Afternoon Tea and Cookies - Recipes from a Gluten-free KitchenNov 27, 2020 ● By Tiffany Hinton
Photo by Marta Dzedyshko from Pexels
Healthful Herbal Teas
Herbal teas have been used as an aid to healing for thousands of years. Many of our grandparents knew which root to dig up and boil to help a particular ailment. Native American, Inca and Chinese medicine doctors, as well as the Ayurvedic healers of the East, all used similar knowledge to help heal the common cold, seasonal virus or even a headache. Reaching into our history, we find Mother Nature holds the secrets to help us continue to have optimal health and thrive through the winter. Here are four of our favorite herbal teas for winter.
Licorice Root Tea - Licorice is one of the most popular flavors in candy and beverages around the world, and a hearty cup of licorice tea certainly does not disappoint. Licorice tea can help balance the body’s levels of cortisol and cortisone, which are especially helpful with holiday stress. Other benefits include relief from depression, menopause, PMS and thyroid disease symptoms.
Chai Tea - Chai is a bold blend of black tea and spices with an invigorating taste that is sure to beckon your taste buds along a savory journey. Ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper and clove each contains its own special benefits, and when combined can be even more powerful for the body. Chai benefits include possibly helping support digestion, lowering blood sugar and promoting cardiovascular health.
Chaga Tea - Known colloquially as the "king of mushrooms”, chaga is an exceptional ingredient and creates an equally exceptional tea with a smooth, rich flavor that any avid tea drinker will fall for. Chaga mushroom tea has a potential benefit for many health concerns, including heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, parasites, stomach pain and certain types of cancer.
Matcha Tea - This green tea variety is made from tea leaves that have been powdered, which gives it a strong, appealing flavor when brewed. Matcha is a favorite of tea connoisseurs, and has been enjoyed for more than 1,000 years. The secret behind matcha’s superfood strength is found in its polyphenol compounds called catechins, which are a type of antioxidant found in superfoods like cocoa and apples. Potential benefits range from improved heart health to lower blood sugar levels, increased weight loss and more.
A touch of sweetness is a wonderful accompaniment to afternoon tea. Here are three favorite gluten-free cookie recipes to bake and share this holiday season.
Yield: about 3 dozen
1⅓ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
8 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg at room temperature, beaten
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp almond milk
Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk to combine. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and milk, beating well after each addition.
Chill the dough for 1 hour or more in the refrigerator.
Scoop dough with a spoon onto the prepared baking sheets, gently flattening the top of each raw cookie. Space about 1 inch apart.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the cookies are a golden color. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: about 3 dozen
1 stick butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1½ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups gf oats, uncooked
1 cup raisins
Heat oven to 350° F degrees.
In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined gluten-free flour, baking soda and cinnamon; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light, golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack.
Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
Gluten-Free Peppermint Brownie Cookies
Yield: about 2 dozen
1¼ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 stick unsalted butter or earth balance
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup peppermint chips or crushed candy canes (optional)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Put gluten free flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
In a separate glass or ceramic bowl, place chocolate chips and butter. Microwave for 45 seconds at a time, stirring well in-between, until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Allow to cool briefly.
Add brown sugar; continue to mix while adding egg, maple syrup, and vanilla.
Add chocolate mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Scoop dough by the tablespoon. Place about 1 inch apart on nonstick baking sheet and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just set.
Recipes courtesy of Tiffany Hinton, GF Mom Certified. Connect on social media @GFMomCertified. 2020 GF Mom Certified Holiday Guide