New favourite cookie alert. Too good not to share.
Lately, a few of my co-workers and I have become obsessed with DAVIDsTEA. Perhaps it’s because the extended winter (there’s still a wall of snow here in Sudbury) has my inner self yearning to be awash in warmth, or perhaps it’s the “got to try ’em all” mentality that the promise of delectable tea creates. For those who don’t know what DAVID’sTEA is, it’s like a bulk store for gourmet teas. I’ve been to stores in both Ottawa and Toronto, and they all have the same feel – bright, clean lines with an entire wall of shelving filled up with colourful canisters that look like time capsules. From these cylinder silver containers, one usually sniffs five+ different teas, your nose filled by a disarming number of loose leaf combinations that smell liked freshly baked muffins (especially a tea called “forever nuts”) and play dough (an oolong tea called “happy kombucha” with mango and pineapple had me particularly nostalgic). I always pray my nose doesn’t drip into the sample sniffers. Our web editor Wendy always jokes that if she doesn’t like the tea flavour, should could always just use it as potpourri.
I’ve always been a little skeptical of fancy teas, mostly because I get a little freaked out when people try to capture what I have determined to be “food tastes” in hot drinks. As is, I only started liking tea a few years ago, primarily because of the fact that, growing up in a half-Chinese, half-Irish household, drinking tea is part of the fabric of life. I remember visiting Ireland as a kid and begging for a glass of milk as my young Irish cousins sipped their Red Rose mugs. Like I didn’t already stand out enough.
Anyways, that’s why I was startlingly surprised to fall in love with DAVIDsTEA. My affection started slowly, with a simple “Creme of Earl Grey” purchase. Now I find myself browsing the website on a daily basis, my indecision (thankfully) being the only thing between me and a giant box of tea.
But I did manage one purchase: a 50 gram bag of matcha powder.
Matcha powder is finely ground green tea that resembles a Shrek-coloured talcum powder. It’s what is used as the flavour and colour in such favourites as green tea ice cream, green tea cakes, etc. etc. It was also my worst enemy when I worked at Starbucks in grade 12. Back then (and still now, I believe), Starbucks had its “green tea lattes,” a special blend of matcha powder, boiling water and steamed milk. The matcha powder came in these big silver bags, the likes of which baristas had to transfer into some other storage container. When this task fell upon me, I would always try to gingerly create the finest of tears in the bag. Despite my best efforts, I nearly always ended up with green tea sediment on my black dress pants and a plume of powder up my nose. Thank goodness it always smelled divine.
I’ve looked to buy matcha powder in the past, but my purchases have always been deterred by the cost and size of the bag. The price is for a reason – it can take up to an hour to grind just 30 grams of matcha powder. So when I saw that DAVIDsTEA sold 50 gram-sized bags for $14, I jumped at the opportunity to try my hand at some green tea desserts.
Namely these cookies.
As mentioned in the first line of this post, these were pretty unbelievable. The white chocolate complemented the green tea flavour – one that grew on you as your continued to eat the cookie. Kind of like how spicy food takes a while to build in intensity. It wasn’t an overwhelming flavour either, so if you were to eat the cookies with a blindfold, you might not be able to put your finger on what it was that was causing the taste. I made two batches over three days this month, mostly because I knew I had to blog about them. I brought the first set of cookies into work, where even the most monstrous-looking desserts get inhaled in about 0.04 seconds. There were a few “but these are the same colour as vegetables!!!!” stares, but those quickly dissipated. Hey, it’s not easy being green, or so I hear.
PS: So I didn’t blog about these in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Well, there’s always Easter!
Recipe: Green tea white chocolate chunk cookies
Adapted from Joy the Baker
– 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp salt
– 2 tbsp matcha powder
– 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
– 1/2 cup white sugar
– 1 cup packed brown sugar
– 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
– 2 large eggs
– 6 oz good quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, matcha powder, baking soda and salt
In another larger bowl, mix together the butter with both sugars, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs. Beat until well mixed.
Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Fold in the white chocolate chunks.
Drop heaping tablespoons of the dough on a non-stick baking sheet, or a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the centre.
Makes 3 dozen.