Some Things Just Go Together 

Some Things Just Go Together 

Black tea in a decorative teacup and saucer. Next to the tea is a plate of praline cookies.

One of my favorite bakeries finally baked a cookie I consider an all time comfort cookie. I happened to have a travel mug in my car full of a perfect tea to pair with the cookie.

A Perfect Pair 

There are food pairings that are not subtle, with domineering flavors competing for top flavor notes. These pairing I believe are probably best left separate. For example, Brussels sprouts dipped in horseradish would not be a food pairing that I would enjoy. Or perhaps, making a salad dressing out of equal parts soy sauce and balsamic vinegar could have the potential of creating a sour stomach. However, there are food pairs that just seem…. perfect! I can’t imagine my peanut butter sandwich without grape jelly. I feel a vanilla sundae should absolutely be topped with chocolate sauce. You, the reader, may disagree with my food pairings (or non-pairings) and that is alright. I venture to bet, though, that you may have your own special food pairings that, when experienced, make your heart melt, your mouth salivate, and the world stop for a moment. I had that experience just recently. 

Running Errands While Running Hungry 

I filled up my travel mug to the brim with a Breakfast Blend black tea, and was ready for early morning errands in 23 degrees F. I had forsaken eating breakfast so I could finish running errands sooner, at lunch time. My afternoon schedule was very full and I wanted a lunch break before the afternoon activities. There is an old adage that simply states “Do not go food shopping on an empty stomach.” Well, I survived the grocery store without putting unhealthy items in my cart. I loaded my car with the few groceries I could find at the store and drove away. However, the route I took to my next location I needed to stop at was filled with temptation.

I was going to go past one of my favorite bakeries. Uh oh. To make matters worse, I was hungry. I noticed that I turned into the parking lot of the bakery before I could conduct some healthy self-talk in my head regarding wise food choices. Oh my. I rationalized that I had the perfect hot tea to pair with the praline cookies that are my go-to comfort food cookie. I decided that if the bakery did not have the cookie then I would not buy anything.

Wouldn’t you know it? The bakery made a batch of praline cookies, and the cookie display tray was full of cookies. It was like a light was illuminating the cookie tray, birds were sweetly chirping, peaceful music was wafting through the air and it was a wonderful summer day at the beach. It was meant to be. I had the perfect tea to pair with the perfect cookie! I just had to buy a cookie.

I am embarrassed to ‘fess up that I bought several cookies to have for an afternoon tea time treat on what was a very cold, “blah”, winter’s day. I am owning up to the fact that I also bought a cookie to eat immediately. I was hungry because I didn’t have breakfast (my bad) and I rationalized that one cookie with some hot tea was better than no cookie at all (illogical and unhealthy thinking). I purchased the praline cookies, got permission to bring my travel mug into the bakery, and sat down to enjoy one of life’s favorite pairings.

A Cookie And A Cup Of Tea

Black tea in a decorative teacup and saucer, shown from above. Behind the tea is a plate of praline cookies.

I sat in silence, savoring every delicious bite. To me, the flavor profiles of the cookie and the tea brought out the best flavors in each item. Usually a Breakfast Blend tea has the addition of Assam tea, from India, incorporated in the blend. The Assam tea has a strong malty flavor profile. The liquor is a dark amber color, and the mouthfeel is very thick. A Breakfast Blend tea is what I would describe as a bracing cup of tea. The praline cookie has a crunchy outer edge and a chewy center, with a dollop of icing on the top. The cookie has brown sugar in the batter that gives it a wonderful caramelized flavor. The icing has brown sugar in it and a sprinkling of pecans on top of the icing for good measure. I feel the tea and cookie pairing is artful, sublime, decedent, and heavenly.

Disclaimer 

This blog was written about my experiences of going food shopping while hungry. That is not a good combination for me. I can not advocate eating a cookie for breakfast. There may be healthier food choices for breakfast. However, as the saying goes “I have a well balanced diet, a cookie in each hand!” (www.intothecookiejar.com)

Enjoying my favorite cookie and tea pairing sans guilt,

Leslie

References: 

www.intothecookiejar.com for funny quotes related to cookies.

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/praline-cookies/, for the praline cookie recipe.

About The Author

A photo of Leslie on the patio wearing a pink cardiganLeslie Sundberg is a World Tea Academy Certified Tea Specialist, a World Tea Academy Apprentice Tea Sommelier, a Specialty Tea Institute Level IV trained Tea Specialist, and a Tea and Business Etiquette Specialist. On any given day, Leslie can be found teaching, speaking or sharing in the joys of a cup of tea.  No matter what Leslie is doing or where she is, one thing remains constant: 4:00 in the afternoon is tea time!

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