Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blueberry Tea

The first time I had Blueberry Tea was pretty much exactly a year ago... give or take two weeks. Haha, really, seriously now - give them back, I could use an extra few weeks. Time goes by too fast as it is :)

Blueberry Tea

So, it was cold (really cold), there was snow everywhere, and we were in a pub in the mountains that didn't feel the need to turn up the heat. All the people in the pub were packed around the tables in front of the fireplace, but any outlying tables were downright breezy, which is where we had to sit. Needless to say a cold and frosty beer just wasn't going to cut it so a friend of mine ordered Blueberry tea.  I held off until the drink came because I don't drink hard alcohol and I don't like tea, but after tasting it, it wasn't all that bad.

It's called Blueberry Tea because the blend of tea and alcohol is supposed to have a subtle blueberry taste to it. That might be true - maybe if I close my eyes and didn't know what I was drinking, but regardless it's a nice 'warm you up' kind of drink.

In perusing my mom's scribblers I came across a recipe for it. Perfect! I had purchased Amaretto for some biscotti I was making and just needed tea and Grand Marnier to make the drink.  I probably wouldn't have purchased the alcohol just for one drink, but it's the Christmas season and it would be nice to have something warm for people to drink.

The recipe is really basic.  I'd have to try the drink with Earl Grey as I've heard it is made with that also. But, I went with Orange Pekoe.

Blueberry Tea
Mom's Scribbler
  • Orange Pekoe Tea, brewed to however strong you like.
  • 1 ounce Amaretto
  • 1 ounce Grand Marnier

Enjoy! And Merry Upcoming Christmas....only 9 more sleeps and 8 more shopping days!

Blueberry Tea

Monday, December 8, 2014

Thimble cookies

I don't know where the time goes, but it goes by pretty darn fast. One day I'm thinking it's Monday...I have the whole week ahead of me and in a blink it's Thursday and I haven't done half of what I want to and even less of what I need to do before Friday because Saturdays are ME days and laundry and all other things wait!  I wish days were longer....yup even Mondays :)

Being all belated on this post, I figure I'd at least explain what has sucked up some of my attention -  besides re-watching Torchwood, that is. I spent some time crocheting a couple headbands, a doggie jacket for my mom's dog, Chico - who is the sweetest little guy, and an owl hat.  I like doing other things while watching tv, it's like it doesn't count if I'm doing stuff since I have something to show for it at the end.

crocheted owl beanie

But on to the cookies - which I forgot to take a picture of when they were completely finished and I had drizzled with melted white chocolate. Sorry!

When I was here, visiting my mom a year ago, I wrote down her recipe for Thimble cookies. Since I had some homemade Blueberry-Cherry jam that I made this summer, I figured I'd put it to good use.  The cookies taste really good and they are easy to make, but I think the recipe is off somewhat in that it seems like the baking time is way too long and the dough isn't firm enough to hold up to longer baking times with the lower cooking temperature - they spread way to much - I even left the rolled dough balls in the fridge to firm up.

Thimble cookie dough balls
I'm going to skip all the gather ingredients and mix up the cookie pictures. The recipe is pretty simple to follow along.  So....wow, that sure made the mixing the dough steps go by quick! ;)

Once you have your dough all nicely mixed up, roll the dough into balls. Mine were 1 level tablespoon.  It's just easier to have them ready.

Gather up some coconut and/or crushed almonds, and beat the egg white. hahah, that was one bad egg!

Thimble cookie prep

Now, I can tell you this and I'm sure for a billion people this is simple, but my brain does not like to play nice with my hands.  The simple basic idea is one wet hand - one dry hand.

Thimble cookie egg bath

With one hand (the wet) you drop the dough into the egg white and then ONTO the coconut or almonds.

Thimble cookie crushed almond

With the other hand (dry hand) you roll the cookies in the coconut or almonds and then put them on the cookie sheet.

See those cookies...yup, that dozen right below...I had to wash my hands 6 times...SIX TIMES so I wouldn't get coconut or almonds in the egg white. Every second freakin cookie I used the wet hand in the dry ingredients or dry in the wet.  Even telling myself 'pay attention' I couldn't do it!

My brain is not connected to my hands!

Thimble cookies ready to indent

I did get them done, as you can see, and then decided I needed therapy to get over my obsessiveness with having coconut or almonds in the egg whites :)

Thimble cookies - indent with extract lid

The first batch I made, I used the top of an extract bottle to make the indent and then following the recipe, I baked the cookies for 15 minutes, pulled them out of the oven to indent again...and I was disappointed :(   The cookies spread - a lot.

I used two spoons and mooshed them back in to shape. Yup, it's a technical cooking term..I've used it before, so it makes it real :)  Indented again, and baked for another 10 minutes...watching them spread the entire time. *sigh* I removed them from the oven and filled them with jam.

It was NOT the picture perfect cute rounded jam filled little cookies I've seen before.  *another sigh*

The second batch had longer fridge time before putting in the oven. For this dozen I used a teaspoon for the indent - definitely my favorite of the two methods.

Thimble cookies - indent with teaspoon

Again, I baked them for 15 minutes, pulled them from the oven,  mooshed them back together and indented again, where needed ..but this time I put the jam in so that it would bake too..and a white chocolate chip. I prefer doing it this way too. The jam thickens a bit and makes it easier for storing.

Thimble cookies mooshed back in to shape

I shortened the cooking time of the second baking bit for this batch. 15 minutes is way too long and I'd probably even say 10 minutes is too much also.

Pulled from the oven, I mooshed them together again.   Sorry, this is where the cookie pictures end...so..here are some lights on my tree - with my favorite heart ornament :)

Merry Christmas

Once the cookies cooled, I drizzled white chocolate over the tops. Yum.  Although I think they were a bit over baked, they were good. They had a bit of a crunch to them with a softer inside.

I would make these again and play around a bit more with the temperature and baking times. I don't think any 'mistakes' would make terrible tasting cookies.

Moms Thimble Cookies
As written

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup of coconut or almonds (finely chopped)
  • Jam
  1. Cream butter and sugar together
  2. Beat in egg yolk
  3. Stir in rest of ingredients and mix well.
  4. Shape into balls
  5. Make indent with thimble
  6. Dip in egg white and roll in the coconut or nuts
  7. Bake 325 F for 15 minutes
  8. Indent again
  9. Bake 10 - 15 mins more
  10. Fill with Jam
  11. Let cool