Tea and cookies

This morning nobodysreadingme  was on about a Leeds University study about when milk should be added to tea. I have no idea why anyone would add milk to tea in the first place much less whether it should be put in the cup first, then pour the tea or vice versa.

Ok, so I’m an American and an Italian-American at that and tea is not much of an Italian thing. I actually researched that and it turns out Italians only drink tea at home when they are feeling ill.

Personally, I like tea and for many years I was a tea fanatic – no tea bags, loose tea only, lots of brewing methods tho my favorite teapot looked like this. Even though I drank coffee from a young age, including espresso, somewhere along the line I developed a taste for tea. Some folks would remember me as a tea drinker rather than a coffee drinker. Still. I never in my life put milk in my tea. Lemon – Yes. Honey – Yes. Sugar – No. And I liked my tea strong and dark.  Why in the name of all that is holy would anyone put milk in tea?

As for cookies – Ally Bean wrote about chocolate morsels and by extension chocolate chip cookies. While I do like chocolate, a lot, I do not like chocolate chip cookies. Actually I don’t really like cookies much at all. I like my sweets, well, not sweet for starters. And preferably containing fruit (which kinda makes them healthy? Please say yes.) Fruit pies – oh my! Any kind of fruit, put it in a pie, Oh my!

I like my sweets soft and gooey (and fruity) and cookies just don’t tend to be soft and gooey. My mother was a lousy cook but a great baker and cookies were her specialty, tho I must admit she made one hell of a fabulous coconut crunch apple pie and her hamantaschen was without peer nevermind the cream puffs and cannoli. Anyway, one cookie she never made was chocolate chip cookies. I do not recall eating chocolate chip cookies ever when I was a kid.

There was one cookie that I loved and it was really not a cookie at all, and my mother never made them. But my Aunt Mary, bless her heart, always made them just for me. If Aunt Mary knew we were coming over you can bet there would be a tray of MY cookies. I remember Aunt Mary telling people “No, those are for Grace”.

These wondrous confections, are called Italian Ribbon cookies. Or rainbow cookies or a bunch of other names. They are actually little cakes. And they are a royal pain in the patootie to make. It wasn’t until I attempted to make them myself that I felt an even greater love for my Aunt Mary.

If you mention cookies then those marvelous soft, gooey, fruity, chocolatey delights are what I think of; the look of them, the taste of them.  Those wonderful cookies that my Aunt Mary made for me – just for me.

16 thoughts on “Tea and cookies

  1. Thanks for linking to my post. I’ve had more fun today talking about chocolate chip cookies, but am pleased to not be talking about them. I looked at the Italian Ribbon cookie recipe and it looks much too involved for the likes of me. I bet they are delicious, though. I also read about milk in tea. I like milk in tea sometimes, but wouldn’t put it in with the teabag. That’s just crazy talk.

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    1. You got me thinkin’, you got the link in…(Ha, ha?) That recipe is the simplest I found and I think the one I have in my recipe folder. I also have a Great Italian Desserts cookbook which I use mainly to drool on. Your basic Italian peasant food is easy-peasy to cook but the desserts are insanely complicated!

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  2. I’ve always liked milk in my tea. I always underbake my cookies, and stick them in the microwave for 30 seconds or so before eating. It’s not as good as fresh out of the oven, but it’s close.

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  3. Bless your Aunt Mary! I don’t know whether it is irony, or coincidence, or by-whatever-term it should be called, but I was munching a chewy, fruity figgy newton as I read this post. Other than my own home baked peanut butter cookies, which require effort, Fig Newtons may be my favorites.

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    1. I like fig newtons, tho the store bought ones always seemed a bit dry to me. Now, if you’re in a baking mood you can make Italian fig cookies My mother made these all the time except that she would egg wash the top and then a liberal spread of candy sprinkles. And all of a sudden I’m remembering raisin cookies and I had to search around – Sunshine raisin biscuit cookies – I liked them, do you recall them?

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  4. Those rainbow cookies sound so good! I love almond flavor in cookies or anything for that matter especially French pastries. Aunt Mary was definitely a blessing!

    I’ve never understood milk in tea! I had a friend who raved about it so I tried it and it ruined my tea. Blech! It’s a combination that shouldn’t happen. I do like chocolate chip cookies but my favorite are snickerdoodles or sugar cookies with almond flavor in them. Yum!

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    1. Ribbon cookies (or rainbow however you like to call them, they are also called Italian flag cookies because they are the color of the Italian flag) are so delicious – and YES to almond flavor, Italians use a lot of almond paste in pastries. Marzipan is almond paste and sugar – lovely texture really but OMG so sweet, obviously G loves marzipan. The only thing I miss about Filthadephia is the food, especially the Italian bakeries. As for milk in tea, yes, thank you for backing me up here. I think the whole idea is gross and I’ve never done it, never. I drink herbal tea as well as regular tea and one of my favorites is lemon zinger – can you imagine milk in lemon zinger tea?

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    1. I like coffee and tea equally. Coffee in the morning, absolutely but later in the day I prefer tea and in the evening I’ll do herbal tea, staying away from the caffeine. I used to have a cup of sleepy time tea before bedtime, I don’t recall if it was helpful with my chronic insomnia, I think I’ll give it a try again. Chamomile tea is disgusting, I must say. Mint tea does help settle the stomach. My latest tea favorite is Yorkshire tea, a nice robust flavor to it. Chai tea is weird and while green tea seems to have proven health benefits I just can’t seem to like it.

      Perhaps all Aunt Mary’s are superb cookie makers…

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  5. The only time l dink tea is if l am ill, or dying. I have never liked it and yet my mother was a huge tea drinker. i started drinking coffee when l was 8 and have drunk it ever since I used to have milk in my coffe till about 2014. Since then, black.

    But milk in tea, actually makes me shudder or maybe it’s just the mention of tea…. cookies l love, but l can’t have them anymore.

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    1. I really enjoy tea, in fact I’ll be having tea and toast (with marmalade) for dinner in a few minutes. Don’t know where I got my taste for tea, being Italian and all, coffee was the drink of choice and yet I remember drinking tea even as a child. I can’t start my day without coffee, tried having tea first thing in the morning and it just didn’t work.

      And yes, the idea of putting milk in tea does make one shudder

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      1. “And yes, the idea of putting milk in tea does make one shudder” Totally, it’s like Exorcist material in my world hahaha 🙂

        These days l start my day off with a litre of lactose free milk, then it’s coffee.

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        1. I am lactose intolerant since birth so I never developed a taste for milk. But as years went by I could easily tolerate a small amount of milk – as much as in a cup of coffee or one small scoop of ice cream or one or two bites of a chocolate bar.

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          1. Yes l am lactose intolerant so l am thankful for the lacto free milk l drink. I have always loved milk, so was very upset when l discovered l could no longer drink it … l tried various alternatives for a few years, but they were seriously awful – then l discovered this long life lacto free and have been on it ever since.

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