Showing posts with label tea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tea. Show all posts

Monday, March 16, 2015

Arabian Nights Muffins #MuffinMonday

One great way to add flavor to a muffin is to use flavored teas in the batter. Brew the tea with piping hot milk and add some more loose tea to strengthen the flavor profile to make a tasty muffin. 

This week I am in Michigan, spending time with a dear friend who owns a teashop filled with hundreds of loose teas in a variety of flavors. My favorite part of coming here is hanging out with her in her shop because she is constantly plying me with tea to sample, as we chat and catch up. I deliberately didn’t make my muffin for today before I arrived because I also love baking with her tea, something I don’t think to do often enough at home. Today I chose one of her special blends called Arabian Nights, which mixes black tea with jasmine petals, jasmine essence and cardamom. The aroma is spectacular! If you have a special tea you enjoy, I encourage you to try baking with tea as well.

For the muffin batter:
2 teabags Arabian Nights tea or your favorite spice tea blend
1 cup or 240ml milk
2 cups or 250g flour
1/2 cup, packed, or 100g dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon loose Arabian Nights tea or your favorite spice tea blend
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (or the spice prominent in your tea’s flavor profile)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
2 large eggs

For the glaze:
1 tablespoon tea-infused milk
6-7 tablespoons powdered sugar

Optional for decoration: 1 teaspoon loose Arabian Nights tea

Bring your milk to a boil and put the teabags in to steep. Leave the teabags in till the milk is cool then remove them, making sure to squeeze the milk out before discarding them.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it thoroughly or spraying with non-stick spray or lining it with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, loose tea and salt and stir well.

Reserve one tablespoon of the tea-infused milk for the glaze and then put the rest in a small mixing bowl with the oil and eggs. Whisk thoroughly to combine.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.

Divide the batter between your muffin cups in your prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for a few minutes and then remove the muffins to cool completely.

To make the glaze, add the powdered sugar to the reserved milk-infused tea one tablespoon at a time, stirring well in between, until you read a good drizzling consistency.

Drizzle the glaze over the muffins once they are cool.

Sprinkle on a little pinch of loose tea to decorate, if desired.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Jasmine Lychee Green Tea Shortbread

Tea is not just for drinking anymore. It makes a great flavoring for baked goods of any kind and goes exceptionally well in shortbread cookies. Buttery shortbread flavored with jasmine lychee green tea is the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea.

As I flew from Dubai to Boston on Saturday, I walked the cabin of that 777, looking at the faces of my fellow passengers, many asleep in the usual awkward way we sleep on long haul flights, in the back of the plane. And I choked up. All these people, people like many I know and love: With families and friends and dreams and lives to lead. What must it have been like to be on that MAS flight that went missing? Did they cling together, those strangers? Did they pray or cry or scream in fear? Did they know what was happening?

As I walked the aisle, I prayed for them, for their families, for answers and closure, and row by row, I prayed for my own fellow passengers, that they would have safety and God’s protection, all the way to their final destinations. It was a very emotional experience, 35,000 feet in the air, being held aloft by the laws of physics and, I firmly believe, the angels around us. If you don’t believe in angels, I hope you at least believe that we can be that for each other, supporting and uplifting, bringing joy and light whenever and wherever we can.

As I mentioned yesterday, this week I am visiting an old friend in Michigan., someone who has been a source of inspiration and unabashed giggling for many years. We met in Malaysia back in 2001 and she is one of my closest friends in all the world. Naszreen was raised in her home country of Sri Lanka, then Saudi Arabia, finally finishing her education at boarding school in the UK. She married an American and has two wonderful children. Together we have been through years of PTA work, including two exhausting years on the executive committee, chaired two fundraising galas for the American Association of Malaysia, braved through and won a vigorous fight for her health.

These days she is fulfilling a dream she has had for many years, with the opening of a teashop in the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Woods. I am inspired by her courage, the way she has worked steadily and with purpose to make her dream come true. She’d deny it forever but she is one of those angels I mentioned, for me.

Today’s cookie is flavored with one of the hundreds of teas she sells. As I browsed her little shop (If you'd like to see some photos, scroll to the bottom of this post.) yesterday, opening bulk tins and reading labels and inhaling the fragrance of everything, she regaled me with her wealth of knowledge about the various teas, their properties and uses. I finally settled on a flavored green tea because it smelled so fabulous. The shortbread turned out wonderfully as well.  Bake a batch for someone you want to lift up.

This recipe was adapted from Food Network.

Jasmine Lychee Green Tea Shortbread

2 cups or 250g flour
2 tablespoons loose tea leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup or 95g powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup or 225g butter, at room temperature

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, tea, and salt, until the tea is chopped up fairly small and it's well distributed throughout.

Add in the sugar, vanilla, and butter and pulse again until a soft dough forms.

Pour your dough out in a line on a big sheet of cling film. Roll the dough into sausage and wrap it tightly in the cling film.

Put the dough into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill. I left mine overnight and it was lovely and firm.

When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F or 190°C.

Use a sharp knife to slice the log into circles. If you prefer a thicker, soft cookie, cut them about 1/2 inch or a little thicker than 1 cm. For a crispier cookie, cut them about 1/3 inch or 8mm thick. Line your baking pan with parchment paper and place the dough slices about two inches or five centimeters apart.

Bake in your preheated oven until the edges are just brown, about 9 or 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookies cool in the pan for several minutes.

Use a spatula to remove them to a serving plate.


The Creative Cookie Exchange challenge this month was to create a cookie using tea or coffee for flavoring and the group has some great recipes to share. Many thanks to our host this month, Laura of The Spiced Life.

If you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:
If you are a blogger who would like to join us for future Creative Cookie Challenges, send an email to Laura (at) thespicedlife (dot) com with your blog URL and she will add you to our private Facebook group where all the planning and logistics take place.

You are also invited to follow our Pinterest board where you will find links to loads of Creative Cookie recipes from all of our members and Like our public Facebook page.   Happy baking!

The store front. Isn't it adorable? You can like her Facebook page here. Thanks! 

Tea on offer.

Teaware on offer.

Tea in wooden boxes and personally branded tea mixtures.

Black teas with fruit.

More teaware.