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Cooking with Tea – Spicy Black Tea Cookies

A few months ago I happily reviewed two tea flavours from the Tea India range which had recently launched in the UK. And, just quietly, my period of drinking Vanilla Chai hasn’t stopped; I still love it.

The gorgeous award-winning chef Ravinder Bhogal is now working with Tea India, creating exclusive recipes using their wonderful premium tea blends and I’ve been given a sneak peek of some of them! Keep reading after the recipe to find out how you can get free tea from Tea India as well as all of Ravinder’s recipes.

Tea India, Ravinder BhogalI have to say that using tea for something other than a cuppa intrigues me. I once tried smoking steaks with lapsang souchong tea leaves (which already have a very strong smoky aroma); the steaks picked up very little extra flavour, but the house smelt like we’d had an indoor barbecue for several days!

Now I can say I’ve been successful in cooking with tea thanks to Ravinder’s recipes. Her spicy black tea cookies are a very interesting take on the humble oatmeal cookie. While I don’t think anyone would guess the ‘secret’ ingredient of black tea, its addition, together with some other more common spices, gives the cookies a lovely and very rich warm spice. I’m nibbling on one as I type 😉

When I made them I was in a hurry when shaping the logs (Nicholas woke up early from his nap) and so made them much wider than the recipe. This meant the log was more difficult to slice cleanly later (I had to squish some broken off pieces of dough back into the cookie shapes). Even so, I ended up with 15 cookies, cutting the slices about 2cm thick, so Ravinder must be cutting her cookies quite thickly. Maybe slice a couple of different thicknesses to see which you prefer, or just leave it up to your kids to decide if they’re helping you make them.

Ravinder suggests eating the cookies warm (who doesn’t like a cookie almost straight from the oven?); they’re just as moreish and yummy cold.


Prep time: 12-14 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins
Makes 12-15 biscuits
They will keep in an airtight container for up to four days

2 Tea India black tea bags (leaves only)
125g butter, softened
100g soft brown sugar
70g self-raising flour
120g oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) and line two baking trays with baking paper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and soft brown sugar.

Add the oats, flour, tea leaves and spices, and mix until well combined.

Roll the cookie dough into a log shape approximately 5cm in diameter. Wrap in cling film and chill for 5 minutes.

To bake, remove from the fridge, unwrap and slice into 12 even sized pieces. Place on the prepared trays.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are just golden brown.

Allow to cool on the baking trays before serving warm.

Tea India Range

Tea India has a Facebook promotion (until 3 June 2013, so be quick!), You & I and a Cup of Chai, where it’s giving you the chance to share a free selection of its finest Tea India blends with your friends and family. Find out more here.

Tea India will be releasing Ravinder’s recipes on their Facebook page over the next few months, including mouth-watering Cardamom Kisses using their Cardamon Chai tea. I’m lucky to be able to try these very soon, but you’re just going to have to keep checking back 😉

Disclosure: I was sent two boxes of tea to sample and cook with. My opinions are honest and my own.

Review: Tea India

What do you do when you’ve managed to get your little one down for a daytime nap? Put your hand up if, like me, you manage to make yourself a cuppa and maybe grab a biscuit before slumping into the sofa for some quiet ‘me’ time. That’s a lot of hands! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one.

I always have coffee for breakfast and after dinner, but during the day, tea has a certain comforting warmth I really enjoy. I’m quite conservative in my tea-drinking habits and go through periods where I just drink one type (maybe Earl Grey, maybe English Breakfast or just good old builder’s brew). I do have a thing for vanilla tea though, which isn’t that easy to get in the UK. On our last trip to Belgian I stocked up on Twinings Vanilla and unless my mother-in-law visits, my supply should last quite a while! But although I love drinking it, its artificial vanilla smell can sometimes be too much.

I was delighted to receive some tea to sample from Tea India, who’ve recently released their award-winning range in the UK, and even more so when one of them was their Vanilla Chai (there’s also a Masala Chai and a Cardamom Chai in the range). The Vanilla Chai has the usual suspects of spices for a chai tea (cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and pepper) in addition to natural vanilla flavouring. The tea bag before brewing has a predominantly peppery smell which made me a bit dubious, but after brewing that mellowed out. But enough about the smell, what does it taste like? For me, the spices blend very well, creating a balanced and smooth tea with just a hint of sweet vanilla. I’ve enjoyed the Vanilla Chai both with and without milk, and have had at least one mug of it (alright, usually two mugs) every day since getting it. I think my period of Vanilla Chai has started!






I’ve also tried Tea India’s premium Black Tea. This is a good quality tasting tea that would be perfect at any time of day. Its rounded and full flavour makes me believe that they do actually source the finest tea from North East India, picking only the top two leaves and the bud, but my tastebuds struggled to pick up the Assam’s malty taste. In any case, I will happily keep drinking this and not just because I got it for free.

I really like Tea India’s packaging; these are boxes you’d like people to see rather than hiding them away in the cupboard. And there’s a great splash of colour when you open the box, the related colour for each tea. I also like the round tea bags. Ok, the taste is more important than the shape of the tea bag, but it justs adds a little extra something for me, the tea’s been given a bit more love, than the bog standard square bag.

The Tea India range is available now in selected UK Tesco and Booths stores. Visit their website to find your nearest stockist and put your feet up for a very well-earned break. I’m off to tweet my local Tesco to ask them to stock Vanilla Chai 🙂

Disclosure: I was sent two boxes of tea to sample. My opinions are honest and my own.