Jackie Vitale is chef-in-residence at the Rauschenberg Residency, and co-creator of the blog Sunshine + Microbes. Sunshine + Microbes explores food, fermentation, and climate change from sunny South Florida. Chef and fermentation pro Jackie Vitale and journalist Matt Levin write a weekly newsletter filled with original recipes, practical kitchen ideas, and investigations of how what we eat impacts the world around us.
Here's some Yaupon treats from Jackie Vitale!
For my fragile constitution, a cup of coffee has an effect similar to a couple lines of cocaine (I’m guessing, of course). Therefore, tea is the choice for me. We stock Yaupon Brothers Tea in all of the houses at the Rauschenberg Residency, the contemporary arts residency on Captiva Island, where I work as the chef. I was thrilled when given the opportunity to produce a few tea-inspired treats to accompany Bryon’s recent lecture at the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation. I made my favorite honey cake from the excellent cooking blog Smitten Kitchen, using the Fire-Roasted Warrior’s Tea (my favorite cuppa). I also created one recipe and adapted another, incorporating tea powders baked right into the cookies. The recipes are included below.
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- 2 cups flour (all purpose or pastry, and I recommend using at least 50% whole wheat for flavor and fiber)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, plus more for dusting
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1-2 tablespoons rose water (depending on how much you like rose-flavored stuff!)
- 2 tablespoons Yaupon Brothers American Green Yaupon tea powder (see instructions below), plus more for dusting
- confectioners sugar, for dusting
- Make the green tea powder. In a spice grinder, finely grind loose Yaupon Brothers Green Tea. Use a fine-mesh sieve to remove any stems from powder.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, green tea powder, and cardamom together in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk sugar, oil, eggs, and rose water. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture just until combined.
- Scoop 1-inch balls of dough at least two inches apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool for five minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- In a bowl, combine two parts confectioners sugar with one part green tea powder and one part cardamom. Using a fine mesh sieve, dust mixture over cookies.
Alison Roman’s Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Florida Chai
Adapted from her rightfully internet famous recipe
- 1 and ¼ sticks cold salted butter, cut into chunks
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups flour (all purpose or pastry, and I recommend using at least 50% whole wheat for flavor and fiber)
- 1 tablespoon Yaupon Brothers Florida Chai powder (see instructions below)
- 1 cup chocolate or choice, roughly chopped if in bar form (Castronovo’s baking chocolate is my preference)
- 1 large egg, lightly blended with fork
- Flaky sea salt
- Make the chai powder. In a spice grinder, finely grind loose Yaupon Brothers Florida Chai Tea. Use a fine-mesh sieve to remove any stems from powder. Make one tablespoon of powder, or perhaps more for dusting the tops of the cookies once they’re out of the oven.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or any old electric mixer), beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about three minutes, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary.
- Switch mixer onto low speed and add chai powder, then flour, a bit at a time, followed by chocolate chunks, and beat until just incorporated.
- Divide dough in half, then place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over to cover dough and form into a rough log shape. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Slice each log into ½" thick rounds. Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake cookies until edges are just beginning to brown, 12–15 minutes.
- Do Ahead: Cookie dough can be made 1 week ahead. Tightly wrap in plastic and chill, or freeze up to 1 month.