Wednesday, 7 January 2015

White Chocolate Green Tea Shortbread Cookies and Teavivre Review

Sometimes you have to just go with things. No questions, no pondering, just do it. An idea might float into your head and the only thing you can do is give it a go. Get the ingredients out from where they live and make your idea. Like when I decided to make a green shortbread by adding tea leaves to the mixture. And hopefully like when you see the shade of green the cookies came out like but you try them anyway.
White Chocolate Green Tea Shortbread Cookies - biscuits made with Teavivre Chinese tea
Yes that's right. I ground up some green tea leaves and added to the simple combination of good butter, sugar, flour and a little semolina. Hey, I made Grinch shortbread! I had been intending to adapt my Madeira cake recipe to make a tea loaf instead but with Christmas cakes still haunting our kitchen sides, we really don't need any more. We don't even need any more biscuits but I needed to bake because I am currently at the point with my revision that I don't think I can do any more. Like if it hasn't gone in by now it isn't going to go in. What I do know will go in though is a batch of cookies. With numerous cups of tea. Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE tea?
White Chocolate Green Tea Shortbread Cookies - biscuits made with Teavivre Chinese tea
Talking of tea, Teavivre recently got in touch and asked me if I'd like to sample some of their products. They hit me at a weak spot. Would I like to review Teavivre traditional Chinese teas harvested and produced following traditional methods and chosen by tea experts working closely with suppliers? YES PLEASE!
A quick nosey around the site and I was impressed. The team behind Teavivre clearly know their stuff. Besides having some beautiful teaware available to purchase, they have an impressive range of teas right from different varieties of black tea through many green teas all the way to gorgeous flowering teas. The range of teas should keep the true connoisseur happy while for the novice who simply gets very enthusiastic about drinking tea and pairing it with baked goods (i.e. me) their is a range of information to bring you up to speed with what you need to know to make the right choices to match with your own personal tastes or the occasion your are buying for. Despite accepting a cup at every opportunity, I knew very little solid information about the history or health benefits of tea and I hadn't even heard of the Chinese Gongfu Tea Ceremony before. China really has something special.
White Chocolate Green Tea Shortbread Cookies - biscuits made with Teavivre Chinese tea
I got to sample Silver Needle white tea, Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong tea Yun Nan Dian Hong black tea, Huang Shan Mao Feng and Hangzhou Tian Mu Qing Ding green teas. The last was my favourite so I chose it to use in my baking too. Described as having a fresh and mellow taste I hoped the flavours would pair well with a luxurious buttery shortbread base and the creamy sweetness of white chocolate. I was right. 
White Chocolate Green Tea Shortbread Cookies - biscuits made with Teavivre Chinese tea
No single flavour overpowers the rest. The butter base provides a well rounded support to the earthy, fresh taste of tea and the vanilla hued nuggets of white chocolate which had begun to caramelise in the heat of the oven. Each bite is a crisp path through the limited resistance of a short, melting structure. The cookies let you embrace something new while holding onto the classical nature of a well made shortbread biscuit. Put the kettle on please. There is always time for tea.

White Chocolate Green Tea Shortbread Cookies
Makes approx 16 cookies
Use the sllice and bake method to make these discs of buttery, melting shortbread, flavoured with Chinese green tea and caramelised white chocolate.










Ingredients
  • 4oz butter, softened
  • 2oz caster sugar
  • 5oz plain flour
  • 1oz semolina, cornflour or ground rice
  • Approx 7g green tea leaves, finely ground (I ground them to almost dust in a blender)
  • 2-3oz white chocolate, finely chopped
Instructions
1. Beat the butter until very pale and creamy. Mix in the sugar until evenly combined. Add the flour, semolina and ground tea and mix. You will probably need to finish mixing by hand, kneading/squashing the ingredients together until smooth and combined. Knead in the chocolate then bring together into a ball.
2.On a lightly floured surface or a sheet of baking paper roll the ball into a log about 4cm across. The exact size is up to you. Wrap in baking paper or cling film and chil in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours. 
3. When ready to bake, set the oven to 180 C/160 C fan and remove the dough log from the fridge. Use a sharp knife to slice it into about 16 cookies, depending on how thick you like them. 
4. Place on a lined baking sheet spaced out and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 mins depending on how thick they are. The edges should be very lightly browned - you may need to lower the oven temperature slightly and give them an extra five mins to dry out.
5. After a couple of minutes out of the oven, carefully lift the cookies onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Don't leave it too long or steam underneath the cookies will make them soft again.
 

I didn't get to enter any challenges last month so I'm extra pleased to be able to share these cookies with Tea Time Treats. Janie from The Hedgecombers, who hosts alternatively with Karen from Lavender and Lovage, has set the theme this month as Packed Lunches. Lunchtime requires a biscuit or cookie to round off for me. I'm not sure whether Stuart from Cakeyboi (hosting this month) and Kat from The Baking Explorer will agree that shortbread are healthy treats but I'm going to try entering them into Treat Petite anyway because green tea has numerous health benefits right?! Last but absolutely not least I'm sharing them with my own challenge the Biscuit Barrel. There was no challenge last month because I've had to cut back on blogging but Alexandra from The Lass In The Apron has been an amazing support and volunteered to host until I finish my exams in May. I cannot say thank you enough. It would be a massive favour if you could pop over to her blog and say hi. Her chosen theme this month is Innovation & Discoveries - I've never baked with green tea before but now I love it.


Disclaimer: I was sent the tea samples from Teavivre free of charge but was not required to write a positive review so all opinions are my own. All images are also my own besides the flowering tea which has been used from the Teavivre website.

32 comments:

  1. Ooooh, what an interesting bake an you're right they'd be perfect to add to a lunch box. Thanks so much for sharing with Tea Time Treats :)
    Janie x

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  2. Haha you've managed to catch them before I added my page to your linky! I'm glad they count for the challenge =)

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  3. Ohhh, what lush looking cookies. I would so do with a few of these right now. Stumbling.

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  4. What gorgeous biscuits, Laura. I am eyeing them mournfully, as I am officially on my sugar-free January now (I started after Twelfth Night), and my mug of tea tomorrow is going to seem very incomplete. I adore baking with green tea, especially when white chocolate is also concerned. Have you ever tried green tea ice cream? That's how I got introduced to the idea and it is divine.
    Anyway, thanks for linking up with Biscuit Barrel . . . it feels funny to be thanking you for joining in your own challenge!

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    1. It feels quite strange to be entering via a different blog to be honest! But nice too to know the Biscuit Barrel is being taken care of by you. You have far more willpower than me - I can't go without goodies for a whole day let alone a month! I would very much like to try green tea ice cream now - I can imagine it testing lovely. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  5. Lovely biccies Laura. Interesting colour..... The combination of the tea with white chocolate sounds delicious and perfect to accompany a cuppa. Good luck with the revision and what follows!

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  6. I like the unique colour of your shortbread and it's always great to try some delicious "proper" teas x

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    1. Thank you! I wasn't sure about the colour at first but now I rather like that it is a bit different.

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  7. Haha- having recently sat an exam for work I totally understand the need to do anything but revise- our home hasn't looked tidier! These look the perfect revision-busting biscuits!

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    1. It's amazing how many jobs you can get done when you're supposed to be doing something else isn't it?!

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  8. Haha, snap. I've just posted some matcha cookies. Yours looks a lot better than mine though. Mine in reality are really green, but I could not get the camera to reflect his at all. Was so glad to find Alexandra is helping you out with the BB - I had nowhere to send my entry last month.

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    1. Ooo I'm going to have a look at your cookies now. It's so annoying isn't it when you can't portray what you want to in a photo? I'm so sorry about last months absence - I felt like I let people down not having a challenge but I really couldn't keep up the pace of blogging with everything else and I so want blogging to stay a joy =)

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  9. Love these unusual cookies, have never though to use green tea in one - stumbled:-)

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  10. What an interesting shortbread, lucky you trying all those different teas. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

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  11. I love tea biscuits and have tried lots of variations basically adding in ground tea leaves to a shortbread mixture. I love that you've added white chocolate here. It's also nice to see a few posts from you. Good luck with the revision :)

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  12. Hi Laura - thanks for taking the time to enter Treat Petite. I am still intrigued about green tea in bakes and would love to give these a try!

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    1. I hope you do Stuart, or start your own green tea experiments. You are so inventive I know you'll come up with something delicious!

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  13. I love green tea and I drink loads of it, I've also tried tea from Tea Vivre before and it's so good I went and bought a big tin of the Mao Feng as it was my favourite from the selection I sampled. However I have still never baked with green tea and as your cookies look so tasty I'm going to have to try it out very soon :)

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    1. You definitely should. You come up with some really great flavour combinations so I know you bake something lovely. And you deserve to relax with some lovely tea and treats after all your hard work for your PhD.

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  14. Laura, your green shortbread looks lovely, and I love the Old Country Roses plate, cup and saucer. Black tea is my beverage of choice all day long and, sometimes, in the middle of the night. It's always good to "meet" another tea drinker!

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    1. Oh definitely! I was in my friends office the other day where most of the people prefer coffee and when they expressed their scorn for tea myself and another friend looked at each other and walked away sadly haha

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  15. Your shortbread looks so professional and a very inventive use of ingredients. I love Tea Vivre teas, they are so flavourful.

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    1. Thank you so much Janice! That's made me smile =)

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  16. Wowwww
    I've never seen such cookies - they are so unique!!
    I love shortbread cookies, and I love white chocolate, but the combination with green tea is new to me.
    I'm intrigued :)

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    1. Give them a go, if you like all then flavours I think you'll love them all together =)

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  17. "Grinch shortbread" made me smile :-) I love green tea in baking so I can imagine these are wonderful!

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    1. Haha I want to make more Grinch goodies after making these!

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