Food & Drink

Something’s Brewing!

March 17

One legend says that, in the year 2737 BC, the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung noticed that a green leaf had blown into a bowl of boiling water, colouring the water and creating what became known as tea. Canadians were big tea drinkers from the days of British colonization until the Second World War, when they began drinking more coffee like their American neighbours to the south.

Did you know, Canadians reportedly consume more coffee than they do tea, but only 60% of the Canadian population drink coffee? I didn’t either! Interestingly, the United Kingdom is the only European country with more than 75% of people preferring tea to coffee. Tea brings people together, across the globe because it’s the second-most popular drink on the planet, second only to water!

There are so many benefits to drinking tea and one of them is that it boosts your productivity! The daily afternoon slump during a workday can be reenergized by a simple cup of tea! Scientists have found that the catechins (antioxidants) in green tea extract increases the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel, which account for improved muscle endurance. Oh, and drinking tea could help reduce the risk of heart attack. Tea is hydrating to the body even despite the caffeine! (I’m thinking of making some tea as I write this blog!)

I’m sure you know about DavidsTea! It is the largest Canadian-based specialty tea boutique in our country. Thinking of grabbing tea as you read this? Willowbrook’s DavidsTea is located right across from the food court! You can choose from over 150 types of tea, including exclusive blends, seasonal collections, and straight teas from around the globe. They also have the biggest collection of organic teas and infusions in North America!

If you’re a big tea drinker, you probably go through cups and cups of the cozy hot beverage daily. It’s a great way to relax and recharge, to soothe the throat or maybe it’s just a habit. But have you ever taken a moment to think about what uses tea may have in cooking? It’s a given that teas are flavorful, black teas are strong, green teas are light and then there are so many more types in between. Take some tea, maybe even your favourite kind and incorporate it into a recipe. You’re bound to get flavorful results, not to mention a very creative meal! There are many uses for teas in recipes: brining, poaching, braising and even baking are some methods that benefit from its use. And the best part is, these recipes don’t make you go out of your way to use the tea, in most cases, it’s just swapping in brewed tea for the liquid that you would normally have used, like the water or stock in a braise, for example.

White Chocolate Earl Grey Cookies

Yield: 17 cookies


  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) unsalted butter
  • 3 teaspoons loose leaf Earl Grey black tea (or 2 tea bags)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (6 oz) high-quality white chocolate chunks


  1. Melt butter in a heavy bottomed saucepot. Remove from heat and add tea leaves. Allow too steep for 20 minutes. Strain out tea leaves, squeezing out as much liquid from leaves as possible.
  2. Pour tea-infused butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes until smooth.
  3. Add egg and yolk. Beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes until mixture has the consistency of caramel.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer running on slow, add flour mixture in three additions. Mix until there are no longer any dry streaks of flour. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Fold in white chocolate until thoroughly distributed.
  5. Transfer cookie dough to an airtight container and allow to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, overnight is best.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Allow cookie dough to soften at room temperature, about 5 minutes.
  7. Use a size 24 cookie scoop to portion out 17 mounds of dough. Place cookie mounds on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2-inch apart. Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking until edges of cookies are set.
  8. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool to room temperature.

And there you go! Delicious white chocolate earl grey cookies, ready to be devoured! We can smell them from here.

Lorrie Dippel Willowbrook Blogger

Love of life’s simple joys! Mom of one, Grandma of four, Great Grandma of five, honest, terrible speller (thank goodness for spell check), loyal friend and people lover.

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