“Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.” –Chaim Potok (American author and rabbi, 1929-2002)*
In the jingle-jangle, hustle-bustle of this busy, blessed season it is always good to make time for some peace, quiet and comfort with the taking of afternoon tea – accompanied, of course, by a sprinkled assortment of crisp and chewy Christmas tea cookies.
It is with a joyful spirit that ATG shares below an afternoon of tea and cookies with recipes for three very heavenly cookies.
We also highlight Harney & Sons’ “Holiday” Tea as a very good choice for your afternoon teatime. Located in the Hudson River Valley, Harney & Sons Fine Teas has been offering some the finest quality teas for over 30 years. Their “Holiday” tea is blend of Chinese black tea with citrus, almond, clove, and cinnamon; it is a perfectly blended, smooth and satisfying tea that hits the right spice notes without an overpowering sensation (their Darjeeling is a good everyday afternoon tea).
Don’t let the plain look of the cookies fool you, the cookie-snatching elves around here said the Pecan Tea Cookies are addictive and some of the best they’ve had.
Pecan Christmas Tea Cookies
An easy-to-make refrigerator cookie.
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temp.
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temp.
2 tbsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
Combine flour, salt, baking soda in medium sized bowl. In separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla to butter and sugar mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Add flour mixture a little at a time to the eggs, butter and sugar mixture. Combine thoroughly and then add chopped pecans and stir until evenly distributed. Shape dough into two rolls 1 & 1/2-inch in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator (keeps 1 week). When chilled (2 hours or so), remove from plastic wrap and slice chilled dough 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick and bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degree F for 10-12 minutes.
Please note: When forming into rolls, I use a little flour to keep them from sticking on surface and hands. Also, watch closely when they are baking in the oven so as not to over bake.
Coconut Oatmeal Cookies (taken from Maida Heatter’s Cookies, 1997)
Chewy, buttery and yummy!
2 & 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 sticks of butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temp.
1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut, firmly packed, may be sweetened or unsweetened)
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In large bowl cream the butter and then beat in vanilla and both sugars, mix well and then beat in eggs.
Combine the flour mixture with the butter/egg mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the oats and the coconut.
Place by the teaspoon-full on greased cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart (do not flatten top as these cookies spread flattening themselves). Bake in 350 degree F oven for 12-15 minutes.
Please note: These cookies will rise and then fall during baking. Bake only until the cookies are a rich golden brown all over. Be careful not to over bake. When cool, these cookies should be crisp on the edges and slightly chewy in the middle.
Seven Layer Cookie Bars
Rich and creamy and always just one more…
1/2 cup butter
1 & 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup chocolate morsels
1 cup Butterscotch morsels
1 & 1/3 cups coconut
1 cup pecans
Melt butter in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour cracker crumbs over butter and evenly distribute making a smooth layer of crust. Then layer milk, chocolate and butterscotch morsels, coconut and pecans in that order. Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly bubbly and lightly browned in 325 degree F oven.
*Enjoy a few more quotes from these tea lovers:
- “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” – Henry James (American writer, 1843-1916)
- “A true warrior, like tea, shows his strength in hot water.” – Chinese Proverb
- “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” – C.S. Lewis (British novelist, 1898-1963)
- “Would you like an adventure now, he said casually to John, “or would you like to have your tea first?” – J.M. Barrie (Scottish author of The Adventures of Peter Pan, 1860-1937)
- “My dear, if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs.” – Charles Dickens (English writer, 1812-1870)
- “I don’t drink coffee; I take tea, my dear ” – Sting (English musician)
- “…she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China.” – Leonard Cohen (from his song “Suzanne”, 1967)
- “I’m an afternoon tea type of girl. I come from a Russian background where we love our teas. So between lunch and dinner after training I come home and I love a nice cup of tea with am in it, as we drink it there. Black Englih Breakfast tea with raspberry jam is my favorite.” – Maria Sharapova (professional tennis player)
- “Tea tempers the spirits and harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and prevents drowsiness, lightens or refreshes the body, and clears the perceptive faculties.” – Confucius (Chinese philosopher, 551 BC-479 BC)