Sure, I’ve made your standard choco chippers, amazing oatmeal raisin babies, and oh-so-simple sugar cookies. But I’ve never made fancy cookies.
(Madelines, milanos, tea cakes, black and whites cookies..nope.)
I’ve stared at them in cookbooks but always ended walking away a few minutes later.
I wasn’t intimidated perse. Just lazy. I’m always looking to make quick cookies in under an hour. Rolling + cutting + refrigerating dough doesn’t quite make that mark.
Mmm hmm, I’m all about the one bowl wonder.
It was 10:00 p.m. Definitely not game time. Despite my desperation, I knew there wasn’t enough time to embark on a multi-hour baking project that would leave my kitchen looking the Pillsbury doughboy had an “oopsies.”
(Life Lesson #3596: Covering your kitchen from head to
toe tile in flour, sugar, butter, baking powder, or all of the above at 3 a.m. does not make for happy parents. Step away from the spatula.)
Unexcited by the prospect of yet another variation on a chocolate chip/oatmeal raisin cookie, I decided to attempt a fancy schmancy cookie recipe: Sweet Wine Biscuits with Sesame. And compromising about time constraints? Naw, that didn’t happen.
Woohoo. Much better.
The result was a 15 minute recipe for Simple Sesame & Poppy Tea Cookies.
By 10:30 p.m., I was plopped on the couch with a few tea cookies, a mug ‘o vanilla rooibos tea, and one amazingly fuzzy bath robe. Ah yes, life is good.
The Expectations: I was tempted to use the wine in this recipe, but the only port I had on hand was my Dad’s favorite stash. You better believe I let that stuff be. In place of the wine, I substituted chai tea, hoping that its spicy flavor would come through and bring out the sweetness in the sesame seeds. I hoped that the cookies would have a nice shortbread texture to compliment a mug of tea or coffee, without being overly buttery/rich.
The Verdict: Unlike anything I’ve ever made. These cookies were faintly remniscent of “Jin Doi,” a Cantoneste dim sum pastry. The chai flavor was not at all pronounced, but it gave the cookies a subtle hint of cinnamon and cardamon. The texture wasn’t exactly the shoretbread feel I was hoping for, but they were a good tea cookie–delicate and just barely sweet. My last minute impulse to roll a few of the dough balls in poppy seeds proved quite intriguing as well. The flavor of the roasted poppy seeds was very unique, though I seemed to enjoy this variation more than the rest of my family.
The Rating: 3.5 stars
I had a really hard time rating these because they were good for a quickie but not something I would eagerly plan to make again. They were a great 10 p.m. cookie for the amount of prep time, but again, I think there’s better cookies out there.
I subbed chai tea in place for the wine in these cookies because I didn’t care to use my Dad’s beloved port. I’m sure it would be good with the booze, if that’s what floats your boat, but I decided to go with something a bit more bellow. These cookies are not super sweet, but they’re perfect alongside a warm cuppa tea or a glass of iced coffee.
Adapted slightly from Vegan Cookies Take Over the World
Yield: About 10 cookies
1/4 cup strong brewed chai tea
2 tbsp almond milk
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup sesame seeds (for rolling)
1/4 cup poppy seeds (for rolling
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a small baking sheet.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together chai tea, almond milk, olive oil, and vanilla extract. Sift in flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.
3) Mix all ingredients until combined, and a tacky ball is formed.
4) Using a 1 tbsp ice cream scopper, create 10 dough balls. If necessary, roll dough balls in hands to form a more spherical shape. Rolls half of the balls in sesame seeds. Roll the remaining 5 balls in the poppy seeds. Place on baking sheet.
5) Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Do not overbake, or the cookies will be hard. Remove cookies to cooling racks. Enjoy!