Healthy-er Tea Cookies

Here’s a little dirty confession: I get stress headaches. Blinding, slamming, sudden onset stress headaches. And yoga wasn’t cutting it. Maybe I’m not doing it right- maybe I’m approaching it from an exercise standpoint. But the point was, I needed a way to decompress in the middle of the day, while simultaneously taming my children. They couldn’t focus on yoga long enough to behave.

So we started having afternoon tea.

Not religiously of course- sometimes it was right after lunch, sometimes it’s after naptime, sometimes its half an hour before dinner- and sometimes, I do it ALONE. In the quiet of my backyard, or on my front step in the sunshine. Food+kids= quietude.

Who doesn’t need a gentle, caffeinated, sugar-coated pick-me-up mid-afternoon after all? Admittedly, I’m a tea snob. I prefer ceylon, and I’m currently drinking this birthday gift from a friend of mine from Upton tea company. They do mail order teas, organic and what not. This one is decaf- I’ve been trying to cut back. Caffeine is a dangerous and slippery slope full of ups and downs. But you certainly don’t have to do decaf- some days, it just calls for a little wake up.

Then again, we also neglect our “medicine” cabinet and our cure-all is a variety of teas by Yogi, Traditional Medicinals, and the *safe* (gluten free) bulk tea section at our healthfood store. Watch out for some Yogi teas- they contain barley.

And of course, tea time means you suddenly have more stuff to collect. The fancy spoons and filters, the tea pots, the cups and saucers. Frankly, I use the same 3 all the time. And I rarely make time to break out a teapot- that water gets boiled in the micro, rather than heating up the stove. Maybe when I entertain I’ll get out the teapot. But this is my simple, every day, afternoon with children. I’m lucky enough to sit down. If you’d like to throw a formal tea, do check out this link, and other books by Emily Post, who literally wrote the book on manners.

And the children? My toddler son drinks herbal tea or milk. And my daughter has her own special teacup- her favorite tea is Sleepytime, which is a GODSEND for a single mother with an ADHD child.

You’re probably wondering when I’m going to post the recipe…

This is a tried and true recipe that I’ve been making for quite some time. They’re soft enough for little ones, and remind me a lot of Archway cookies. They’re not quite molasses cookies, not quite maple cookies…just. Cookies. And they’re by far not your average tea biscuit. I’ve been avoiding refined oils because they’re not healthy for you, and I haven’t been cooking with animal products for ethical and health reasons. These are also gluten free. But don’t worry- they’re easy! I didn’t even use a mixer…

Tea cookies:

2c sorghum flour

1/2c tapioca flour

1.5t baking soda

1.5t xanthan gum

1/2t salt

1t ground cinnamon

1t ground ginger

2T ground flax meal

2/3-3/4c brown sugar packed (or maple sugar)

3/4c coconut “oil” (is solid at room temp)

1/2c pure maple syrup or amber agave syrup

2t vanilla extract (gluten free)

Mix all of the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients separately and add them to the dry ingredients. If you’re mixing by spoon, you’ll eventually have to mix by hand. It should make a workable dough, like cookie dough. Using a cookie dough scoop, scoop out balls, round them out, and flatten them with your hand. You can bake these on an ungreased non-stick or aluminum pan. They spread a bit, so don’t cram them on the pan.

Bake them at 350 for about 15min- keep checking them through the door, but remember not to keep opening your oven because it drops the temperature. They’re done with they’re not gooey in the center, they turn opaque instead of shiny, and they edges brown up ever so slightly. Let them rest a minute on the baking sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack. Keep in a sealed container.

Enjoy!

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