Wild Blackcurrant Chocolate Cookies

I wasn’t going to tell you this idea of mine, but I’ve had a change of heart.  It was only a “secret” because I still might want to pursue it one day — so, please, don’t steal my idea!  Especially since I’m sharing it with you — and only you! ;-)

About a decade ago, when I created my Chai Chocolate Chunk Cookies, I was developing a cookie company — in my mind, mostly.  Every cookie would be made with tea and my company would be called, appropriately enough, ValenTEAna & Co.

I love these Wild Blackcurrant Chocolate Cookies as much as my chai cookies – but these are quite different.  While the chai cookies are full of warming spices, these are full of fruity, floral overtones.  And every aromatic bite has bits of chocolate that will melt in your mouth.

After a week of cannellini beans, you need some dessert!  Don’t you think?

Make a bunch of dough and freeze half for the weekend!  (You’ll need them to serve your guests — after the Spicy Shrimp Pad Thai we’re making later this week!)

And by the way, chocolate and cookies are a great way to say I love you for Valentine’s Day!  (You probably knew that, though!)

 P.S. I have a handful of these tea cookie recipes stored away, and one by one I’ll be sharing them with you.  Exciting, I know!

Wild Blackcurrant Chocolate Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Active Work Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: Makes about 3 dozen

Recipe

1/4 cup loose, wild blackcurrant tea, toasted and ground

2-1/8 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 cup cocoa powder (I like Scharffen Berger)

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon molasses

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

2 cups milk chocolate chunks or chips

1 cup dried currants

  1. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. To toast the tea, add it to a small sauté pan and place over medium heat until it's very aromatic, about 3 minutes. Then grind the tea in a spice grinder, or clean coffee grinder -- simply add the toasted tea and grind until it's close to a fine powder.
  3. In the same satué pan where you toasted the tea, add the cream to half of the toasted tea, and over low-medium heat, let it simmer for about 3 minutes. Set this aside to cool a bit.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and the remaining half of the toasted, ground tea.
  5. In another mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugars, molasses, vanilla, and the tea-cream mixture.
  6. Combine the dry ingredients with the butter mixture, stirring only to blend it evenly. Then fold in the chocolate and currants.
  7. Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to shape the cookies into approximately 2 tablespoon dollops, right next to each other on one of the parchment-covered baking sheets. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill until the dough is firm, at least 1 hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  9. Place the firm dollops of dough a couple of inches apart on another parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven just until the cookies solidify, about 8 to 10 minutes. They should still look doughy when you remove them from the oven — they will firm up a bit as they cool. Leave them on the baking sheet for a couple minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack.

Notes

If you find it easier to get your tea in individual tea in bags, simply use enough to equal 1/4 cup.

http://cookingontheweekends.com/2012/01/wild-blackcurrant-chocolate-cookies/

Timeline:
At least 3 hours ahead of time: Make the cookie dough.
Up to 1 day and at least 20 minutes ahead of time: Bake the cookies.
You can make the dough, shape it, and freeze it!  (Keep them in an airtight container or double wrapped in plastic.) Then you’ll have them at the ready to pop in the oven just before guests are arriving.  The house will smell great, and everyone will get fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies!  The dough can be kept frozen for a few weeks or so — but it’s best to bake it within a week. You can also freeze the baked cookies for a couple of weeks.  When I do this, I like to warm them in the oven just before serving.

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Comments

  1. says

    I already know that infused tea works well in cakes, bread & in cookies too!
    You alwyas have the greatest ideas! Those cookies look wonderful & pretty too! ;)
    Yum! Another must try of yours!

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