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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Orange Chai Bourbon

I'm back with another Owl's Brew Raddler drink recipe! This one has a little bit of a kick! The raddler used in this recipe is a seasonal one called Short and Stout. The stout is blended with Chai spices, coconut and pineapple. YUM! I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned my beer preferences before but I'm a stout lover, and a chai lover so this flavor was made for me!

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You're probably like UGH she is using Bourbon again?! Let me tell you why though! Besides being a total unabashed bourbon lover, it goes well with so many flavors! The spiciness of chai specifically goes well with bourbon in my experience. 

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This is a super simple recipe but has an important step that I think unlocks all sorts of flavors. To start the drink off you want to add the orange slice FIRST then pour the bourbon over the orange. When you let these two sit for a few minutes they are getting the chance to know each other better and mixing their flavors up :)

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HERE'S THE MOST IMPORTANT PART! Take a spoon, muddler or whatever you can find and mash that orange and bourbon together!!! Not only are you mixing the flavors but the pulp gives the drink an extra punch and more texture. 

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An orange garnish is perfect for any orange lover who wants to squeeze a little extra juice in their drink. 

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All these flavors go really well together and the bourbon gives it a kick! When Mr. Tea Thoughts tried it he said, " It tastes like fall in a cup!" Enjoy your orange chai bourbon fall in a cup! 

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Chai Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

Dairy Free!

I'll be honest, I don't usually post dairy free or gluten free recipes because it's not something that is part of my diet and my family and I are the ones who eat the end products of these blog posts. BUT, I found an easy dairy free ice cream recipe and decided to give it a try :) 

The Chai Box sent me this blend called sweet monsoon and I was so intrigued because there are mango and coconut pieces in it! A fun twist on traditional chai. 

It's a beautiful and fragrant blend!  Opening the package I was engulfed in the sweet aroma of the blend and it was teasing me throughout the whole ice cream making process!

You may have noticed I used the entire sample of the blend in my recipe because I wanted the flavor to stick out among the coconut milk and cashews which can be overpowering! 

I don't have a fancy or high powered blender but it worked fine! I suggest crushing up the cashews a bit first then adding in the other ingredients. The cashews should be soaked overnight so they are soft and shouldn't be a problem to blend. 

Do you see the frost on the container? I like to freeze the container beforehand to speed up the process of the ice cream making. I don't have an ice cream maker to use and my process is noted in the recipe below but if you have an ice cream maker this recipe is even easier!

I HAD to roll the sides of the sandwich in chocolate chips because it reminded me of the chipwiches you get from the icecream truck! I made these chocolate chip cookies but you could easily just buy chocolate chip cookies for this purpose. 

It's best if you let these sit out for a few minutes to let them soften. After assembling each sandwich I wrapped it in plastic wrap and kept it in the freezer so when you first take it out it will be hard. Once the ice cream softens a bit it has a similar texture to regular ice cream. 

The chai adds a wonderful flavor to the cashews. If you're not a fan of cashews this may not be the recipe for you because there is definitely a strong flavor of cashews that comes through.

 Coconut and cashews is such a delicious combination, I will definitely be making this again! Have you ever tried dairy free ice cream? 

Turmeric Rooibos Chai Ginger Ale

Spicy Ginger!

I had the chance to try the Turmeric Rooibos Chai from Liquid + Leaf. This blend contains Organic rooibos, organic turmeric root, organic cinnamon, organic licorice root, organic black pepper, organic bourbon vanilla pieces, organic clove buds, organic cardamom seed, and organic marigold flowers. 

These liquid leaf loose leaf tea bags are easy to infuse into anything you want to make and would be great if you're on the go. I like to bake and cook sometimes with tea bags because they make less mess and removes a few steps from the process. 

I've recently been itching to make my own ginger ale and I found an easy method making syrup that is mixed with seltzer water. I thought that turmeric ginger chai would be an interesting flavor to add to the ginger ale. 

This is a very simple recipe and if you're a ginger lover this is for you! The ginger simmers so long in the water that this syrup turns up being very potent and delicious! 

I use a suggested amount of syrup but it's really your own preference. I think it will turn out best by using a tall glass or pitcher and adding in the syrup first and then filling it with the seltzer water. 

A note about this ginger ale. If you don't like the taste of turmeric, you may not like the taste of this drink. Turmeric is a heavy flavor in this drink along with the ginger. 

Have you ever made your own ginger ale?! 

Tea Pop Sampler!

Creamy Pops. 

In my last Sips By box I received two different chai teas. I was so excited because the flavors in "chai" are amazing. I love the combination of spices used. I was really excited because these chais were slightly different and it gave me an idea...a sampler! 

I had a chai blend from Cozy Leaf and also another tea blend called white chocolate samoa that I added to the sampler. 

Here are the 4 teas I used. I used 2 teaspoons of each tea. I think if you use a tablespoon the pops will taste even better!

  1. Cozy Leaf  Country Chai Spice
  2. Zhi Tea Cacai Chai
  3. Rishi Masala Chai
  4. The Necessiteas White Chocolate Samoa

Although chais tend to have similar characteristics, each of the 3 chais I used have something that stands out. The Zhi Tea has Peruvian cacao nibs, the masala has black pepper that is very prevalent in the flavor and the cozy leaf has anise! 

I added in the White chocolate samoa because it has coconut, caramel, and chocolate which I think can compliment the other 3 chai teas well without straying too much from the classic chai flavor. 

With these simple popsicles, feel free to add toppings or things to dip them in. I added coconut to some and also melted some salted dark chocolate to dip the popsicles in!

The milk in these blends gives the popsicles a creamy and more substantial taste than if it was the brewed tea alone. I think you easily substitute cow's milk here for any other type of milk you like. 

Each of these popsibles had their own flavor. As shown in the photos above, they all had different colors. I liked them each individually for different reasons but I think the Rishi tea was my favorite because of it's spicy flavor. It was a bit heavier than the other popsicles and I loved it! 

I had 8 mold and the tea was enough to fill 2 molds. I have to say that covering the popsicles in coconut flakes was my favorite. The white chocolate samoas had coconut in them but still taste great with a boost of coconut. 

Next up...boozy popsicles! What are your favorite types of popsicles?!