Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A tea for December

Last week I chatted about favorite holiday music, movies, and books. This week it's holiday tea!

As many of you know, my favorite holiday tea blend is from Harney & Sons and can be ordered online or found in Barnes & Noble cafes (as well as in many shops that stock specialty food items). You can order loose leaf OR sachets!

Described as "a black tea spiced with citrus, almond, clove and cinnamon," Harney's Holiday Tea is my favorite thing to drink on chilly December afternoons.

Some other options:
Adagio's Christmas Blend
Mighty Leaf's Holiday Blend (if you'd like something fruity)
Celestial Seasonings' Gingerbread Tea (if you prefer a non-caffeinated option)
Celestial Seasonings' Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride (another caffeine-free option, suggested by Jessica McCann)
Do you have another favorite to recommend for the holidays?

The Holiday Tea pairs perfectly with Swedish Ginger Cookies (see recipe below--yes, I rave about these cookies every year!) or sugar cookies with homemade frosting.

Swedish Ginger Cookies

Contributed to The Kansas Cookbook by Mrs. Ernest A. (Eunice) Wall

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup sugar

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar, butter or margarine, and shortening together. Add the molasses and egg, mixing well.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix well. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Roll the dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place 1/2 cup of sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll the balls in the sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Flatten each with a small glass or a smooth object. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes.

Makes 5 dozen.

**My notes. Maybe I make my cookies too big, but I've NEVER managed 5 dozen cookies with this recipe! Also, I boost the spice amounts a bit and throw in a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice for good measure. To ease the process of rolling the dough into balls, I separate the dough into halves and roll each half into a tube and chill it in parchment. Then I can just slice the dough to form the balls. (Maybe it's easier to use a scoop? I like the logs of dough because they're slightly obscene-looking. Fun times! Also, I bake about 9 minutes.)

(photos awesomized with the "leaded window" frame in Camera Awesome)

[cross-posted at Livejournal]


  1. Hi Sonia. Harney's Holiday Tea sounds wonderful. I'll have to give it a try. Have you ever tried Celestial's Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride? It's caffeine free and the kids love it with milk. Tastes and smells like fresh baked sugar cookies. Great at bedtime. Yum.

  2. I'm so in love with that tea!! I'm going to try those cookies too, they sound delicious! Need to get some molasses first.

    1. Yay! The cookies are soft rather than snappy, and they're so tasty! Hope you enjoy.

  3. We only ordered ours yesterday and I'm needing my fix!

    1. I ordered TWO fifty-count bags of sachets a couple of weeks ago, so I'm all set! (Gotta get on top of these things, ya know.)