Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tessa Thai Tea Cookies and Iced Coffee, or The Caffeinated Special, or I'm going to pretend like it hasn't been three months since I've updated this thing!

     We really have so much to catch up on. And I'm hoping this won't take TOO long, because our computer room is the hottest room in the house. And we do have the air on. However, I have been doing nothing but consume caffeine all day, so actually this might be the longest post ever. I mean it IS the Caffeinated Special! (My first special edition! Isn't it so exciting? Should there be a sweepstakes? What did I win?)
     First of all, let me apologize. I have gotten several hundred angry emails that I never let you guys know how the Cookiesperiment ended up. Well, shame on me. I don't even know why I still have friends. Basically, this guy Jacques Torres (that's a French ass name) has come up with arguably the best chocolate chip cookie recipe there is. It is indeed very tasty, and it's pretty much due to four things:
     1. The dough sits in the fridge for up to 36 hours before baking.
     2. They're topped with a liberal amount of sea salt.
     3. They use high-quality dark chocolate DISKS (feves- what?)
         instead of chips, resulting in puddles of molten goodness.
     4. They're huge, resulting in freakin' ZONES of cookie. The rims
         are crunchy and golden, and the centers are chewy and
     So now you know. To catch us up the rest of the way, I will bless you with two artfully prepared photo collages. Number one:
Clockwise from top-left:
1. Spaghetti with home-made pasta sauce, and Ina Garten's glorious meatballs. Seriously, look them up.
2. Hot-cross buns made for my momma, as per request on Easter Sunday.
3. Probably less than half of the cherries picked on a recent trip to Charlottesville.
4. Michael getting in touch with his feminine side.
5. Cherry clafoutis made with aforementioned cherries. Julia Child recipe. Very tasty.
6. Joy the Baker's yummy yummy brownies that I made the night before I had a scary phone interview that turned out to be not scary at all.
7. Michael taking over the whipped-cream whipping (for the cherry shortcakes. with the same cherries.) because my arms were getting tired. Why didn't I just use a mixer? Because Martha says it's too easy to over-whip, and it should always be hand-whipped. Well. You know what, Martha? Screw you. The mixer works fine. I've done it before and it tastes NO DIFFERENT. Also- if you want my favorite fancy shortcake recipe (I love it so much) look no further than on the back of a box of Bisquick.
8. That stuff in the middle? I can't really remember. Chili made by Michael, maybe?

     Montage numero B is Michael building our raised beds that we turned into a cute little veggie gargen in the back yard. I'm missing a few steps in between, but we now have a jungle of tomato plants that give us several yummy tomatoes a day, and some Simpson lettuce. And one beet that's doing quite well. Everything else is taking it's time. I planted approximately sixteen (three) types of carrots, so I hope those turn up soon because we are LEAVING at the end of July and our landlord wants us to DESTROY our veggie garden. Really. If he had told us in the first place (when we asked him for permission) that we were to take them down when we left, would we have even bothered? NO! I'm pretty pissed about it. Also, a dumbass robin built a nest under our front porch roof. I was initially very excited about this, but after having to clean (ok, ok, Michael did it) two dead baby birds off the porch, I no longer support fauna procreating on my property. I hate nature.
     Why are we leaving, you ask? I got a new job near Richmond! I start July 5th, so I'll be staying with family in Midlothian during the week, and coming back on weekends to pack up our cute little house.
     I think that brings us to today. I chose not to go to work due to an unfortunate incident involving my nose deciding to exsanguinate whilst putting in my contacts. I never get nosebleeds. It was terrifying. I made myself feel better by cleaning the kitchen, brewing a batch of iced tea (which is LOVELY with orange mint in it, which I also happen to be growing) and a batch of coffee, and baking some cookies with Tessa (!!!) Thai tea drink mix. I made up my own recipe before realizing that there was one on the back of the damn box. Such is my life.
     First, I will share with you my recipe for ASTOUNGING iced coffee.

Iced Coffee
You will need:
Ground coffee in an amount that you deem necessary
Water in an amount that you deem necessary
Whole milk (don't be a pussy)
Sweetening agent of your choosing

With which you will:
1. Brew a really strong pot of coffee.
2. Chill it unless you like watery ice-melt coffee.
3. Pour over ice and top with WHOLE milk and mix in sweetener.

     I know. Revolutionary, right? Really this whole thing was just a way for me to let you know that when it comes to cold coffee beverages, just use the damn whole milk. Plus, the handle on my spoon is fancy, no?
     Without further ado: more cookies. Tessa Thai Tea is something that came into my life thanks to my friend Andrella, who found a box of it somewhere and brought it to me at work one day. She had no idea that I actually LOVE Thai iced tea, she just thought it was awesome because it had my name on it. Which is clearly also true. So I went through that box pretty quickly. About two years later, I found a box at T.J. Maxx- of all places! So tonight I was trying to come up with something new to make, and decided to make these. I mixed up a basic cookie recipe batch, subbing most of the sugar with tea mix and throwing in some vanilla for good measure. They weren't quite sweet enough, but then I came across the damn recipe on the back of the box- which calls for almost the SAME ingredients and proportions, with the exception of more sugar. And shredded coconut. So I decided for the second batch to go in the oven that I would top them with a coconut macaroon-y mixture. They turned out much better.

Tessa Thai Tea Cookies
You will need:
4 oz butter
1 oz sugar
1.5 oz tea mix (if not thai tea mix, any instant mix that has sugar listed as first ingredient)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
.5 tsp baking powder
6 oz flour
.5 cup sweetened coconut
1 egg white
1 tbsp confectioners sugar

With which you will:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Cream tea mix, sugar, and butter until light and fluffy.
3. Add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
4. Add flour and beat until dough forms.
5. Roll dough in wax paper in a log and chill until slice-able.
6. Meanwhile, combine sugar, coconut, and JUST enough egg white to make it stick together.
7. Slice cookies 1/4 inch thick and top with a little coconut mixture.
8. Bake about 12-15 minutes until lightly browned.

     And The End.


  1. I came across your recipe while posting an ebay listing for a 3 pound restaurant pack. If you are interested ...

  2. Your version looks tasty.. did you see the recipe on the side of the box? Entirely different cookie, but they were devoured when I brought them to work. ;)

  3. i did find that, but not until after i had made these cookies. i felt like quite a dunce.