Monday, May 20, 2019

Come for Tea: Ginger & Orange Drop Tea Biscuits




It's Victoria Day here in Canada, and with the long weekend comes the unofficial start to summer. Some of us are camping (or glamping!), or hitting the garden centres, or digging in the dirt, or kicking back and seeing that new Avengers movie. I slide to the more lazy side of the equation, which involved a getting up way past the time I usually get up, making lemon ricotta pancakes for my guy and I, sitting outside in the sun with my second cup of coffee, watching my cats eat grass and chase bugs. It's been a good day, so far. Like many of you, I'm hustling all the time. When a day presents itself with no immediate work to do, I almost don't know what to do. I think regular folks call these "days off", but for someone who has work hustles and side hustles and all the hustles, taking a little time to sit in the sun and watch robins dance in the bird bath is a glorious way to spend a few hours of the day.





While I'm enjoying the small wonders of my backyard, you know there'll be snacking too. The tea is brewed and a platter of delicious ginger & orange drop tea biscuits is ready to be slathered with my favourite sour cherry jelly. The recipe for the biscuits is courtesy of the lovely Mairlyn Smith and her fabulous new cookbook Peace Love & Fibre. I've had the pleasure of meeting dear Mairlyn in real life and she is such a gem. Funny, personable and so very kind, she is a lady who knows her stuff about food (she's a professional home economist after all) and preaches the goodness of fibre any time she can. And rightly so. Most of us don't get the recommended amount of fibre per day (about 25-38 grams), and studies have shown that populations that consume more dietary fibre have less chronic disease. Mairlyn dives deep into what fibre is and what it can do for our overall health (great things!) using her trademark sense of humour and authentic, charming voice.




I'm getting close to that age where colonoscopies are going to be a thing, and I want my colon to get an A+ just like Mairlyn did. I'm already a giant fan of pulses (lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas) and eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, but we can always do better, right? Peace Love & Fibre has so many recipes that have caught my eye and I cant wait to try out - Eggplant Lasagna Stacks, Skillet Enchiladas, Middle Eastern-Style Buddha Bowl, Blueberry Salad with Barley and Dill, and Mairlyn's Energy Balls are just a few. Being a baker, the Treats chapter really caught my eye - especially the Chocolate Fudge Cake that has 1 cup of pitted prunes! I love how Mairlyn uses whole grain flours, such as whole wheat, barley, and oat, plenty of ground flaxseed, natural wheat germ, and natural cocoa powder in her baked goods. She's inspired me to do more of this in my own baking, and first recipe out of the gate is these glorious tea biscuits!




Barley flour is not something I usually bake with, but after using it in these biscuits, I'm officially hooked. High in fibre, obviously, the barley flour also imparts a warm nuttiness to the biscuits, which I really loved. Orange and ginger are such great pals, and my kitchen smelled like heaven when the biscuits were baking. With a tender crumb and lots of craggy edges to be filled with your favourite jam or jelly, a platter of these biscuits will be a welcome addition to any afternoon tea spread. They really do bake up in no time, so if company is coming and you're running behind, have no fear! They also freeze like a dream, so it's not a bad idea to keep some in the freezer for tea biscuit emergencies!




I love how Mairlyn always pulls her favourite china tea cups from the cupboard to savour her tea, and talks of how we should "use the good stuff". And so I did. The pretty purple tea cup and tea pot were a gift from an old friend, as a thank you for being her maid of honour so many years ago. As I sipped the Earl Grey, I thought of Grace and how our friendship has evolved over the twenty-plus years since we've known each other. And how I wish she was in my garden with me, sipping on tea and nibbling on yummy biscuits. One day.




Peace Love and Fibre is loaded with wonderful recipes, and excellent ideas on how to get more fibre in your diet. It's definitely a cookbook that needs to be on your kitchen counter. And, don't just flip through it, looking at the gorgeous photos. Use the recipes! Get more fibre in your diet! Live your best life! 


 Ginger & Orange Drop Tea Biscuits

1 1/4 cups whole grain barley flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbsp diced dried candied ginger
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/2 cup skim milk (I used whole milk as that's what's in the fridge)
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 omega-3 egg
1 tsp coarse or sanding sugar

1.
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to
375°F. Line a rimless baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2.
In a large bowl, whisk together the barley flour, all-purpose flour,
flaxseed meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3.
Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until it
looks pea-sized. Using a fork, stir in the candied ginger and orange
zest, making sure they are well distributed.
4.
In a small bowl or a 1-cup glass measuring cup, whisk together the
milk, oil, and egg. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and,
using a rubber spatula, gently stir until the mixture doesn’t have
any visible dry flour. It will be sticky.
5.
Using two tablespoons (the ones in your cutlery drawer), spoon
out 9 equal portions, about a heaping ¼ cup each, onto the
prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each biscuit with a pinch of
the coarse sugar.
6.
Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. When they’re ready, they will have
flecks of golden brown on top. Remove the biscuits from the oven
and place individually on a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or
at room temperature with a dollop of raspberry jam.
1.
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to
375°F. Line a rimless baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2.
In a large bowl, whisk together the barley flour, all-purpose flour,
flaxseed meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3.
Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until it
looks pea-sized. Using a fork, stir in the candied ginger and orange
zest, making sure they are well distributed.
4.
In a small bowl or a 1-cup glass measuring cup, whisk together the
milk, oil, and egg. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and,
using a rubber spatula, gently stir until the mixture doesn’t have
any visible dry flour. It will be sticky.
5.
Using two tablespoons (the ones in your cutlery drawer), spoon
out 9 equal portions, about a heaping ¼ cup each, onto the
prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each biscuit with a pinch of
the coarse sugar.
6.
Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. When they’re ready, they will have
flecks of golden brown on top. Remove the biscuits from the oven
and place individually on a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or
at room temperature with a dollop of raspberry jam.
1.
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to
375°F. Line a rimless baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2.
In a large bowl, whisk together the barley flour, all-purpose flour,
flaxseed meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3.
Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until it
looks pea-sized. Using a fork, stir in the candied ginger and orange
zest, making sure they are well distributed.
4.
In a small bowl or a 1-cup glass measuring cup, whisk together the
milk, oil, and egg. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and,
using a rubber spatula, gently stir until the mixture doesn’t have
any visible dry flour. It will be sticky.
5.
Using two tablespoons (the ones in your cutlery drawer), spoon
out 9 equal portions, about a heaping ¼ cup each, onto the
prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each biscuit with a pinch of
the coarse sugar.
6.
Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. When they’re ready, they will have
flecks of golden brown on top. Remove the biscuits from the oven
and place individually on a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or
at room temperature with a dollop of raspberry jam.
1.
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to
375°F. Line a rimless baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2.
In a large bowl, whisk together the barley flour, all-purpose flour,
flaxseed meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3.
Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter unt
loo ks pe a-sized.s ing a fork, stir in the candied ginger and orange
zest, making sure they are well distributed.
4.
In a small bowl or a 1-cup glass measuring cup, whisk together the
milk, oil, and egg. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and,
using a rubber spatula, gently stir until the mixture doesn’t have

5.
Using two tablespoones in your cutlery drawer), spoon
out 9 equal portions, about a heaping ¼ cup each, onto the
prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each biscuit with a pinch of
the coarse sugar.
6.
Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. When they’re ready, they will have
flecks of golden brown on top. Remove the biscuits from the oven
and place individually o a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or
at room temperature with a dollop of raspberry jam.
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimless baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the barley flour, all-purpose flour, flaxseed meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until it looks pea-sized. Using a fork, stir in the candied ginger and orange zest, making sure they are well distributed. 4. In a small bowl or a 1-cup glass measuring cup, whisk together the milk, oil, and egg. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and, using a rubber spatula, gently stir until the mixture doesn’t have any visible dry flour. It will be sticky.
Using two tablespoons (the ones in your cutlery drawer), spoon out 9 equal portions, about a heaping ¼ cup each, onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each biscuit with a pinch of  the coarse sugar.
Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. When they’re ready, they will have flecks of golden brown on top. Remove the biscuits from the oven and place individually on a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or  at room temperature with a dollop of raspberry jam.

Excerpted from Peace, Love and Fibre: Over 100 Fibre-Rich Recipes for the Whole Family by Mairlyn Smith. Copyright © 2019 Mairlyn Smith. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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