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. 

2708-2018-085213977963841186.jpeg

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!

2708-2018-084913975145432645.jpeg

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 :) 

2708-2018-084613972198747958.jpeg

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! 

2708-2018-084513970954299209.jpeg

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! 

2708-2018-084713973626306239.jpeg

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! 

2708-2018-084213968408083845.jpeg

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. 

2708-2018-084413969713059210.jpeg

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. 

Halva.jpg

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!

DSC_0076.JPG

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!

DSC_0096 (1).JPG

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. 

DSC_0098 (1).JPG

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 !

DSC_0102 (1).JPG

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. 

DSC_0108 (1).JPG

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! 

DSC_0136.JPG

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

DSC_0131.JPG

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

Tiramisu.jpg

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!

1108-2018-075857760807925046.jpeg

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 :)

1108-2018-075257754413667600.jpeg

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. 

1108-2018-075357755689418902.jpeg

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!

1108-2018-075757759566091922.jpeg

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!

Bourbon Cookies.jpg

Tea Infused Facial Ice Cubes

I want to start this out by saying that I'm not certified in any way to give beauty type advice! I see things and I like to give them a try and I'll share my experiments with yall :) 

I've always enjoyed cooling pads on my face but then I saw that facial icing is a thing, I wanted to give it a try! 

I got this lovely herbal tea in my Sipsby box and knew it would be a perfect base! This Herbal Infusion called Golden Joy by Flower Girl Apothecarie has chamomile, Lemon Balm and rosehips.

2907-2018-070332448794388545.jpeg

A little run down of the ingredients: 

  • Chamomile is said to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. 
  • Lemon Balm is said to help calm, heal, sooth and tighten skin.
  • Rose Hips are said to aid in the regeneration of skin. 

I also decided to add a few other ingredients. Manuka honey is also supposed to have great skin benefits like helping with inflammation and healing skin. I often just smear manuka honey on red areas of my face and it's very helpful!

Lavender is something that I like to include mostly for the lovely aroma but it again, has great anti-inflammatory properties as well!

2907-2018-070532450062458649.jpeg

There was already rose hips in the tea but I decided to crush up some rose petals to add them as well to have some physical rose in the cubes. This way, it adds a bit of texture :) 

2907-2018-075632442193335526.jpeg

I've done this before and really liked the larger ice cubes so I make the mixture in one container, freeze it then break up the bigger block into smaller ones. 

2907-2018-075832443493170266.jpeg

When I use these, they melt fast so it's great to hold the ice in a napkin or cloth. The cold really helps cool your face and wakes you up so I enjoy using these in the morning. 

2907-2018-071232457283781042.jpeg
2907-2018-071532460260831614.jpeg

I've read that facial icing not only can help with inflammation and skin tightening but can also possibly help decrease the size of your pores which is awesome! 

2907-2018-070632451556643804.jpeg
Facial Icing.jpg

 

 

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. 

2107-2018-120331438998487209.jpeg

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! 

2107-2018-120931445330774446.jpeg

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.  

2107-2018-120431440420756688.jpeg

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

2107-2018-125931435043303148.jpeg
Copy of Copy of afternoon tonic.jpg

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. 

2806-2018-070453994228607002.jpeg

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. 

2806-2018-071254002367316582.jpeg

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! 

2806-2018-071154001100133511.jpeg

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. 

2806-2018-070353992829654919.jpeg

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. 

2806-2018-071754007547320955.jpeg

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 :) 

2806-2018-070853998286288095.jpeg

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. 

tea affogato.jpg

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. 

2205-2018-07493938405771282.jpeg

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. 

2205-2018-07513940757665499.jpeg

Matcha Mint Julep + Matcha Giveaway!

Mondays can be kinda lame right???! Don't worry! I have a fun drink recipe and a giveaway for you! I used Meiko Matcha from Matchaeologist to create a Matcha Mint Julep! Enter the giveaway at the bottom of my post!

2804-2018-100945079444051128.jpeg

For this recipe I used crushed ice, bulleit bourbon, mint sprigs, brown sugar and matcha!

2804-2018-100845078347308785.jpeg

Place in your glass several mint sprigs, brown sugar to taste and one shot of bourbon. Muddle all these ingredients until well mixed. Add crushed ice on top of this mixture.

2804-2018-100745077149807952.jpeg

For the matcha, you can either brew it hot and let it cool down or brew with cool water. For a cocktail I prefer cool water. Make sure your matcha is sifted as it will integrate better into the water. Using the chashaku, sift 2 scoops of matcha into a glass or tea pot. Pour a little bit of cool water over it, enough to make a paste when whisked. 

Once you have a paste like consistency, pour a little more water and whisk until combined. You want the matcha to be strong in the drink so I suggest not using more than 1/4 cup -1/2 cup depending on how many drinks you're making. Pour water little by little and whisk and stop when mixture is smooth. 

Add matcha to the drink, stir and enjoy! You can win a can of meiko matcha, just enter below!

2804-2018-100645075997434671.jpeg

Chai Rooibos Night Toner

I'm back with more beauTEA DIY for you to try! Keep in mind that mother's day is coming up so you may want to try this and if it works out, then BOOM you have a fun and homemade gift for mom :) 

2104-2018-123629106189311782.jpeg
2104-2018-123829108345254438.jpeg

I'm not the biggest fan of rooibos, I've definitely had blends that I enjoy but it isn't my tea of choice. However, rooibos has so many wonderful health benefits including helping your skin! The anti inflammatory properties in rooibos is seen to have wonderful effects on helping to reduce acne and eczema. Considering all that, I thought that this would be the perfect candidate for a toner! 

2104-2018-123529105045403085.jpeg
2104-2018-123229101875942982.jpeg

The rooibos I used has chai elements in it as well which only add to the skin benefits and give it a nice aroma! When I started these beauTEA recipes I bought lavender essential oil and rosehip oil and they have been so versatile in all my recipes! I would encourage you however to feel free to replace these oils with other essential oils you have or that you prefer. I think any oils that have positive skin benefits would be beneficial in this toner. 

2104-2018-123129100869720742.jpeg

A word about the coconut oil, this is a little different from the other essential oils and I need you to know that if you don't melt the coconut oil it will congeal in the toner. I also would encourage you to not put more than my suggested amount into the toner because my first try I put more and it was a bit too oily. 

2104-2018-124129110540467198.jpeg

I like to put coconut oil on my skin at night before bed so that 1) I'm not walking around with an oily face during the day and 2) I think it really refreshes my skin for the morning. I made this a nighttime toner for this very reason. Put some on your face in the evening and feel like a goddess in the morning! 

afternoon tonic (2).jpg

I bet you're probably wondering if this toner will make your skin the color of the rooibos and when I put it on my face several times, I didn't find my skin to change color at all!

I created this fun little label that you can download and use!   

1.jpg
2.jpg

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! 

1904-2018-07559184910242501.jpeg

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. 

1904-2018-07539183013479168.jpeg

 

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! 

1904-2018-07549184037636459.jpeg