The Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is one of my favorite flowers. They grow on a small tree and (typically) have bright, colorful flowers. Despite the fact that Hibiscus is not typically found growing in Atlanta, I am particularly fond of the red Hibiscus; there is a quality about the flower I find quite lovely and inviting.
When I first came across the hibiscus tea, from Spices & Tease, I became a fan of the fruity, tart-like flavor. Infusing its flavor in various dishes, as well as brewing the tea soon became routine. Luckily, a generous level of flavonoids, minerals, vitamin C , and diuretic properties are suggested to can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Some time ago, I incorporated the tea in shortbread. Because of the sweetness the sweet tea naturally adds to a dough, I made a muted filling with mascarpone cheese. The result not only became a perfect addition for Weekend Herb Blogging (managed by Haalo, hosted by me this week), but the cookies were wonderfully addictive.
Hibiscus Mango Tea Sandwich Cookies
(makes ~2 dozen sandwich cookies)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. Hibiscus Mango tea leaves, ground fine (or floral tea of choice)
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
In a small bowl, whisk flour, tea, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed to combine.
Form dough into a log roughly 1 ½ -2 inches in diameter. Wrap the log in a piece of parchment paper or wax paper and twist the ends to seal. Freezer for 30 – 45 minutes, or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
When the dough is firm, but not frozen, unwrap and transfer to a cutting board. Cut the log slices, about ¼-inch thick. Lay cookies onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving about ½ inch between each cookie.
Bake 7 minutes. Rotate sheets. Bake another 6-8 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden. Remove from oven. Let stand a few minutes before using a spatula to transfer the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.
½ cup mascarpone cheese
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup powdered sugar
Combine mascarpone cheese, butter, vanilla in a mixer bowl fitted with a paddle. Cream until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar. When the sugar is incorporated, turn up the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy.
Pipe approximately 1 tsp of mascarpone filling on the bottom of a half the cookies, then top with another cookie, making a sandwich. (Store in the refrigerator is not serving immediately.)