Every year, I have always attended the Hong Kong International Food and Tea Fair but life became very busy and I was not able to attend this August. However, sweet little Alison from TeaVivre sent the tea directly to me so that I could do a little taste testing right here from the comfort of my own home.
When ever I plan to drink tea a lot of tea, I need to have a little something to eat with it or my hands will begin to shake from all of the caffeine. If I am going to drinking some delicious Chinese tea in Hong Kong overlooking the China Sea, I need a little taste of China, BAM Style with some delicious chewy black sesame seed cookies.
If you like chewy cookies, you are really going to like this quick and easy recipe. I found this recipe for Almond Rice cookies and really loved the consistency of the cookie. I cannot eat eggs so I used the cornstarch and water replacement. I also added ground sesame seeds instead of almonds in the cookie dough and added vanilla instead of almond flavouring and added the delicate flavours of Chinese five spiced powder. I also tried the traditional almond recipe and they are both delightful. These little chewy black sesame cookies are gluten-free, egg free, dairy free and vegan.
I must admit these little chewy black sesame cookies are so addicting, I think it is their sweet delicate Chinese five spiced flavour and that chewy consistency that makes you coming back for just one more and then another…. I do not know exactly what happened to these chewy black sesame cookies. I must admit I had a couple or maybe 3 or so to sample with my tea testing but then the other 20 cookies have magically vanished. Hmm, I wonder, with two hungry teenage boys just home from school, where these cookies may have gone…
TeaVivre is an online Chinese tea company with many quality teas. They have just completed celebrating their 3rd year anniversary and have many delicious teas to sample and try. I sampled 4 different teas that are the perfect way to celebrate some of the warmer weather before we head into the fall. A few months ago I posted an entry on Hong Zao Bread and a TeaVivre and these are some great teas for the cooler months.
If you are new to tea drinking and brewing Chinese teas, then I think the TeaVivre Chamomile Rose Silver needle tea is the perfect place to begin. When you open the package, it is beautiful with full green silver needles, whole roses and whole camomile flowers.
It smells delicately sweet and floral. During the first brew, the delicate rose was the first flavour noted with the background of the smooth silver needles. With the second pour, the chamomile was more prominent. I had four lovely pours and this tea left me relaxed and calm.
I had a couple of my delicious chewy black sesame seed cookies while I waiting for my water kettle to heat.
The second tea sampled was the TeaVivre organic silver needle white tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen). This tea is organically grown at Mt. Taimu(太姥山) in Fujian, China. When you first open the package you note the beautiful whole green tea buds with a delicate layer of white hairs.
The first pour you notice the sweet undertones of freshly trimmed hay and very smooth and delicate taste, almost a hint of honey. With the second pour, I enjoyed the more intensely honey and melon essence. With more pours it started to have a peppery zest aftertaste. It is a very mild white tea.
I ate another delicious chewy black sesame seed cookies whilst I waited for the water kettle to heat….
The third tea sampled was the TeaVivre Organic White Peony Tea (Bai MuDan). Personally, I like this tea just as much as organic silver needle white tea. When you first pour this tea, it smells like fresh ground hay and with second and third pours, the floral hints come to your nose. It is a delicious light tea and with further brews you have a more intense herbal essence.
I shared a couple more of the delicious chewy black sesame seed cookies with friends whilst I waited for the water kettle to heat…
The fourth and last tea that I tried was the TeaVivre Xi Gui ancient Tea Raw Puer Cake 2013. The first thing I noticed how perfectly intact the tea leaves were and that is a very good thing. The first pour was a smooth and then the second pour more sweet and intense. It is both bold and mellow at the same time. This raw puer taste lasts for many pours. It is a very new raw puer, so I am certain with many years it will improve with flavour and essence as it naturally ages.
Raw puer has a higher caffeine count compared to the mellow white teas so now I was more than ready to have another one of my chewy black sesame seed cookies.
Enjoying tea is a favourite pastime in China. In China, sharing tea is healing and part of the culture. Tea is enjoyed at family gatherings, in order to pay respect to the elders and a way of healing and keeping your qi flowing. Enjoying tea is also the perfect way to take a moment for yourself to relax. Drinking Chinese tea is also a great way to enjoy renewed friendships or to make new ones. Please take a little visit over to TeaVivre and see what kind of different teas and tea accessories that they have available on-line.
I hope you will take a moment out for yourself to enjoy and little tea and some delightful chewy black sesame seed cookies as I am sure it will bring a smile to your face.
Disclaimer: TeaVivre sent samples to me to review but my opinions remain entirely my own.
The ultimate gluten-free chewy black sesame cookies with a hint of five spiced powder goes perfectly with a steaming hot pot of deliciously smooth TeaVivre tea.
- black sesame seeds - 2 tablespoons ground (and extra whole for garnish)
- cornstarch - 1 tablespoon
- water - 2 tablespoons
- rice flour - 2/3 cup
- sugar or sugar alternative - 1/4 cup
- honey - 2 tablespoons
- vanilla - 1 teaspoon (pure vanilla extract)
- five spice powder - 1 teaspoon
Step 1: Preheat oven to 325 F (162 C).
Step 2: Grind sesame seeds in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle bowl and set aside. (I just did a rough grind on the sesame seeds as I like some of the whole sesame seeds in the cookie) Mix cornstarch in a small bowl with water and set aside.
Step 3: Mix rice flour, ground black sesame seeds, sugar, cornstarch and water mixture, honey, vanilla and five spiced powder until well mixed.
Step 4: Line baking sheet with waxed (parchment/baking paper) and spoon about a teaspoon full of cookie dough on sheet. Sprinkle and press a few black sesame seeds to garnish. Make sure you leave plenty of room between cookies as they will spread and be quite flat when they come out of the oven. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until edges are slightly golden brown.
Step 5: Allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on cookie sheet and then remove from the waxed paper.
Step 6: Makes about 24 small cookies or 9 extra large chewy sesame seed cookies. Store in a sealed container. Enjoy!