Apple Cider Donuts!

I’ve had trouble finding apple cider donuts this year! Maybe I’m not looking in the right places. I did go to a fall festival which definitely had them but I couldn’t be bothered to wait in the long line. I’ve made matcha donuts, pu’er donuts and apple cider before on my blog so I thought I would give these a shot!.

I based my recipe off this one which is what I think you should follow! I did make some changes which I will note below.

The weather has NOT been cooperating with me so I haven’t been able to get any good photos but will update this post when I do!

Infusing tea into the Apple Cider is very simple. If you buy apple cider, make sure to follow the recipe for the apple cider donuts and boil it down a bit. You could then, while it is hot, fill a tea bag with your desired tea and let it steep for a few minutes. When choosing a tea, do not choose a delicate tea because it will get bitter. Go for a tea that can handle hot temperatures like black tea or rooibos. I used a Lavender spice tea that has rooibos in it for my apple cider.

I’ve also linked a recipe I used for apple cider infused with tea above if you want to make it from scratch! Even if you just boil apples then infuse the tea for a few minutes, it still tastes great! I made my apple cider from scratch for these donuts and it turned out well!

The substitutions I made in the Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe are as follows!

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) apple cider ——> I made my own tea infused apple cider

  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar —-> I used 1 cup dark brown sugar instead of 1/2 brown, 1/2 white. I also used brown sugar for the coating.

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, at room temperature* ——-> I used Oat Milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract——> I didn’t have this so I didn’t use it and they turned out fine!

Even though these donuts are baked, with the melted butter they almost taste fried!

Enjoy!

Acorn Squash Scones w/ Black Tea Infused Butter

Yes, you read that right! I decided to use some of the acorn squash I made in a recipe because I have all the fall vibes over here! Also, acorn squash is one of my favorites and although I usually just bake it and eat it, I wanted to try it in a different form.

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This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of cooked acorn squash. You can cook it however you’d like but I always like to bake it. I will usually place the whole acorn squash in a hot oven until it’s a bit easier to cut but this isn’t necessary. I also season it minimally because i’ts so flavorful and because it’s going into the scones. I used a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Depending on the size of your acorn squash, one half will probably be around how much you need for 1/2 cup.

Something important about the butter: Make sure you give yourself time for it to freeze it! Once the tea is infused in the butter, strain it and let it sit to make sure as much butter as possible strains out. You can put it in the fridge but if you put it in the freezer it will congeal quicker.

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The scone batter was a bit difficult to deal with due to the acorn squash so the easiest thing to do would be to make dollops of it on the pan. I decided to try to cut a shape with a cookie cutter I had and add a stem to make it look like a leaf…it was a fail :0

I note in the recipe to freeze them first but it’s not needed. If you do freeze them, you can easily bake some now and keep the rest in the freezer and they will be easier to handle.

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These didn’t change shape much while baking so I was a bit worried but they actually turned out quick delicious! They’re hardy and great for having with tea!

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I did want to share an easy glaze you could make but I will say that these scones don’t need it! I think you can make the glaze and have it in case but make sure to try the scones themselves too!

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So in the scones I used the organic assam black tea by Mana organics to infuse the butter. In the glaze I used a kenyan black tea with lemon by Ajiri Tea. All you have to do is brew the tea enough to get 1-2 tablespoons. To the tea continue to add sifted powdered sugar until you get your preferred pouring texture!

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Because of the acorn squash the scones are somewhat sweet but also border on savory. The squash is really represented well in the scone but some people might like it a bit sweeter. The glaze would come in well for that.

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The tea I used for the glaze has a lemon flavor which complimented the other flavors well!

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Tea Infused Halva

Halva is a dessert mostly comprised of flour and sugar. I've halva in different forms varying in color and solidity. The type of halva I'm used to having is darker colored and more like a spread consistency versus something more solid. 

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Iranian sweets have always intimidated me but when I looked up the recipe for halva, it seemed simple enough! I even got some tips from my dad who is a great cook and has made halva a lot. He reminded me that when you don't mix the halva well it doesn't turn out well and gets lumps in it. He said my arm will probably get tired mixing it, this is important to remember!

Of all the teas in my sipsby box I knew that the grimdark tea by Dryad tea would be the best one! Halva doesn't have a super complicated taste so I thought it would really spice it up to include the grimdark. The grimdark tea has black tea, oolong, clove, rosebuds and roasted mate. I felt like these flavors would give the halva a great punch!

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I mention saffron water in my recipe. This isn't something you buy at the store ( I think). I make this "water" by placing a few threads of saffron in a cup and fill an inch or two hot water over the threads, let it sit for a while and the water will change color. Do this to add in the saffron water for the recipe. If you don't know what to do with the leftover saffron, add it to rice or any veggie or meat marinade or sauce :) 

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When you brew the tea and dissolve the brown sugar in the tea make sure it's hot. If the sugar doesn't dissolve you can heat the tea on the stove until it does. When you melt the butter in the pan and add in the flour, it will turn a light brown color. Make sure that your flour is sifted before hand and mix, mix, mix to make sure there are lumps! 

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Now off the heat you still have to mix like there's no tomorrow for the additions of the liquid. My halva ended up getting a little darker brown and was very buttery! 

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Above is what it looked like before it went in the fridge. You can definitely eat it like this and maybe even use it as a sweet dip! 

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I prefer the slightly thicker consistency once it's put in the fridge. Mine was very soft because I think there was a lot of butter in it. You can definitely just eat a bite of this with a spoon or even spread it on bread! I think if you wanted the halva to be thicker you could probably add a tiny bit more flour but I haven't tested this myself to be sure. 

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The tea really gave the halva a unique flavor, it's one of the comments my dad made when he tried it! I think choosing a tea with spice like a chai would also be delicious! If you want to make this recipe without tea, instead of 1/2 cup brewed tea, just boil the sugar in the same amount of water. 

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Tearamisu!

Ok, so I guess I'm late the game but holy cow how have I never made tiramisu before??? Or should I say TEAramisu !

I've always loved the taste of tiramisu and thought that I could easily switch out the coffee for tea but never knew how easy it was to make!

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From looking at recipes online, it seems like everyone has a slightly different way of making the cream but the way I made it is super simple and takes pretty much no time!

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I bought a brand of Lady Fingers on amazon that worked well for me. I will say that one of the most important parts of the recipe for me was to make sure the tea you use for dunking is cool otherwise the lady fingers will crumble so fast. 

A note about the tea you choose: choose something you like. This may be obvious but the flavor is pretty obvious in the dessert so don't pick something you dont like. I would also suggest not picking a super blended tea because there may be too many conflicting  flavors. I used the Nepal Kanchanjangha Noir black tea from Nepal Tea that came in my sips by box. 

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If you were wondering why I chose to make these tearamisu sweets in glasses it's because I made them for my sister and her husband for their wedding anniversary! They recently had a sweet babe who takes up a lot of their time and I wanted to make sure they had something special to enjoy on their special day!

One thing I learned in the layering process is that I used wayyy too much cream on the bottom so I wasn't left with much for the top and as you can see below some of the lady finger mixed with the cream. Luckily you get to cover it up !

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I broke the lady fingers in half to fit the glass but if you use something larger or place it in a regular serving dish you wont have to do this. 

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For the top I  used a combination of cocoa powder and cinnamon! I think you can definitely experiment in this area and top it with other things! I already have plans to make a matcha one! 

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Don't let the glasses fool you, there is plenty of marscapone cream and ladyfingers to go around in that glass!

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This is seriously such a simple, quick and delicious dessert to make for any occassion!

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Black Tea Infused Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm constantly trying recipes by one of my favorite food bloggers, A cozy kitchen. I LOVE cookies and I LOVE bourbon so when I saw her recipe for bourbon chocolate chip and pecan cookies I knew I had to try it and had to find a way to incorporate tea into it!

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One of the easiest ways I've found to incorporate tea into cookie recipes is if they have butter or milk in them! This recipe calls for melted butter (yasss!) so when you melt it for the recipe, you can just throw some tea in it to infuse the butter and strain it before using it in the recipe. For this recipe I used some black tea from Heirloom Tea Company that came in my Sips by box :)

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There are a few glorious things about this recipe. First, it combines some of my favorite things including bourbon, chocolate chips and pecans! I used bittersweet chocolate chips and it's such a great bite of flavor with the nuts. 

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Second, I didn't mention this in the recipe but you'll see some salt flakes in my photos and also on the original recipe linked above. The salt flakes were something in the original recipe and I baked these cookies twice using the flakes and not using the flakes. If you are the type of person who like sea salt + sweets, USE THE FLAKES! SO GOOD!

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Finally, I want to give credit to A Cozy Kitchen for solving the cookie crisis. The cookie crisis (to me at least) is always wanting cookies but never wanted to bake one or two dozen. In her post she talks about her process which is making this batch, cooking what she wants and freezing the rest. She scoops the dough and places them in the freezer and anytime you want one or maybe two cookies you can just pull that many balls of dough out and enjoy! This was an amazing hack but also super dangerous for a cookie monster like me. Enjoy!

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Jasmine Cake

One of my favorite bloggers recently did a lemon cake with these gorgeous flowers on top. This cake came to mind when I got my new Sipsby box and was debating on what to make. I haven't made a cake in a while and I've been craving it!

I decided jasmine was the tea I needed to make the cake with because of it's lovely aroma but also was stuck on what kind of cake to make. I didn't want to make a cake with any powerful flavors that would overpower the jasmine. I looked up the lemon cake I mentioned earlier and saw that there were some easy substitutions I could do to make this jasmine cake work! You can check out her original recipe here (and all her other delicious recipes!) 

I was really excited about this recipe because Jasmine is such a delicate flavor and I think it would go well in the cake and the aroma would just be a lovely addition to it as well. I brewed the jasmine a little longer than suggested so that the flavor and aroma would be more potent in the cake since there will only be two tablespoons of it. 

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I was also excited to add the crushed jasmine in because this is a fun way to add some texture. You should make sure that the leaves are thoroughly crushed so that it's almost like powder! 

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The cakes ended up being very fluffy and delicious! I made two different shapes because I let a family member borrow one of my cake pans so I only had these two. It turned out well! 

You may have noticed that I didn't include a frosting recipe in this post and here's why. If you look at the original recipe linked above she uses an elderberry buttercream type frosting. I thought it would be good with the jasmine and it wasn't bad but it wasn't quite right. I would suggest creating a light flavored buttercream like maybe honey flavored to go with the jasmine cake.  

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This cake + tea was SO GOOD. Such a wonderful combination to have after dinner as a little treat!. 

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Tea Affogato!

I'll be honest, until recently I didn't know what affogato was :D I have been seeing it more and more as the weather had gotten hotter and finally looked it up. I thought, this can be done with tea and of course tea affogato was also a thing that people do so I wanted to give it a spin. 

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Tea taste tests are fun because you can compare different flavors all next to each other. I decided to take the jasmine pearls, almond chai and sweet matcha from my sipsby box and pour them over one type of ice cream. 

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It had been a long time since I made homemade ice cream and wanted to give it another try. You will see the recipe for cardamom ice cream at the bottom of this post and yay for people who don't eat dairy, it's made with cashew milk!

I chose the main flavor of the ice cream to be cardamom because for me, although cardamom has a strong taste it is more or less a neutral ice cream that I think would pair well with any of these teas. I the amount of cardamom I used in my recipe was a lot and the ice cream was very fragrant and lovely! 

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A note about this ice cream. It's not a super creamy ice cream because it doesn't have cream. It's soft but also has more of an icy type texture. If you are able to find something like coconut cream or if you don't mind dairy any cream will work, adding cream to this recipe will make it more similar to ice cream you buy from the store. 

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Despite the ice cream not being super creamy it's delicious and lower calorie and it worked great for affogato! I was originally concerned that because it wasn't creamy that when I poured the hot tea in it, it would totally melt but that wasn't the case. Yay!

In terms of the flavor pairings, here is how I ranked them: 

  1. Almond chai
  2. Matcha
  3. Jasmine

The almond chai was my favorite because the nutty flavors of the chai paired so well with the cardamom. The chai was powerful enough to meet the flavor of the cardamom and it was definitely the one I finished first! The two flavors blended very well. 

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The matcha used is called "sweet matcha" and is sweetened with fruit. The ice cream itself isn't super sweet so this combo definitely gives you the sweetest outcome :) 

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The jasmine was 3rd but don't get it wrong, it was still yummy! The reason why this wasn't the top of my list is because generally the aroma of jasmine is so strong it isn't a favorite tea. I have started to enjoy jasmine a lot more but the aroma of the jasmine and the cardamom was too much for me. I will say that the jasmine tea is the combo where you could really taste the full flavor of the jasmine tea once mixed. The other two were a little more lost in the ice cream. 

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Venetian Tiramisu Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies and they are also a great cookie to infuse tea into! I've experimented before with making Chai Snickerdoodles and they were SO GOOD.

One of the teas I got in my sipsby box this month was a Venetian Tiramisu by Harney & Sons. This blend has a whole lot of goodness in it! The blend combines white tea, hojicha, cocoa, vanilla and brandy flavor. When I read the ingredients, I knew right away this would be a great tea for snickerdodles!

The method I love most for tea infusion in cookies is with the butter. I fee like when the butter is infused, you get the flavor coming through better than if you infuse milk or put the tea straight in the dough. 

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When making snickerdoodles or any cookies, I love using an ice cream scoop for size and also so that it makes less of a mess! 

One of the main parts of the snickerdoodle is rolling the dough in cinnamon sugar! 

I also added a tiny bit of nutmeg and ground cloves the cinnamon and sugar because all those flavors pair so wonderfully!

I wanted to show this picture to demonstrate different ways of baking your cookie. Once you have the rolled ball on your cookie sheet, It will have a nice finished look if you flatten them a bit. I did different variations of flattening to see the difference. The top cookie is flattened less than the bottom. The top cookie came out softer than the bottom but the bottom cookie looks a bit prettier because the flattened shape almost looks a bit like a cloud. 

Even though the more flattened cookie came out really pretty (below), I'm not a fan of crunchy cookies! I love soft the best, BUT these cookies were perfect for dunking in my tea which is something I also love to do. 

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Bangkok Chai Sugar Cubes

Chai Sugar.

Have you ever seen fancy sugar cubes?! Different flavors and shapes? I've been sent some and I've also seen them sold at a bunch of places. It's a simple way to make tea time fancier!

After researching how they're made, I decided that the Bangkok chai I got in my sipsby box would be perfect because it's not your typical chai blend! This chai blend from Kleff tea has Black tea, cinnamon bark, ginger root, cardamom pods, lemon grass, dried coconut in it!

In my recipe I mention using up to one tablespoon of tea. You may need less than this but definitely not more than this! I didn't actually measure the amount I used completely but it wasn't a lot. What I did was added a tiny amount of tea then I would mix, mix, mix and see how much more I needed. I read somewhere that it should be like damp sand, not wet sand and I think that is a great way to think about it!

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Probably the most important note, MAKE SURE YOUR TEA IS COOL. If your tea is hot, it will melt the sugar and all you will have is sweetened tea! I crushed up some of the chai and put it in the sugar as well to give it a fun look but this is not required!

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I used this mini donut tray that I have for baking but you can use anything! These are quite large for a sugar cube so I would suggest finding a small candy mold if you can. 

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The best tool that I found for packing these is my hand! Get your fingers a little sugary so that you can really put pressure on the sugar and pack it in!

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I put my mold near my heater to speed up the drying process but you don't have to! Smaller molds will definitely be ready quicker. 

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These are super cute and fragrant! I think they would be a great gift as well :) 

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Chai Cookie Sandwiches with Cinnamon Buttercream Filling

Oh my Chai. 

Soooooo, I know those butter cookies with the heart cutouts and jelly centers are a popular choice on valentine's day but I decided to go a different route...chai! I posted these cookies on my instagram on 2/14 without the recipe because I mentioned how it was "selfish" baking aka I didn't take a lot of photos and I didn't write the recipe. I made a batch of these to give out to my family, friends and coworkers on valentine's day. After asking on instagram if people would be interested in the recipe, all the YES PLEASE comments convinced me to write it up!

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Something to note about cutting shapes with this dough, it's not easy. There is a high butter content in this dough so it's very soft. I used flour on the rolling pin, work surface and the dough itself to make rolling this dough out a little easier. Even with the flour, you have to be very careful when working with this dough so that it doesn't break! If you want to avoid the hassle, I would suggest balling up small amounts of dough and gently flatening them (not all the way) to make the two halves of the sandwich! 

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In terms of your choice of chai, it's up to you. Remember that when you infuse tea in butter It really gets the flavor of whatever tea you're working with! For these I used a chai I had which is a white chocolate pumpkin chai, the pumpkin flavor came through well. If you need a reminder on how to infuse the butter with tea, it's very simple! Melt the butter in a pan, once it's melted take it off the stove and place your tea in the butter. I like to keep the tea in the butter until it's fragrant! Strain your tea and then let the butter solidify, I find it useful to put in the freezer to make the process faster. 

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Don't throw away your tea leaves after you strain the butter! What I did to get this fun texture is took some of the leaves, chopped them up fine and threw them in the dough. Be careful to take out any hard chunks like cardamom, pepper etc. This is totally optional but I thought it added a pretty design to the cookies!

These are the heart shaped cookies I made on valentine's day, very festive! Making the heart shapes was definitely easier than making the teapot shapes!

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Just for reference, in one of these batches I used bread flour because it was all I had and all I did differently was use 2 egg yolks instead of one egg, the cookies were just as good and soft :) 

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Did I mention that the best part about these cookies is how soft they are?? It's very easy to take a bite out of them! No crunching here!

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I wasn't specific about the filling because everyone has their own preferences. I beat the butter then gradually added cinnamon and powdered sugar until it was stiff enough to stay but not runny when spreading. If you get to a point where you overdid the sugar and it's too stiff, add a tiny bit of milk of your choice to loosen it up. 

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I was a little lazy with the designs, I had on hand these store bought frosting that come in an easy squeeze bag and used that to make the swirls on both sets of cookies :) 

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