Matcha (Green Tea) Lemon Meltaway Cookies

Queenie came up with this mini matcha lemon meltaway cookie recipe that pairs perfectly with tea -- hot or iced.

I'm warning you now: these cookies are highly addictive so make them at your own risk. They're tiny, but pack a sugary, lemony, matcha punch.

Wet ingredients followed by dry are all mixed together in a mixing bowl. Look how vibrant green the dough is!

The hardest part is waiting for them to chill in the fridge before they get popped in the oven.

Don't get me started on my new addiction to matcha sugar. The recipe calls for a tad more matcha sugar than needed since you want enough to get an even coat, but rest assured, you can use that same matcha sugar to sweeten your matcha drinks.

The recipe makes a whopping 100 of these mini cookies but you don't have to make them all at once. The unbaked dough can be stored in the freezer until your next tea gathering.

MATCHA LEMON MELTAWAY COOKIES
Recipe by Queenie Fok for Oh, How Civilized

Makes 100 (6 gram) cookies

COOKIE INGREDIENTS
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 stick + 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons matcha
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2  tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon

MATCHA SUGAR INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons matcha

DIRECTIONS
In a mixing bowl, mix together 1 stick and 6 tablespoons butter, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 3 tablespoon matcha. In another bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and salt then add to mixture in the mixing bowl. Mix to form dough.

Weigh out 6 grams of dough (roughly about a tablespoon) and roll into a ball. Place balls on a parchment lined sheet tray and cover with saran wrap to chill in the refrigerate for at least an hour. The dough can be kept in the freezer for up to a month. 

Combine matcha sugar ingredients in a large resealable plastic bag.

Preheat oven to 350°F. With balls spaced at least an inch and a half apart on the parchment lined sheet tray, bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack. Once they have cooled a bit but still slightly warm, toss 5–7 cookies in the matcha sugar mix in the plastic bag. Toss again in matcha sugar mix once cooled.

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Posted on July 4, 2015 .

Tea and Chocolate Pairings at La Maison du Chocolate

Up until I had the tea and chocolate pairings at La Maison du Chocolate, I thought the only tea that went well with chocolate was rooibos. Uhhhh, I was totally proven wrong.  

At the Rockefeller Center La Maison du Chocolat location I sat at the bar and tried five different pairings. Tea is from Mariage Frères (a favorite tea company of mine!) and when you order any of their teas, it comes paired with a chocolate that was chosen by La Maison's Creative Director.

Raymond, the boutique manager, expertly steeped each tea for the pairings. Tea was served in smaller espresso cups since we were going to have multiple pairings.

We first started with the French Breakfast Tea which has notes of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. This was paired with Micaela, a cafe au lait mousse in milk chocolate. First a sip of tea, then a bite of the chocolate, and repeat. The chocolate and caramel notes in the tea melded perfectly with the coffee and milk chocolate.

We moved onto a green tea, the Fuji-Yama. Matching green on green, the chocolate chosen to accompany this tea was the Jolika, an almond paste with pistachio. The clean green tea complemented the smooth almond paste. 

Next up was another green tea, the Jasmin Mandarin. The Dentelle, a praline with crispy crepe was paired with the floral and sweet notes of the tea. Nice and crunchy, this is my kind of chocolate.

Métis is a rooibos with floral, raspberry, and vanilla notes. I think every chocolate goes with rooibos, but the Guayaquil went exceptionally with its hints of vanilla.

Last was the Empereur Chen-Nung, a smoky black tea with underlying orange peel notes. Naturally, this tea was perfect with the Orangette, a candied orange peel dipped in chocolate.

The basics of pairing tea and chocolate are pretty simple -- match a flavor or note found in both the tea and the chocolate. 

On the menu was Marco Polo, one of Mariage Fréres' popular teas which was paired with the Andalousie, a ganache with lemon zest. Since I had Marco Polo at home, I cold brewed it and had it over ice with the Andalousie the next day. All the other pairings I had were very good, but this combination was my favorite.

//Tea and chocolate pairings courtesy of La Maison du Chocolat. All content and opinions expressed here are my own.//

Muddled Mint Lemonade Iced Tea

A combination of freshly squeezed lemons, mint leaves, and of course, tea makes for a very refreshing summer drink. To brighten up the flavors of a basic Arnold Palmer (half lemonade, half iced tea), I muddled fresh mint leaves (basil is another great option) using a muddler.

I usually have a pitcher of cold brewed black tea and lemon juice in the fridge so making this drink is super quick. As for the kind of tea, any basic black tea like Earl Grey, English Breakfast, or Ceylon would work.

MINT LEMONADE ICED TEA
Makes 1 cup

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
1/2 cup black tea
1 tablespoons sugar
1/4 lemon cut into 2 wedges
6-8 fresh mint leaves
ice

DIRECTIONS
Put lemon wedges, sugar, and mint leaves into a thick walled cup and muddle until leaves are lightly crushed.

Stir in lemon juice and black tea and top with ice.

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Posted on June 28, 2015 .

Giveaway // Teavana "The Art of Iced Tea"

You'll be drinking iced tea 24/7 all summer with this gift set from Teavana. Inside the box is the 32oz PerfecTea Tea Maker, two pretty tea canisters, two bags of herbal teas, and a good-sized bag of rock sugar.

The beauty of the PerfecTea Tea Maker is the tea strainer at the bottom. Once steeped, place it on top of a pitcher filled with ice and watch the tea pour out, leaving behind the loose tea leaves. 

Sign up for Oh, How Civilized Emails!

This giveaway is only open to US residents. Good luck!

NOTE: Winner will be contacted by email and comments/follows will be verified. If winner does not respond within three days of being contacted, another winner be chosen. Good luck!

//Giveaway prize courtesy of Teavana.//

Posted on June 8, 2015 .

Grand Cru Tea Tasting Class at Palais Des Thés

About a year and a half ago, French tea company Palais Des Thés opened up their first New York City shop on the Upper West Side. Since then, a second location in Soho location has been added which offers tea tasting classes. (In Paris, there's Palais Des Thes' The Tea School with an extensive tea program.)

There are three classes to choose from ranging from $50 - $80 per person. I took the Grand Cru Tasting where I would be able to try their rarest and finest teas. My intimate hour-long class (no more than four people are in each class) was guided by Palais Des Thés' tea expert Aurélie. 

When I arrived at the Soho shop, I was greeted by Aurélie and the friendly staff at Palais who directed me to a specially designed tea tasting table where tasting cups sets were laid out. We would be tasting four different Grand Cru teas. 

In a tea tasting, you go from lightest to darkest so we started with Silver Needles, a white tea from China that was brewed for about 10 minutes.

With each tasting, we took whiffs of the dry tea and compared it to the wet tea leaves after it had been steeped and then tasted the tea. Loud slurping is encouraged to get the full essence of the tea. It was interesting how it varied so much from how it smelled to how it tasted.

While waiting for teas to brew, Aurélie answered any questions I had and I learned a ton about tea and the art of a tea tasting. 

The tea I enjoyed the most was the Tawaramine Shincha from Japan which was toasty and had a lovely mouthfeel. (By the way, in this class, feel free to throw out words like "mouthfeel" and "vegetal" as much as you want, like I did.)

The hour flew by and I was high on tea. It was a treat to taste their best teas of the season and learn the proper way to enjoy them.

INFO: Grand Cru Tasting Class at Palais Des Thés | 156 Prince Street | New York, NY 10012 | 646.513.4369

//Tea tasting class courtesy of Palais Des Thés. All content and opinions expressed here are my own. //

Posted on June 4, 2015 .