Tastes of the weekend

For some reason, maybe the good weather, maybe there was something in the air, this weekend we picked up different things when we were grocery shopping- a new brand of coffee, a new type of wine, red sprouts and cavolo nero.  It was also a weekend when I tried a different biscuit recipe, made a cottage pie and enjoyed a walk on the beach.


Sunday afternoon

Firstly, the biscuits, Chamomile Cookies from volume 19 of Kinfolk magazine.  I was intrigued as to how these would turn out – would they taste like chamomile tea, which would mean no-one would eat them, or would there just be a subtle hit of something herby?   The original recipe called for chopped white chocolate.  I couldn’t find any already made white chocolate chips (yes, I was being lazy), so opted for the much more preferable dark chocolate instead.  Rather than use crushed dried chamomile flowers (where would one purchase such a thing in Wellington?) I used the other option of chamomile tea, cutting open and measuring out the tea from tea bags.  The third change I made was a bit more radical.  The recipe called for room temperature butter than you were supposed to ‘stir in’.  Now, when I looked at the mixture before me, I could see that stirring to get a soft dough would probably take forever, so I melted the butter and mixed that in instead.  I know….messing with baking recipes….but I thought let’s give it a go.

Result: a perfect crisp biscuit to dunk in tea or coffee, very oat-y and a decent amount of chocolate.  As for the chamomile, you would never know.

Verdict: if you like biscuits made with oats, eating one of these is not enough, you need at least two.  They were a bit too sweet for me, but much improved by being dunked in a cup of coffee or tea.  I think it could be quite interesting to swap the chamomile for a good strong Earl Grey tea and add some dried cranberries instead of the chocolate.  Anyway, the rate at which they disappeared was a good sign.


Not much taste of chamomile, but very delicious biscuits

Recipe for Chamomile Biscuits, adapted

150g rolled oats

150g icing sugar, sieved

165g whole wheat flour

50g chocolate chips

1 tablespoon of chamomile tea, the loose stuff, not a cup of.  I used about 6 tea bags worth.

Pinch of salt

225g unsalted butter, melted for ease of mixing

1 large beaten egg

In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients.  Add the egg and butter and stir until a soft dough is formed.  Divide the dough between 2 sheets of grease proof paper, and form each into a long log.  I made mine a flat log so I could have biscotti shaped biscuits.  Wrap tightly and chill until firm – about 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 170C, and line two baking sheets with grease proof paper.  Cut the dough into 6mm thick pieces and arrange them on the baking sheets, leaving some space between them.  Bake until golden for between 12 and 17 minutes depending on your oven.  Cool on wire racks.

And now to the other new taste of the weekend as featured in the last post, the orange wine.  The one we tried was fruity, citrusy, ‘raw’, almost a hint or resin, and reminded me of a lovely scented Singapore breakfast tea we have just finished. It was actually really lovely and think it would be great with robust flavours – olives, charcuterie and rich stews and indeed the cottage pie I made for dinner (the potato topping of which was made of a mix of potato and kumera and so also orange).  Verdict: would definitely have again.


One off pinot gris ‘rhymes with orange’ from Rod McDonald, Hawke’s Bay



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