I’m at it again: because I’m highly competitive, because I am nurturing a newfound love for recipe development, because awesome local producers keep partnering up with the Halifax Food Bloggers group to offer wicked contests with incredible prizes.
This September, East Coast Organic Milk and Just Us! Coffee (home of my nearly-daily soy mocha/Made With Local bar run) have teamed up to create a Brown Bag Recipe Challenge for us Halifax Food Bloggers. A couple weeks ago, I picked up a brown bag filled with mystery ingredients at my local Just Us! coffeehouse. I hunched over it, cradled in my arms, as the driving late summer rain threatened to dissolve the bag and who-knows-what inside. When I got to my car I tore open the bag and found a tin of Just Us! Vanilla Rooibos tea, a couple bars of Just Us! white chocolate, a bag of Just Us! organic cane sugar, and a 2L container of East Coast Organic whole milk.
And I knew this contest was going to be right up my alley.
Keep reading for what I made, the recipe, and most importantly – how you, dear readers, can help me win this one!
And then I remembered these biscuits. They’re based on an old family recipe that require the addition of creamy whole milk as a binding agent, along with a brush of moo on top to add a bit of colour while baking. Served hot and paired with milky tea – just how I like it – this recipe was just so me; so Purple House Cafe.
The rest of the recipe came together quickly: I would fold chunks of Just Us! white chocolate into my biscuit dough for pops of sweetness, backgrounded and complimented by star anise. I thought the anise would pair beautifully with the earthiness of vanilla rooibos tea, which got steeped and combined with organic sugar and pectin to make a jewel-bright jelly to slather on my biscuits.
So this is it – my best foot forward; my competition-worthy recipe. I’m in it to win it and, my friends, this simple little gift from my kitchen to yours is pure pleasure, contained in one warm flaky biscuit smeared with melting butter and sweet jelly, nibbled alternately with a cup of milky vanilla rooibos tea. My brown bag ingredients were practically begging to be made into a tea party, and now I know just how perfect tea tastes in jelly form, and how anise and vanilla rooibos and white chocolate marry together like that bar of dark chocolate goes with your favourite wine and a movie just so.
So call up a friend and invite her over for tea. Steep some vanilla rooibos and boil it with sugar and pectin the night before so that your jelly has time to set. An hour before she arrives, crumble together butter, flour and white chocolate, crush star anise seeds under your pestle, stir them together with organic milk and bake until heartwarming.
And, in the meantime, vote for me to win this recipe contest. Just head over to East Coast Organic Milk’s facebook page, find my recipe post and like it or share it. Then, just for good measure, hop on over to their Twitter account and re-tweet my recipe. The blogger with the most likes and shares wins a wicked gift basket and will have their recipe published and shared by ECO Milk and Just Us!, so send all your pals over to vote for me too!
- For the jelly -
- 2 cups steeped Just Us! Vanilla Rooibos tea
- 3 cups Just Us! organic cane sugar
- 1 package liquid Certo
- Juice of one lemon
- For the biscuits -
- 2 cups all-purpose white flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. Just Us! organic cane sugar
- 6 tbsp. chilled butter
- 1 bar Just Us! white chocolate, chopped coarsely
- 1 tsp. star anise seeds, crushed
- 2/3-3/4 cup East Coast Organic Milk, plus more to brush the tops of the biscuits
- For the jelly -
- Steep 2 cups of vanilla rooibos tea according to the instructions on the tin. Add the tea, sugar and lemon juice to a saucepan and bring to a hard boil over high heat for 1 minute. Reduce the heat, stir in the Certo, and bring back to a boil for exactly one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, pour into sterilized Mason jars and seal.
- For the biscuits -
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a baking sheet. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter until it has formed pebble-sized chunks. Add the white chocolate and star anise. Stir in just enough milk to bind the dough. Form scone-shaped/sized balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush with milk and bake until golden brown.