookie recipe from my good friend Marina. I actually wasn't surprised that these cookies would come out delicious. Marina is a cookbook author, Taste of Home Field editor and Blue Ribbon winner, of course they are ooohhh sooo good ..okay, addicting ha!ha!
Thank you, Marina for another winner recipe.

These cookies are crunchy on the outside and moist and chewy in the inside, my kind of cookie  I'm not a fan of those crisp, hard cookies. Each bite you get to taste layers of flavor. you get the nutmeg, cinnamon sugar flavor right away then you get to taste the apple, then the nuts and the hint of the lemon orange extract. These are perfect for the holidays.

Yield : 4 dozens.

3 eggs
1 lb sweet butter, softened
1 lb brown sugar
1 1/2 C sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp.  fresh grated nutmeg
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tsp. fiori di sicilia extract***
6 C sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 C chopped walnuts, toasted ****
2-3 Tbsp. butter
3 C finely chopped apples (5-6 small apples)
2-3 Tbsp sugar
2-3 Tsp cinnamon

1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
2 tsp fresh lemon zest
1 Tbsp fresh lemon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.In a large bowl beat eggs 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.Cream butter until creamy.
Add brown sugar and mix until well incorporated.
Add spices and extracts. 
Mix thoroughly to combine well.

Add beaten eggs to sugar-butter mixture and mix until well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, slat and baking soda.
Add to batter and mix well, 
In medium to large saute' pan, melt the 2-3 Tbsp of butter.
In a medium bowl, toss chopped apples with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest.
Saute' apples in melted butter until soft.
Add lemon juice and stir well.
Remove apples onto a flat plate to cool down.
Add cooled apples and walnuts to batter and mix until well incorporated.
Careful not to break apart the apples.
Refrigerate batter for 10 minutes.
Drop cookie batter by using an ice cream scoop onto prepared pans.
Sprinkle tops of batter with 1 tsp cinnamon sugar.
Bake only six cookies at a time on each cookie sheet.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes.
Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan and placing them on a cooling rack.

**I didn't have fiori di sicilia extract. According to Marina you can purchase this from The Bakers Catalog of King Arthur's Flour. But you can make your own:

FIORI DI SICILIA EXTRACT (MIX YOUR OWN) : Lemon extract, Orange extract and Vanilla extract.

** I used mixed nuts. I used almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts.

Monday, November 14, 2011


 Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique!

What a perfect challenge. I was in Chicago last month and had a food tour that included tea at Tea Gschwendner and purchased different kinds of tea. So "went to town" and did three dishes using 3 different teas.

First i made, Braised Chicken which is pretty  much similar to the Filipino Chicken Adobo. The only difference is the addition of the tea... i used Bossa Nova and Rooibush Cream Caramel. And yes, that's right, Cream Caramel. The combination did blend with the dish.

I used my   CHICKEN ADOBO and PORK ADOBO recipe with the addition of 1 dried lemon, 1 Hungarian pepper and 1 Tablespoon each of Bossa Nova and Rooibush tea. I like that i get a hint of the caramel from the rooibush tea. The amount of tea was just right otherwise the caramel would be overpowering. Oh, the dried lemon was a last minute "hhmmm why not?" decision.

I have been drying some lemon for a middle eastern dish experiment. I can't wait to use my dried lemons...oh well i digress. Anyways, I will be blogging that dish soon;). The dried lemon actually didn't impart any flavor at all. I couldn't taste the lemon, perhaps i should have cut it  when it got tender?

I made my own sachet of tea by using a coffee filter tied with a butchers twine.
1 T of Bossa Nova and 1 T of Rooibush Tea

Added a dried lemon

Browned the chicken  pieces on both sides. Added all the ingredients and cooked until chicken are tender.

Filipino Chicken Adobo with Tea

Braised chicken + tea soaked hard cooked eggs = Perfect combination. Served with rice and fresh tomatoes...WINNER!!!! It's an Asian thing!!!

Hard Cooked Eggs served w/ Pinakurat (Filipino Coconut Vinegar) and fresh tomatoes from my garden.

Hard Cooked Eggs Recipe to follow.

I used Sara's recipe for the hard cooked egg w/c is called Chinese Egg Tea.
Servings: 6 eggs
6 eggs (any size)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (6 gm) black tea leaves, or 4 tea bags
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (5 gm) Chinese five spice powder
1 tablespoon (5 ml) (3 gm) coarse grain salt
toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
  1. In a large enough pot to avoid overcrowding, cover the eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer for twelve minutes. 
  2. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and keep the cooking water.
  3. With a spoon, tap the eggs all over until they are covered with small cracks. This can also be done by tapping and rolling the eggs very gently on the counter.
  4. Return the eggs to the pan and add the tea leaves or bags, Chinese five spice powder, and salt. Cover the pan.
  5. Heat gently and simmer, covered, for one hour.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs cool down in the liquid for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the eggs from the liquid. Peel one egg to check how dark it is; the others can be returned to the liquid if you wish to have the web-like pattern darker. Allow the eggs to cool fully.
  8. To serve, peel and slice the eggs in halves or quarters. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

    The Chinese tea eggs are best eaten within 24 hours and are unsuitable for freezing.

Salt, Black Tea, Chinese Five Spice Powder.

I didn't soak the eggs longer, that's why the crack marks aren't pronounced. And didn't get the taste of the tea. I will increase the amount of tea and soak the eggs longer next time i'll make this.

My third and last dish for this challenge is  TEA BRINED FRIED CHICKEN.

I used the egg tea ingredients and added  1/2 T of sugar to brine the chicken. Brined them for 24 hrs in the fridge. Pat them dry and deep fried. Served with green salad and rice topped with some kimchi.

It was crunchy and juicy as expected with the underlying flavor of the tea and the five spice. This actually reminds me of  the Chinese Crispy Chicken dish. must give this a try!

Tea Brined Chicken served w/ green salad.

Tea Brined Chicken served with salad and steamed rice topped with homemade KIMCHI

I truly enjoyed doing this challenge. Thank you, Sara. I'm actually thinking of doing Tea Brined Turkey for Thanksgiving. And will be doing the Egg Tea for New Year, that'll be my round element which means prosperity/ more money.... again that's an Asian thing ;)