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As we head into the colder months, there’s nothing more enjoyable than a hot cup of tea and perhaps a baked dessert…but have you ever thought about putting tea in the dessert?

Gusto contributor (and the season 3 winner of MasterChef Canada), Mary Berg, says it’s possible, and she’s got the recipes to prove it.

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Citrus Buttermilk Scones with Orange Pekoe Butter

Makes 16 scones

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups cold buttermilk
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, mixed with 1 tbsp water to make an egg wash

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with Cookina Parchminum and preheat your oven to 425F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Remove your butter from the fridge and cut it into pats.  Quickly combine the cold butter into the flour mixture by rubbing the mixture between your hands until it resembles very course crumbs with some larger hunks of butter scattered throughout.
  4. Make a well into the centre of the mixture and add in the buttermilk, orange zest, and vanilla.  Using a wooden spoon, stir just until the dough comes together.
  5. Dump the dough out onto a well floured surface, dust the top of the dough with some more flour, and gently press the dough down with the palms of your hands.  Fold the dough in half and continue to press and fold 4-5 more times.
  6. Divide the dough in half and form into two rough circles.  Place the circles of dough, side by side, onto your prepared cookie sheet. 
  7. Cut each circle of dough into 8 triangles then brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with some sugar.
  8. Bake your scones for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and springy to the touch.
  9. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, serve on your Cookina Parminium, and enjoy with Orange Pekoe Butter (recipe follows). 

Orange Pekoe Butter

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 orange pekoe tea bags, cut open
  • ¼ tsp salt

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, honey, orange zest, tea leafs, and salt.
  2. Serve at room temperature or chilled on warm buttermilk scones
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Earl Grey Tea Cake

Makes 1 loaf

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Earl Grey tea leaves, very finely ground
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup Earl Grey infused milk, room temperature (recipe follows)
  • Earl Grey glaze (recipe follows)
  • Loose leaf Earl Grey tea, for decorating

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a loaf pan with a Cookina Cuisine baking sheet.
  2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in the tea leafs and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  This should take about 2 minutes using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Add the eggs, one at a time, then add in the vanilla and mix well to combine. 
  4. With the mixer running on low, add in 1/3 of the flour followed by ½ of the earl grey infused milk and repeat until all of the flour and milk are used up.  Mix just until combined.  Scrape the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven for 40 – 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Allow the cake to cool slightly in the pan then lift the cake out using the edges of your Cookina Cuisine baking sheet. Allow the cake to cool fully then top with a generous helping of Earl Grey Glaze and a scattering of loose leaf Earl Grey tea.

Earl Grey Milk

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 1 Earl Grey tea bag

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Heat the milk in the microwave and add the tea bag.  Allow this to steep for 10 – 15 minutes to infuse the milk then remove the tea bag.

Earl Grey Glaze

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 ¾ cups icing sugar
  • 1 bag Earl Grey tea, cut open
  • 2 tbsp milk, plus more if needed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp lemon juice

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, tea leafs, milk, vanilla, and lemon juice.  If the glaze seems a bit thick, simply add a bit more milk to thin it out.  If it is too thin, add some more icing sugar.
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Matcha Cheesecake

Makes 1-8”cheesecake

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 cups (3 packages) full-fat brick cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp Matcha powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line the sides of an 8” springform pan with a strip of Cookina Cuisine baking sheet and place on top of a cookie sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter.  Press into the bottom of your prepared springform pan and bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until set and slightly darker.  Remove the pan from the oven and allow the crust to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat one cup of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of sugar, the cornstarch, and Matcha powder together on low until creamy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the remaining cream cheese and sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.  Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla.  Add in the cream and beat just until completely blended.
  4. Gently spoon the filling into the cooled crust and bake for 1 ¼ hours or until the edges of the cheesecake are slightly darker and the centre barely jiggles.  Cool the cake to room temperature then pop in the fridge for at least 5 hours to chill.
  5. When ready to serve, pop open the springform pan, peel off the Cookina Cuisine, and slice with a warm knife.  Top with a little whipped cream or some fresh raspberries if desired.
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Chai Spice Sugar Cookies

Makes 3 dozen cookies

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp clove
  • 1/8 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tspbaking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and two baking sheets with Cookina Parchminum.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice, clove, and black pepper.  Remove ¼ cup of this spiced sugar and set aside in a small bowl.
  3. To the large bowl of spiced sugar, add the butter and beat until light and fluffy.  Add in the egg and vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Stir this mixture into the butter/sugar mixture just until combined. 
  5. Using a small scoop or a regular teaspoon, portion out the dough and roll them into balls.  Toss these in the reserved spiced sugar and place onto your prepared baking sheet about 2” apart. 
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 9-11 minutes or until golden but still soft.  Let the cookies stand on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.