Thursday, August 12, 2010
Friends, Hawaiian Tea Biscuits, and Brewing the Perfect Cup of Tea
This time of year, as the daylight is becoming shorter, I think about all the things I will do once Fall and Winter settles in. I know I might be jumping the gun since we really haven't had much of a summer here in the Pacific Northwest, but I'm a planner! And, an email from a dear friend this morning, who was listening to her Nana's tea kettle whistle, made me think of planning today's baking with her in mind; wishing we were close enough to share a cup of perfect tea, reminisce and plan our crafting around the weather.
The other inspiration was from a telephone call from my husband, who is in Hawaii, telling me how much he's enjoying macadamia nut pancakes, cookies, and candy. We talked of the time we enjoyed these treats in the summer of 1987, when we took our first trip to Hawaii with our daughters. My mother had told me stories of her time there as a child, in the late 20s, when my grandfather was stationed at Pearl Harbor and I couldn't wait to see paradise for myself. I have a cherished photo of my mother in the first grade in the Territorial Normal School in Honolulu, Hawaii and as I gaze at the photo this morning, I notice how much Kelly reminds me of her, with her brown eyes and sweet smile.
These tea biscuits, made with ground macadamia nuts and filled with a coconut cream, and the perfect cup of herbal tea this evening was just the thing to finish a day full of projects and getting ready for "So You Think You Can Dance" finale!
Hawaiian Tea Biscuits
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. Hawaiian Vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups ground macadamia nuts
2 cups all-purpose flour
Coconut Cream Filling:
6 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 T coconut milk powder
1/2 tsp. coconut flavoring
1-2 T heavy cream
In a KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the egg and the Hawaiian Vanilla extract.
nut mill to grind the macadamia nuts; alternatively, you can do this step in a food processor, being careful not to go to far and make "butter".
Preheat oven 325F-degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove one of the rolls and slice in 1/4-inch slices.
While the cookies are cooling, mix up the filling. You can use a hand mixer or the KitchenAid with the whisk attachment (you want fluffy filling). Start with the butter and confectioners' sugar and beat well. Add the coconut milk powder, coconut flavoring, and heavy cream (1 tablespoon at a time). Add an additional tablespoon of cream if needed.
Use an off-set spatula or you could pipe the filling to the underside of the cooled cookie. Top with a second cookie.
There is a video, at the beginning of this post, to watch to brew the perfect tea. I made an herbal blend so I brought the tea kettle water to 170 to 180F-degrees as specified for this blend.