Today’s menus are no longer restricted to black teas like an Assam, English or Irish Breakfast. Today’s selection includes green teas, herbal and botanical blends. Some tea and cookie combinations pair especially well together and although not an exact science, some better than others. If you think of taste pairings as a reflection of a region’s “menu” you’ll soon find it easy to guess what is harmonious. For instance, a Mediterranean dessert like Baklava pairs beautifully with mint tea. Mint is a flavoring prevalent in a multitude of that area’s iconic dishes.
Chocolate Chip: Origin United States, 20th Century. The original recipe was created by American chefs Sue Brides and Ruth Graves Wakefield. It appeared in the 1938 cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes.
Teas: Raspberry, Mint, Chai, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Cinnamon & Spice, Chamomile
Ladyfingers: Really more cake than cookie, these moist and delicate treats are shaped like, well, lady fingers and sometimes can be found holding up desserts like charlottes.
Teas: Pan-fired Green, Jasmine Green, Darjeeling, Chai, English Breakfast, Chamomile, Lemon,
Baklava: A honey or rose syrup drenched buttery phyllo pastry baked with spices and nuts in-between the flaky layers.
Teas: Pomegranate, Pan-fired Green, Jasmine Green, Lemon, Chamomile, Mint, Earl Grey
Gingerbread: According to culinary lore, gingerbread dates to the middle ages when ladies would present this honey-spiced treat to their tournament knights. Today’s treats are not so serious and are often cut into many fanciful shapes, with their limbs and heads cheerfully decorated (and intact.)
Teas: Peppermint, Lemon, Cinnamon, Darjeeling, Jasmine Green, Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey, Chai
Coconut Macaroon: This sweet, chewy cookie is made with egg whites, sugar and coconut, and if you are lucky, drizzled with chocolate.
Teas: Cinnamon, Lemon, Darjeeling, Jasmine Green, Pomegranate, Blood Orange, Chai
Raspberry Linzer: A cookie version of Austria’s Linzer tort, this rich buttery cookie typically includes ground almonds, spices and lemon rind then topped with a dollop of raspberry jam.
Teas: Lemon, Elderberry, Hibiscus, Blood Orange, English Breakfast, Chamomile, Earl Grey, Darjeeling
Fig Bar: Fig bars are made with fig concentrate from seedless puree then wrapped in thick pastry dough rolls. British immigrants brought fig rolls to the U.S., but it was Philadelphia baker Charles Roser who invented the process that lead to the beloved cookie named after Newton, Massachusetts, where they were commercially produced.
Teas: Elderberry, Hibiscus, Blood Orange, English Breakfast, Chamomile, Earl Grey, Lemon
Shortbread: This crumble-y butter laden sugar cookie started out as a Hogmanay (Scottish New Year’s Eve) tradition but is now found year-round and on most continents. Origin, United Kingdom, 12th Century.
Teas: Chai, Darjeeling, Pan-fired Green, Jasmine Green, Mint, English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Elderberry
Brownie: A cake-like dense and chewy chocolate, fudgy “bar,” can be enjoyed in other flavors like a butterscotch or vanilla (also known as a Blondie.) Origin, United States, 19th Century
Teas: Chamomile, Peppermint, Chai, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Mint, Darjeeling
Peanut Butter: The traditional fork marks on these are said to have come from a Schenectady Gazette recipe in 1932 that said this decoration would make the cookies look like waffles. However, another recipe simply said the dough was dense and needed to be flattened. We do know for sure that National Peanut Butter Cookie Day is June 12. Origin, United States, 20th Century.
Teas: English Breakfast, Peppermint, Lemon, Chamomile, Earl Grey, Blood Orange, Chai, Hibiscus
Almond: Originally made with ground mung bean, its name came from the almond shape it had. Eventually, a crushed almond version became the norm for the crumbly pastry crowned with an almond on top. Origin, Hong Kong, 16th Century.
Teas: Pan-fired Green, Jasmine Green, Lemon, Oolong, Steamed Green, English Breakfast, Cinnamon
Oatmeal Raisin: A far cry from the bland oatcakes of the middle ages, today’s oatmeal raisin cookies are a dense and chewy treat with sweet tangy raisins, they are almost breakfast – but who are you fooling? Origin- Boston Cooking-School Cookbook in 1896 by Fannie Farmer.
Teas: Peppermint, Jasmine Green, Cinnamon & Spice, Spearmint, Lemon