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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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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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?!

Chai Pumpkin Pie

Spicy Pie.

I'm not much of a pie maker but for Thanksgiving I make an exception! I wanted "spice up" the normal pumpkin pie recipe I use and turned to my good old friend Wight Tea Co for their Chai! You're probably thinking, oh gosh here she goes again about that Chai. Seriously, IT IS THE BEST. My friend Brittany, who is the boss lady behind Wight Tea Co got the blend just right! 

Chai tea milk, yum. 

Chai tea milk, yum. 

First thing I did was find out how to use regular milk instead of sweetened condensed or evaporated. Regular milk is key so that you can heat it (not boil) and place the leaves in the milk to brew. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 eggs slightly beaten

  • 2 cups pumpkin (maybe a bit more) 

  • 2 tablespoons Wight Tea Co Chai

  • 1/4 cup milk (heat and brew tea then drain) 

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon flour

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

I used a Jiffy pie crust mix. It's super simple, just add water and roll out! Next time I think Ill get two boxes so that I can make a pretty dough braid around the edge!

Stir together eggs, pumpkin and milk. Make sure that after you brew the tea in the milk, you let it cool before adding it to the mix. 

Add in flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and cloves. Mix. 

Pour batter into the pie shell! If you want the crust to brown better you can cover it in egg wash. 

Bake at 375 for about an hour. depending on your oven it may take less time than this so check often! You can also try baking at 425 for 15 minutes then reducing the oven to 350 and baking for about 30 minutes. 

Yay! 

Do you have a special ingredient you include in your pumpkin pie like this chai? Share with me!

Mile High Chai Muffins

You have to Chai these!

Are you in the mood for muffins? Who am I kidding? Muffin mood is 24/7! When I received this Mile High Chai from The Tea Spot., I couldn't help but smell the spicy goodness and decide to make muffins with it!

Let's take a second to admire this gorgeous tea. This blend includes black tea, ginger root, cinnamon, allspice, peppercorn, cloves and natural chai flavoring. 

This is a very basic muffin recipe that I adapted to include tea! There were a few things that didn't go as planned and I have included them at the end of the recipe for your consideration, make sure to read the whole recipe before starting to bake! 

Ingredient list:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar **
  • 2 tablespoons of Mile High Chai
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg**
  • Extra raw brown sugar for sprinkling
  • Paper liners **

** See notes at end of recipe 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Heat milk, add in 2 tablespoons of Mile High Chai. Let steep then drain milk. I used the insert of the brewing mug from The Tea Spot
  3. Mix together all the dry ingredients
  4. Lightly beat all the wet ingredients together (make sure the milk has cooled) 
  5. Add wet mixture to dry mixture 
  6. Mix until combined, do not over mix
  7. Fill liners 3/4 full and sprinkle sugar on top
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick or fork comes out dry when muffin is poked 

Lessons: 

  1. Increase 2 tablespoons of sugar to 1/2 cup sugar
  2. Either grease paper liners or use silicone baking cups 
  3. Next time I might consider adding one additional egg to the recipe to make the outcome a bit more moist

I liked the idea of low sugar recipe but definitely could stand for them to be a bit sweeter, especially because these don't have frosting! 

The applesauce makes them dense but I prefer this slightly healthier option by replacing the butter. 

I liked the chai flavoring in the muffins, very subtle but adds to the spiciness. I think these tea muffins would go great with a glass of black tea! Perfect for dunking :) 

As mentioned in my notes, I didn't anticipate the batter sticking to the paper liners so much but this can always be fixed! 

Despite some of the hiccups, these turned out wonderfully. Yet again I'm reminded that tea is not just for drinking. What a wonderful item that can consumed in so many different ways. This mile high chai was especially perfect for muffins because of the ginger and peppercorn flavor in the blend, a fall fav! 

What is your favorite tea recipe?! Ill be sharing more of these types of posts so stay tuned!

Chai Tea Shortbread Cookies

Tea is for more than drinking.

Until I get my hands on some matcha I'm going to keep baking cupcakes and cookies with the tea in my collection because the result is oh so good! 

This chai tea from Wight Tea Co has to be one of the best chai teas I've ever had so I thought to myself, this will probably be delicious in cookies!

Artsy Flour Shot

Artsy Flour Shot

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter salted
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon chai tea crushed up
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (optional) 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. This all depends on your oven. Mine is really hot so I have it on 350 but if your oven isn't as strong you could stand to put it up to 375
  2. Mix the butter and sugar then add in the vanilla.
  3. Separably combine flour and chai tea. Add the dry ingredients to the butter, sugar and vanilla.  
  4. Form the dough into a log shape to fit the size you want your cookies to be. Wrap with saran wrap and freeze for 20-40 min.
  5. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and cut your cookies to desired thickness. Bake for 11 minutes.

OPTIONAL

  1. Melt chocolate chips with a double boiler or a bowl over a pan of boiling water. 
  2. Dip cooled cookies in melted chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt