Christina Tosi’s Take on Ted Lasso Biscuits

Pastry Chef Christina Tosi's version of the "Ted Lasso'' biscuits are even better than the original.
Pastry Chef Christina Tosi’s version of the “Ted Lasso” biscuits are even better than the original.

If you’re experiencing “Ted Lasso” withdrawal like me, there’s only one thing that can assuage it.

And that’s baking a batch of buttery biscuits, otherwise known in the States as shortbread cookies.

You’ll remember I tried my hand at the official “Ted Lasso Biscuit Recipe,” which were wonderful and super easy to make.

But what tops it is Pastry Chef Christina Tosi’s version.

The founder of the sugary phenomenon known as Milk Bar, Tosi is a Lasso fan, and recounts hilariously in this Bloomberg story how she would rewind episodes to meticulously study just how everyone’s favorite soccer coach made his biscuits.

The recipe she came up with takes a couple of liberties that definitely enhance the original. Don’t get me wrong; the original recipe turns out shortbread that’s crisp on the edges, tender within, and incredibly melt-in-your-mouth buttery delicious. They are good, basic, and classic.

But hers go beyond that, keeping everything you love about shortbread, but refining it to make it utterly exceptional.

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That’s A Spicy Chicken & ‘Nduja Meatballs

The surprise of 'nduja in these chicken meatballs gives them a sweet-spicy taste.
The surprise of ‘nduja in these chicken meatballs gives them a sweet-spicy taste.

Mama Mia, that’s a spicy meatball!

But don’t fear, these are not throat-throttling fiery. Instead, they are just hot enough, with peppery warmth and a kiss of sweetness, thanks to ‘nduja, the Italian spreadable salami seasoned with roasted Calabrian chili peppers.

“Chicken & ‘Nduja Meatballs” is from the new cookbook, “Italian American: Red Sauce Classics and New Essentials” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy.

The book, written in conjunction with food writer Jamie Feldmar, is by Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli, the married chefs behind Michelin-starred Don Angie in New York City.

Indeed, these are not rigidly Italian recipes that haven’t changed in centuries, but ones that reflect the comforting home-style fare that Italians made their own after immigrating to this country. At Don Angie, those lusty, flavorful red sauce-dishes get even more playfully and vibrantly updated.

You’re sure to find yourself licking your chops over recipes for “Sicilian Pizza Rolls,” “Polenta Gnocchi with Rosemary, Honey & Toasted Sesame,” “Eggplant Parm Pinwheel Lasagna,” and “Tre Latte Olive Oil Cake.”

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Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Freeze-dried raspberries get pulverized and mixed into the flour for this dazzling take on chocolate chunk cookies.
Freeze-dried raspberries get pulverized and mixed into the flour for this dazzling take on chocolate chunk cookies.

Recipe developer Jesse Szewczyk says these “Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies” taste almost like a pint of Graeter’s black raspberry ice cream.

Me? Having not had the pleasure of trying that famed frozen treat, myself, I’ll just say these babies remind me of a splendid dark chocolate truffle with a jammy raspberry center.

Either way, these cookies definitely satisfy with plenty of bittersweet chocolate chunks playing off the sweet-tart surprise of dried raspberries completely pulverized into the batter.

The recipe is from “Cookies The New Classics” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy, by Szewczyk, a food writer and food stylist, who is also the cookie columnist at The Kitchn.

Freeze-dried raspberries give these cookies a fabulous sweet-tart berry taste.
Freeze-dried raspberries give these cookies a fabulous sweet-tart berry taste.

He spotlights 100 recipes that take you beyond the same ‘ol, same ‘ol chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies with chapters divided into flavor attributes such as “Boozy,” “Smoky,” “Savory” and “Tart.”

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More Scrumptious Gifts

Stash Tea's holiday "Christmas in Paris'' is elegant and evocative.
Stash Tea’s holiday “Christmas in Paris” is elegant and evocative.

Stash Tea’s 2021 Limited-Edition Holiday Flavors

When the weather turns blustery, a hot cup of tea really hits the spot, especially when it’s a brew with a special holiday flavor.

Oregon’s Stash Tea has got you covered, whether you want to treat yourself or gift friends or family. Choose from half a dozen flavors made especially for this festive season: Christmas in Paris, Licorice Spice, Holiday Chai, Christmas Eve, Christmas Morning, and White Christmas.

Choose from black, white, and herbal tea blends, either in convenient tea bags or loose leaf. I had a chance to try samples recently.

“Christmas in Paris”is an herbal blend with big hits of cocoa, lavender and peppermint, that makes you imagine sitting at a cafe on the Champs-Elysees enjoying this elegant tea. The “Holiday Chai” black tea will warm you up thoroughly with its cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and Jamaican rum flavor. And the “Christmas Eve” herbal tea with orange, cinnamon and clove is just the ticket for sipping in pajamas as you slide the last presents under the tree in anticipation of the next morning.

Six flavors of holiday Stash Teas to celebrate the season.
Six flavors of holiday Stash Teas to celebrate the season.

A box of 18 tea bags is $3.95. A Holiday Sampler Trio of three boxes of different teas is $12.95, while a Six-Flavor Seasonal Teas Gift Box is $24.95. The loose leaf starts at $8.75 (depending on the variety) for 100 grams.

Oryx Desert Salts From South Africa

You can now find a taste of the remote Kalahari Desert in South Africa at Whole Foods stores near you.

Oryx Desert Salts are harvested from underground streams running through ancient rock formations 280 million years old, then sun-dried. The salt is organic and unprocessed, with naturally occurring minerals including magnesium, zinc and potassium.

Oryx Desert Salts, regular (right) and smoked (left).
Oryx Desert Salts, regular (right) and smoked (left).

I had a chance to try samples of the regular salt and the smoked version. The crystals are more compact and crunchy than, say, lighter, fluffier, moist Maldon Sea Salt. They’re also larger in size than Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt.

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Chewy Ginger Spice Cookies with Ras El Hanout

Chewy ginger cookies with the depth of ras el hanout.
Chewy ginger cookies with the depth of ras el hanout.

After seasoning a lamb dish spectacularly, my leftover ras el hanout had been languishing forlornly in my pantry.

Remnants of this aromatic and punchy Moroccan spice blend were badly in need of a purpose and home.

Thankfully, the ideal one arrived in the form of “Chewy Ginger Spice Cookies with Ras El Hanout.”

Ras El Hanout is Arabic for “top shelf.” Like liquor at a bar, it connotes the best a mixologist or spice shop owner has to offer.

It’s a blend that can consist of more than a dozen spices, including cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, coriander, peppercorns, paprika, fenugreek, turmeric, fennel seeds, aniseed, and galangal.

I’ve always associated it with savory cooking. But this clever cookie recipe demonstrates just how well it takes to sweet preparations, as well.

The recipe is from the new cookbook, “Flavors of the Sun: The Sahadi’s Guide to Understanding, Buying, and Using Middle Eastern Ingredients” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy.

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