Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tasty Tea Cookies

I just love food venues where you can sample the food and talk to the people who make the product. They are so passionate about what they do. Another discovery from our first trip to the Sunset Celebration Weekend is Botanical Bakery. They served samples of all six flavors of their crisp, handmade, buttery tea cookies. These are delicious tiny bites, packed with flavor. On their packaging, they suggest pairings for tea, coffee and wine. They also suggested some food pairings while I was nibbling on the samples. Since we came home with two bags of the Cinnamon Basil cookies, I tried their idea of a parfait of the Cinnamon Basil cookies with mashed sweet potatoes and pesto. I made a pesto of basil, pine nuts, almonds, mustard, olive oil, parmesan cheese and champagne vinegar. You could use your favorite recipe or purchase ready-made pesto. They suggested serving this as an appetizer. I made it as a vegetable side dish served with a pork loin.

We also purchased the Fennel Pollen and Ginger Squared cookies. The ginger cookies are bursting with ginger flavor that is totally addicting. Rather than just eating the whole bag at once, I made a blackberry parfait dessert inspired by a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine.

Ginger Squared and Blackberry Parfait
Serves 2

Blackberry Sauce
1 basket fresh blackberries
1/4 c orange juice
1Tbsp golden brown sugar (could use less depending on sweetness of berries)
Dash of cinnamon

Put most (approx ¾) of the berries and other ingredients in small saucepan. Cook on medium heat stirring frequently until berries are soft. Puree berry mixture in blender. Reserve a few berries for garnish. Add the rest of the berries and stir into mixture.

Put Ginger Squared cookies in bottom of parfait or wine glass. Add a scoop of vanilla or peach ice cream.  Top with warm blackberry sauce. Add more layers of cookies, ice cream and berries if you like. Top with a cookie and reserved berries.

We haven't opened the package of Fennel Pollen tea cookies yet, but I'm looking forward to their delicate flavor with a cup of tea sometime soon.

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