Welcome back friends! Let’s get cozy and have a cup of tea!
I am fortunate enough to own a spearmint plant that has flourished in its container and I want to show you how to harvest, dry and brew your own spearmint tea!
Beyond being a warm and comforting beverage, spearmint tea has numerous proven and/or potential health benefits, including:
Fighting bacterial infections.
Relieving digestive upsets.
High in antioxidants.
May aid in balancing hormones.
May lower blood pressure.
May lower blood sugar.
May help reduce stress.
May help relieving arthritis pain.
May improve memory function.
Trim the mint back, then pluck the best leaves from the stems. If you do not want or need to trim the mint back, you could also pluck the best leaves directly from the plant.
Wash the leaves thoroughly with fresh water, then place them in a salad spinner to remove any excess water.
Line a baking sheet with with a baking mat or parchment paper and spread the mint leaves on the prepared baking sheet. Be careful not to crowd them.
Turn your oven on to it’s lowest setting (for many this will be 170F).
Place the mint leaves in the oven and bake them until dry. This could only take 10 to 15 minutes, but it varies by oven strength so keep an eye on them! They will be curled and make a dry rustling sound when nudged with a utensil.
Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool.
You can store the leaves in an airtight container or brew some tea right away!
Use an infuser and keep the leaves whole or grind them up. If you do grind them up, smaller pieces will make their way out of the infuser and float around in your tea. This isn’t a bad thing, just personal preference!
Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be baking Merlin’s soft ginger cookies from Disney’s The Sword in the Stone.
This recipe is featured when Arthur drops in on Merlin for the first time. Of course Merlin is expecting him, with tea and these large delicious-looking cookies waiting for him!
I am a fan of chewy cookies and these are perfect! All the taste of a gingersnap or gingerbread, but with more bounce! They pair well with black tea, but I’m sure you could experiment with other types of beverages too!
MERLIN’S SOFT GINGER COOKIES
2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of water
1/4 cup of molasses
2 tablespoons of sugar
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt, then set this bowl aside.
In another large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the butter and the 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and then the molasses and water to the creamed butter, and mix again thoroughly.
Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. The dough will be soft and slightly sticky when ready.
Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour or more, then remove the dough from the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.
Place the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar to a small mixing bowl and set it aside.
Scoop out portions of 1 to 2 tablespoons of dough, rolling them into balls bout an inch to an inch and a half in diameter. Toss each cookie dough ball in the bowl of sugar to coat, then place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes (this varies per oven so keep an eye on them) or until the top of the cookie begins to crinkle and the bottom sides turn golden brown.
Let cookies rest on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire cooking rack to cool completely.
Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be cooking up the crumpets Ratty and Mole share during their tea time in Disney’s The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (or The Wind in the Willows).
These crumpets are featured when Ratty and Mole are sitting down to afternoon tea, before they’re pulled into all of Mr. Toad’s manias. Looking at them, they really could be crumpets or cookies, but since we’ll be featuring cookies from other Disney features, I thought it would be a fun challenge to make something new!
Crumpets are relatively easy to make, albeit time consuming due to the amount of time the dough/batter spends resting. These are tasty on their own, but you’ll definitely get the most out of them by slathering them with some butter, honey, jam or whatever topping you prefer. Like most foods, these are best when they’re fresh, but my husband has toasted them the last two mornings for breakfast and they’re still tasty!
1 teaspoon of cane sugar
1 tablespoon of dried active yeast
1 cup of warm milk
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of warm water
Stir the sugar and yeast into the warm milk and let it rest for 10 minutes until frothy.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
Add the liquid to the flour mixture and stir/knead until a thick dough forms.
Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for an hour to let the dough rise.
Dissolve the baking soda in the warm water and add it to the dough. Using a mixer, beat the dough for about one or two minutes. Any remaining lumps will dissolve during the next resting stage.
Cover the batter again and let it rest in a warm place for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes the batter should be nice and bubbly.
Prepare the crumpet rings by oiling the inside of each rim and lightly oil the frying pan. You can use a regular skillet or a cast iron pan (my preference for even heating).
Place the rings in the frying pan over medium-high heat.
Once the rings are hot, pour the batter into each ring until it’s slightly more than half full.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until the classic pores/holes are present and the bottoms slightly browned.
Remove the rings and flip the crumpets over to cook the other side for a minute or two until golden brown.
Serve warm with butter, jam, golden syrup or honey. To reheat later, toast them in the toaster. These can also be frozen, thaw first before toasting.