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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Ceylon Infused Old Fashioned

You may or may not be surprised but I infused my fav ceylon with my fav, bourbon! I then made an old fashioned because I needed a fancy drink that day! 

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Let me back up, the idea had always intrigued me but I was given the extra push by my friend Lu Ann from The Tea Cup Of Life who infused oolong into her wine! I saw it and thought how cool it was but how I didn't have wine nor did I really like wine. I decided that the obvious choice was bourbon and that why not infuse my everyday tea with it, ceylon! 

Something important to note, aromas are so important when drinking and the fact that my ceylon tea has bergamot oil in it, is a game changer!

I wanted to wake up the tea leaves before infusing the bourbon so I ran warm (not hot) water over them. You should be able to see just like with another black tea especially, some of the warm liquid showing color of the leaves. If the water is coming out of your strainer clear, turn up the heat of the water a little bit. 

For comparison from left to right: Brewed ceylon, non infused bourbon, Ceylon infused bourbon

For comparison from left to right: Brewed ceylon, non infused bourbon, Ceylon infused bourbon

Next I simply put about a tablespoon of the leaves into the pot and covered it with bourbon. For a drink like Bourbon, I didn't use a lot of alcohol because it's not like wine where you can fill your glass to the top and drink it. I simply poured enough bourbon to cover the leaves. This also proves for a very strong infusion so if you want it less potent, decrease the amount of tea leaves. 

I left the leaves and bourbon to mingle all night and in the morning when I took a small sip, BAM ceylon flavored bourbon. I think that they two flavors paired well with each other and that's why it's so successful. I also think a puer would be ideal for a darker liquor like bourbon. 

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I had this strong infused bourbon and thought that it was perfect for an old fashioned. Throw some bitters and brown sugar in a glass then add the infusion! I decided to garnish it with a date because the normal orange rind would interfere with the flavors. Taking nibbles of the date between sips was also delicious! 

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Charlie Grey Shortbread Sandwiches

One of my favorite parts of starting Tea Thoughts is all the other amazing small business owners that I've encountered on my journey. Most of these people I've met through instagram, and have formed bonds with. My IG tribe. These are inspirational women who like me, were not satisfied and have gone out on their own to start a business and pursue their passions. Kristen from Tea For Three is a one woman show creating organic tea blends in the big apple! 

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I recently purchased her Charlie Grey blend of black tea and bergamot essence, my fav combo! I decided to create some shortbread with this tea and make it more savory than sweet. I have a whoopie pie pan and thought it would be fun to use that to make sandwiches! 

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If you don't have this pan, you can always use a round cookie cutter to get the same effect. The other way you can get this effect is by refrigerating your dough in a log shape and cutting off thin pieces. I don't include refrigeration in my recipe because I like it better when the cookies are a but crumbly but if a cookie that stays together better I highly suggest refrigerating the log for 20-30 minutes. 

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The downside to baking them the way I did without refrigeration is that they are more fragile but I enjoy the crumbly nature of them. You can see in the photo below the spices in the recipe are present in the cookie. The nutmeg and clove give the cookies a more savory flavor, as opposed to a sweet cookie!

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I used two types of toppings for my sandwiches to see which went best with the flavor of the shortbread. I tried a jam and also a turkey and cheese combo. 

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I thought that the savory taste of the sandwiches would mean that the turkey and cheese was better suited but I actually enjoyed the jam better on these! 

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As sandwiches these are a bit messy once you bite into them but I enjoy a softer cookie to a tougher cookie!

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Now, if you try these and decide you like them but want a sweeter version, the transition is easy enough! You could simply add more honey into the batter. I would also suggest substituting the cloves and nutmeg for something a bit sweeter like cinnamon. 

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The charlie grey blend is versatile enough to go well with sweet or savory! 

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Tea Infused Biscuits & Butter

Tea Biscuits.

One of my favorite things to make when I first started baking was scones! They were one of my favorite foods to have with a cup of tea! When I was trying to decide what to make with my Sips by teas, I remembered that I have never made any biscuits when enjoying tea. The sunset red from teabook was perfect because its a darker tea and has sweeter notes. 

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I was of course excited about brewing this tea in my gaiwan! I really love the little packets they came in, perfect for one serving! I wanted my tea to be really strong so that the flavor would be present in the biscuits so I used 3 of the packets but feel free to use as much or as little tea as you like depending on how strong of a flavor you want! 

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I did strain the tea but I always like to leave a few leaves in there for fun :) 

This is a really dry batter that makes thick but yummy biscuits! There is baking powder in the batter so these will rise even if the batter is less thick. I think it would be safe to decrease the flour a little bit to get fluffier muffins. Next time I may also either infuse the tea into milk to use in the recipe or simply add milk little by little to loosen up the batter. 

As far as sugar, it's up to you on how sweet you want to make these. I used only one tablespoon in mine which made these slightly more savory and using up to 4 tablespoons would make them sweet, your choice!

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Make sure to enjoy these sooner rather than later! I tasted these right when they came out of the oven and also later. They are good in both cases but I really liked when they were warm out of the oven. 

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Tea infused butter! I've written about this on my blog before because it's an easy way to get tea into a recipe since most recipes include butter! All you have to do is melt the butter, throw the tea in to brew, strain and then let it cool, it will congeal. As far as brewing time, I always wait until the butter becomes fragrant. 

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I used all sorts of delicious teas for my butter, here is the list! 

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The tea infused butter is a fun addition and would be a great party appetizer to have the biscuits and the different butter flavors! 

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Fruity Black Tea Pops

Berry Delicious!

When it comes to tea pops, you can get really versatile! I've tried a bunch of different flavors and decided to try one of my favorites, black tea!

I was thrilled to try the liquid leaf house breakfast tea and use it in these tea pops! This tea is in tea bags so it's much easier to brew the tea and include it in the tea pops. 

When I make a smoothies I usually add in some sort of liquid or yogurt and for these pops I just replace that with brewed tea. I used two tea bags where I would normally use one because I don't want the black tea flavor to get lost in the strong fruit flavors. 

I used a blender because frozen fruit is so much easier to work with once it's blended. I love to use mixed berries and a banana for sweetener. 

This mixture comes out pretty thick and is very fruity tasting but with a hint of the black tea flavor. 

Tiramisu Truffles

Unicorn Truffles. 

If you saw my post about the Sips by subscription box, know that I have a bunch of interesting teas to work with! Although truffles are pretty simple and classic, I couldn't resist using the Pinky Up Tiramisu blend to make truffles. With black tea, cocoa, white chocolate, cinnamon and a few coffee beans, how could I not make truffles?!

These take time to make due to refrigeration time but they are so so simple! What you end up with is a perfectly chocolate packed little ball. The tiramisu tea adds that black tea flavor and the cinnamon is an excellent addition to this classic dessert.  

Lesson Learned: Chop, chop chop that chocolate up! I'm not sure what I was thinking leaving it that large. smaller pieces will melt a lot easier and your mixing arm will thank you! 

Rolling: Even though the truffle mixture had been in the refrigerator for hours and had solidified, it melted FAST! I would suggest cooling whatever instrument you use to scoop out the balls to help slow the melting a little bit. 

When choosing your rolling topping, I think you should be a little adventurous! Cocoa is a very common coating but these truffles are hardcore chocolate flavored. Adding in a different type of coating gives them more depth in the flavor department.

As you can see I used some fun sprinkles to roll the majority of my truffles. These are of course from my favorite sprinkle shop, Tiny Kitchen Treats! She not only makes fun names for all of her sprinkles but they actually TASTE good. They taste real. A lot of sprinkles I've bought from the store have a strange flavor to them. 

The tiramisu tea was excellent in these truffles, it was almost like biting into a piece of tiramisu. Flavors were more dominated by chocolate but the notes of coffee were there. This blend has both black tea and coffee so it smells AMAZING and your truffles will hold that aroma as well. Make sure that when you're heating the cream with the tea that you let it get hot enough that the cream is actually brewing the tea or the entire addition of the tea is pointless.  

If you could roll your truffles in whatever flavor you wanted, what would it be?! 

Sips by Tea Subscription Box

Sips on Sips.

One of the best parts of joining the world of tea is realizing that I'm not alone!! Growing up a tea drinker in the US was often lonely. My friends would get so excited to go to starbucks and I would dread it because tea bags can't hold a candle to my beloved loose leaf. I've tried to like coffee, but it doesn't suit me. Then I became a tea blogger...

There are so many wonderful bloggers and businesses who are run by their passion for tea, like me! It seems like I can't even go a few days without discovering someone new. Most recently I've collaborated with Sips by and It's been awesome!

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When you sign up for a Sips by account or login with facebook you will be asked about your tea preferences and what I loved about it was how comprehensive it was. It not only asks about teas but also about flavors. If you have a strong preference against a certain flavor for example (fruity for me!) you can note that and it won't be in your box. Meaning you won't get any teas you don't like! Yay!

After speaking with Staci, one of the founders of Sips by, I found out there is also a human element to the creation and choosing of the samples. The algorithm that uses your preferences to make tea decisions is just a baseline. Sips by will also look at these results and make sure they are accurate to the flavor profiles. 

As someone who loves dark sweet teas I was SO happy with my box selections! Tiramisu black tea?? Are you kidding me?? YUM!

I got 2 black teas, one green tea and a pu er tea! This was a jackpot especially because I've recently fallen in love with Pu-er tea and I've never tried a sencha before. 

Probably one of the best parts about Sips by is the true partnership between these brands. Once you are a subscriber you have access to coupons to their brand partners! Let's pretend you got your box and loved a tea blend in it, you can get yourself another batch of it at a discount, just for being a subscriber. How cool is that? 

I'm glad I got this excellent haul from Sips by and boy oh by is it tea time! If you're a tea lover it's definitely time to check this company out! Look out for some fun recipe collaborations between Sips by and Tea Thoughts coming your way soon :) 

You will get 4 personalized teas a month that will make 15 cups of tea (or 45 re steeped) for only $15 ! Start your subscription with Sibs by today!