Showing posts sorted by relevance for query tea Michigan. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query tea Michigan. Sort by date 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.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Peach and Spiced Tea Bundt Cake for #BundtBakers

Using spiced tea to flavor baked goods means a huge variety of choices and an almost infinite number of spice combinations. This spiced tea Bundt has Assam black tea, vanilla, cinnamon, a hint of cardamom and tiny pieces of dried orange peel, in addition to the peaches. 

From the matcha muffins on Monday and the jasmine lychee green tea shortbread on Tuesday and now this Bundt, somehow, this is turning out to be Baking with Tea Week! I’ve spent the last couple of days in the teashop with my friend, photographing of her products and working on her website.  Whenever I’ve thought of baking, all the tea flavors have been both a distraction and an inspiration. I hardly know which one to choose; there are so many wonderful ones.

This month’s Bundt Baker theme is spices, as chosen by our talented host Deepti, of Baking Yummies, so, of course, I had to use a spiced tea, but it was so hard to decide which one! They all smell so GOOD. I finally settled on one called Black Spiced Michigan Chai, because, after all, I am in Michigan.

I dedicate this cake to my friend, Gillian, who turns 50 today.  She turns up in these “pages” more than any other friend because she is just that special. I know she reads my blog regularly so I couldn’t pass up the chance to say, Happy birthday, Gillian! Love you dearly!

4 teaspoons loose-leaf tea, divided
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/2 cup or 115g butter at room temperature
3/4 cups packed or 150g brown sugar
2 1/2 cups or 315g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can (15 oz or 425g net weight) peaches in juice

Optional: powdered sugar for decorating

Boil 1/4 cup or 60ml water in a small pot and pour in two teaspoons of the tea, turn the fire off and let the tea steep for a few minutes.

Add in the milk, turn the fire back on and bring the pot to a boil then turn it down to a low fire. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn the fire off and let the milk cool.

Put one cup of the flour in a food processor with the last two teaspoons of tea and process until the tea is mere flecks distributed throughout the flour.

Add in the rest of the flour, the baking powder and salt. Process one quick pulse to mix.

Strain the tea leaves out of the milk and set the milk aside.

Pour the peaches into a colander and drain the juice out. Chop the peaches into small pieces and put them back into the colander to drain further.

Preheat your oven to to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your Bundt pan by buttering and flouring it.

Use a stand mixer or electric beaters and cream the butter and sugar together.

Add in the two eggs and beat again until the eggs are incorporated.

Spoon in half of the flour mixture and beat again.

Now pour in half of the milk and beat again.

Spoon in the rest of the flour and beat until the flour is completely incorporated.

Pour in the rest of the milk and beat again for two minutes, scraping the bowl down halfway through.

Mix in the chopped peaches.

Spoon the batter into your prepared Bundt pan. Smooth out the top with a spatula.

Bake for 40-45 or until the cake is golden on the top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes before inverting on a baking rack.

Cool completely before transferring the Bundt cake to a serving plate.

Sprinkle on powdered sugar, if desired.


If you love baking with spices, this is your month at Bundt Bakers!  Check out all the lovely Bundts we’ve baked!

Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake by Kathya at Basic N Delicious
Cinnamon Roll Bundt Cake by Tara at Noshing With The Nolands
Fresh Apple Cake by Lauren at Sew You Think You Can Cook
Honey and Beer Spiced Bundt Cake by Felice at All That's Left Are The Crumbs
Orange Cardamom Mini Bundt Cakes by Alice at Hip Foodie Mom
Peach and Spiced Tea Bundt Cake by Stacy at Food Lust People Love
Rum & Ginger Grapefruit Cake by Kelly at Passion Kneaded
Saffron and Tahitian Vanilla Infused Bundt Cake by Laura at The Spiced Life
Saffron Vanilla Bean and Orange Mini Bundt Cake by Deepti at Bakingyummies
Spiced Applesauce Bundt Cake with Brown Sugar Rum Glaze by Lauren at From Gate to Plate
Sweet Potato Pound Cake by Renee at Magnolia Days

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.  Follow our Pinterest board to see all the past and current posts each month. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. 

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send me an email at or ask to join our private Facebook group

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hibiscus Sugar Cookies with Hibiscus Syrup #CreativeCookieExchange

Dried hibiscus flowers have long been used to make tea or, more technically correct, a tisane, which is sipped hot or cold. The tart beverage is said to lower blood pressure and to have antioxidants a plenty. I’m here to tell you that hibiscus petals also make some pretty tasty sugar cookies and a divine flavored syrup.

In my current part of the world, hibiscus tisane (“tea” made from flowers) is a thing. Iranians call it sour tea and they aren’t kidding. The dried petals are available in the bulk section of my local supermarket, along with the spices, dried pulses, marinated olives and chunks of local cheese. Sometimes I just wander over to that area to inhale the fragrances but, often, I am seduced into making a purchase. Who can resist?

This is an immense oval with spices and other goodies on all sides - Carrefour Hypermarket, Mirdiff City Centre

When our Creative Cookie Exchange host, Laura from The Spiced Life, posted this month’s theme – Flowers – I practically clapped my hands with glee. After my week of baking with tea back in March, when I was visiting my friend who owns a tea shop in Michigan, I knew hibiscus cookies were not only possible, but that they would be delicious.

For about 32-36 cookies:
1/2 cup or 16g dried hibiscus
1 cup or 225g unsalted butter
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Cognac (or sub orange juice if you don’t do alcohol)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups or 280g flour

For the syrup:
1/4 cup or 8g hibiscus
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
Pinch salt
1/4 cup or 60ml water

Pulse the hibiscus petals in a food processor until they are in small pieces, stopping before you create complete hibiscus dust. There will be some pink dust but that’s okay.

With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy and light.

Add in the eggs, Cognac, salt, vanilla, flour and hibiscus petals and mix until a soft dough forms.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Let rest at least one hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your baking pan by lining it with parchment paper.

Cut off small chunks of dough and roll them between your hand.

Space them out two inches or four centimeters apart on the prepared pan. Press them gently into circles with your palm.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until light gold at the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, to make the syrup, put all the ingredients except the butter into a small pot and bring it to the boil.

The color starts to seep out, even before I've turned the stove on!

Turn the pot down and let it bubble away gently until the liquid is reduced by almost half. The color should be a gorgeous fuchsia. (By the way, as a complete aside, hibiscus water is a great natural coloring to dye white eggs for Easter.)

Strain the syrup into a small bowl.

Add the butter. Stir until it’s melted.

Spread the candied petals out on parchment paper, pulling them apart so they can dry a little. They are going to be very sticky. I have to tell you that I couldn’t pass by the parchment without pinching one and eating it. They are sour and sweet and definitely more-ish. If they don’t appeal to you, you don’t have to save them but do give them a try.

When the cookies are completely cool, drizzle a little syrup over each.

Top with the candied petals, if desired.



If all the spring showers have put you in the flower mood, you are going to love all the cookies the group has baked this month!

If you would like to join us for future Creative Cookie Exchange challenges, just contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes--be sure to check out our Pinterest Board, and our monthly posts. You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!