Monday, December 17, 2007

Chewy Chai Tea Cookies

Again I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe... from America's Test Kitchen... a very versatile sugar cookie recipe guaranteed to yield good results. I checked on the contents of "chai tea," came up with a spice blend...


2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cardammom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cinammon
2 tea bags of black tea (English Breakfast or Irish) cut open tea bags and grind leaves into a fine powder in a coffee grinder

1 c granulated sugar + 1/4 c more to coat outside of cookies
1 egg
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, spices, and ground tea leaves.
In an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until well incorporated.
Gradually add dry ingredients.
Set aside a small dish with about 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Scoop dough balls out with a small ice cream scoop and roll each one in sugar to coat and place on baking sheet.
Press each ball flat with the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup coated with cooking spray.
Bake for 10 mins.

Everyone agreed that these cookies really do taste like chai tea! A plus: they are soft and chewy, my favorite kind of cookie!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

German "Partybrot"- crazy bread

This is a decorative bread that I found in Treuille & Ferrigno's book entitled "Ultimate Bread."
It's a lot of fun to make... It's a nice book with good photos and instruction... though I wouldn't recommend trying their method for making a sourdough starter...

Sweet Potato Rolls

(Shaping, Slashing w/ scissors, dorure, and the finished product)

This recipe was passed on to me by Emma C. of Littlechefbigknife


2 TBS yeast
1/2 c warm (tepid) water
2 TBS honey
4 TBS white sugar
4 TBS brown sugar
3 TBS unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3 1/2 - 4 c all purpose flour
1 c sweet potatoes, mashed
2 TBS dorure (egg+milk wash to glaze the tops... 1 yolk and a splash of milk will do)


Combine yeast and water and allow to proof. Combine honey, sugars,
butter, salt, eggs, and add to yeast mixture. Stir in 2 cups flour and
then add sweet potatoes and blend. Add remaining flour. Knead for
several minutes, keep sprinkling with flour to prevent sticking. Let rise until doubled, covered in plastic wrap.
Punch down and let rest several minutes.
Twist and pull the dough into a long snake and cut in 12-14 equal pieces. Shape into 12 to 14 rolls and place in a ring in two buttered 9-inch
pyrex pie dishes (or any other baking dish. Or you can just space them
out on a sheet pan, honestly). Rolls will 'grow together' as they
proof. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.

Dorure (brush with egg wash) and bake for 20 minutes.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Green Tea & Ginger Brownies

So they're not very pretty... sort of like the Incredible Hulk meets Duncan Hines!
It's a basic cream cheese brownie recipe with matcha powder added to the cream cheese swirl mixture. Then, after baking and tasting, I found that the brownies needed something to cut the plant-y flavor of the green tea. So I added a sugary glaze and some candied ginger on top.

Ingredients for brownie base:

1/3 c all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 stick of unsalted butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for Green Tea Swirl:

8 oz Cream cheese
2 + 1/2 tsp green tea matcha powder
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 egg yolk

Ingredients for the ginger topping:

1/2 c confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Roughly 1/3 c Candied Ginger pieces


Preheat oven to 350.
Line an 8 x 8 " baking dish with tin foil so that edges of foil overhang by 2". Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
Set a double boiler over low heat and melt chocolate and butter together.
Whisk in sugar.
Set aside and allow it to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, soften the cream cheese in the microwave on low power for about 2 mins. Place in an electric mixer and beat in the sugar and egg yolk. Add matcha powder and vanilla and beat until well combined.
Add the eggs one at a time to the chocolate mixture and whisk well. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until well incorporated. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Drop evenly spaced 1 Tbsp dollops of green tea swirl batter on top of the brownie batter. With a table knife, run through each dollop vertically and horizontally a few times to make a swirl pattern.
Bake for 50-60 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Prepare the glaze: put confectioners sugar in a small bowl. Add Cream, 1 Tbsp at at a time. (Depending on the humidity in your kitchen, you may need to add more or less cream to achieve desired consistency). Add vanilla extract.
Spread glaze over brownies when they are cooled and top with candied ginger pieces.