I first encountered Kelli’s Amai Tea and Bake House via Keiko’s blog Nordljus who was offering a set of Amai goodies for Chez Pim’s Menu for Hope raffle. Well, I did not win that prize but I just had to have a sampling of these tea sweets because they looked so adorable especially in their cute packaging. What came was an assortment of green tea, Earl Grey and currants, lemon grass, and almond cookies. It was in the middle of winter, so perfect to serve with a cup of hot tea and even warm milk. Kelli’s creations are made only from the finest all- natural ingredients and you can really see the quality with each cookie. Among these sweets, my favorites were green tea and Earl Grey with currants. I placed a second order of just these two flavors — alas, they never did last too long in my household.
Fast forward 7 months later.
Last week, I decided to check out some new food blogs and I happened upon Fanny’s blog, Food Beam where she mentioned that Kelli had posted the recipe for the Green Tea shortbread cookies on her website. Could it be? I quickly clicked on the link to Kelli’s blog Lovescool. And there it was, the recipe spelled out in front of my screen. I wasted no time at all in cutting and pasting the ingredients and instructions into a Word document, fearing that they might suddenly disappear.
And fate, it seems was taunting me further to bake this sweet jewels as Mae of Rice and Noodles also made them earlier this week.
Though not specifically mentioned in the instructions, since I was beating the butter till it was well blended with the powdered sugar, I presumed the butter had to be at room temperature. I made two batches. I ended up with extremely crumbly dough for the first batch. I added cold egg yolks, one at a time in this one. When I rolled out the mixture it was crumbling apart and I had to do a lot of patch-up work. Mae did mention on her blog that it was a difficult dough to work with.
I immediately did a second batch with a little different approach. The butter was still at room temperature, but this time I had beat it longer. I also added a pinch of salt to the flour to bring out more flavor. This time my egg yolks were almost at room temperature and I added them all at once. I also stopped the beating to scrape down the sides with a wooden spoon to make sure the flour was well incorporated. Then I proceeded to beat it until it formed a mass (like the recipe stated) so that the sides of the bowl were virtually clean.
The difference in the resulting dough was apparent. It was clay-like and not crumbly at all.
After the 30-minute refrigeration time, I rolled it out. It tended to break apart at the edges so I would just pinch them back together. It felt almost like play dough.
I used a round cutter for the second batch and it did not seem to fall apart like the first one when I used a leaf-shaped cutter. I know — I changed too many variables in this experiment to really tell what went wrong with the first batch.
Taste-wise, the two batches were the same. But the looks of the second group of tea sweets looked better texturally and was easier to work with.
My thanks to Kelli for being so generous with this recipe! Now I can enjoy my green tea cookies anytime my heart desires. Now about those Earl Grey and currant ones…