To finish of our series of Chinese herbs and foods we ask Albert Zhang what he recommends for a simple Chinese version of high tea. Albert said that “Since moving to New Zealand I have learnt that many Kiwis like to have a sweet biscuit and cup of tea in the afternoon and I have never had any complaints with this simple little treat”. Chinese style walnut cookies are easy to make, taste great, and last well and of course walnuts are healthy for you. You can read more the benefits of walnuts here.
Ingredients for Chinese style walnut cookies
- 2 cups plain flower
- Half tea spoon baking soda
- 1 tea spoon baking powder
- Quarter teaspoon sea salt
- Half cup vegetable shortening
- Two thirds of a cup white sugar
- A third of a cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- Half cup soft butter
- Half cup walnut halves (Toast the walnuts for 5 minutes at 150 degrees)
- 1 tea spoon vanilla extract
- 1 extra egg slightly beaten
- Sift the flower, baking powder, baking soda and salt into bowel
- Preheat oven to 150-160 degrees
- In another larger bowel, beat the butter, shortening, sugar and then add the eggs and vanilla while stirring in some of toasted walnuts that have been finely chopped. (Keep the other spare walnut halves for later)
- Then stir in the flour mix using your fingers to make a long log shaped dough. Wrap in grease proof paper or a tea towel and keep in fridge for four hours.
- Cut off a small piece of dough about the size of a golf ball and form into small balls and try to get a walnut half into each piece allowing the walnut to stick a bit out.
- Put on a lightly greased cookie tray and then with the beaten egg, brush the biscuits.
- Bake the cookies at about 180 degrees for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Of course these walnut cookies would never be complete without a pot of good quality Chinese tea. Albert says “And what tea to use and how to make it could take up another book. But one of my favorites is Pu Er tea, nice and strong and extra hot, sipped in small cups”.