Spicy Smoked Tea-Pecan Crisps 64.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2014 Dec 3, 2014

Lapsang Souchong tea bags or loose leaves are not staples in most pantries, but you’ll be handsomely rewarded if you purchase some to make these unusual cocktail munchies.

Though the smoky tea scent might seem overly strong initially, it imparts a distinctive, highly appealing character. This recipe was inspired by one from tea expert Laurie Bell of Great Falls Tea Garden.

Make Ahead: Packed airtight, the crisps will keep for 10 days at room temperature or up to 6 weeks in the freezer.


Servings:
64 pieces

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 64 pieces

Ingredients
  • 3 cups (about 12 ounces) chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Lapsang Souchong dry tea leaves (from about 8 tea bags; see headnote)
  • Scant 1 teaspoon smoked sea salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Generous 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons safflower oil or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, one of them separated into yolk and white
  • 2 tablespoons plus a few more teaspoons water, or as needed
  • 3 tablespoons coarse, translucent sugar crystals or turbinado sugar, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 9 to 12 minutes, stirring once or twice, until fragrant and beginning to brown. Cool completely.

Combine the granulated sugar, tea leaves, smoked sea salt, cinnamon, allspice and cayenne pepper in a food processor. Process 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tea has reduced to a fine powder. Reserve one-third of the tea mixture for garnish.

Add the flour, half the toasted, chopped pecans and the oil to the food processor. Process until the pecans are finely chopped and ingredients are just beginning to clump together; stop to scrape down the bowl several times.

Whisk together 1 whole egg, 1 yolk and the 2 tablespoons water; add to the mixture in the food processor, pulsing until the mixture just comes together to form a dough. If dry or crumbly, add a teaspoon or two more water, pulsing, until the dough holds together. Shape it into a square, then center it between two 16-inch wide sheets of parchment paper. Roll out the dough (still between the parchment layers) evenly thick into a 14-inch square; peel off the top sheet of parchment.

Cut and patch the dough to make the square fairly even.

Use a fork to whisk together the remaining egg white with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush or paper towel to brush the dough surface evenly with half the egg white mixture.

Sprinkle half the reserved tea garnishing mixture evenly over the dough, then sprinkle with half the remaining pecans and coarse sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt.

Reposition the parchment sheet on top, then roll back and forth with the pin to firmly embed the garnish. Sandwich the parchment and dough layers between two baking sheets and carefully flip over the dough. Peel off the second parchment sheet; repeat brushing on the egg white, then the remaining tea mixture, pecans, coarse sugar and salt on the second side. Trim away and discard the uneven dough edges using a large, sharp knife. Cut the dough into 8 equal sections lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 8 equal sections, which will form 64 crisps. Using a thin spatula, transfer the squares to a large parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing slightly apart; retrace the cuts as needed if any squares stick together.

Bake for 20 minutes, then use a spatula to invert the crisps; bake on the second sides for 20 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Once all the crisps have been baked, gather them on a single baking sheet and place in the oven (turned off; the crisps can overlap). Let them cool/crisp up in the oven for 45 minutes.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Nancy Baggett.

Tested by Nancy Baggett and Bonnie S. Benwick.

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