{A Little Tea Love} Dark Chocolate Chai Sugar Cookies

Guys, my house smells AMAZING.

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As you already know, I love chai. It’s pretty evident in some of the baking I do, like these Dark Chocolate Chai-infused Scones, but while those were just infused with the tea, I knew that it would be an awesome idea to go all out and just grind the tea up and use it in a recipe.

My go-to recipe for using ground up tea?

Cookies!

This recipe is a little different from the Earl Grey tea cookies I’ve made, but they’re equally delicious. The Dark Chocolate Chai adds a spiciness that is balanced out by the sugar, and using the Perfect Cup Spoon as your measuring device, they turn into the perfect little morsels to accompany your afternoon cup of tea.

Dark Chocolate Chai Sugar Cookies

These will be a big hit at your next tea party or get together — and definitely a conversation piece since they’re made with tea! If you’re not a fan of the Dark Chocolate Chai, you could use any other ground up tea. Toffee Crunch or Creme Carmello would work nicely, too.

Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Chai Sugar Cookies
Recipe adapted from Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
2 tbsp ground up Dark Chocolate Chai tea
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Sugar Topping: 
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground up Dark Chocolate Chai tea
1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the cookies: 
Cream together butter and sugars — add ground up Dark Chocolate Chai tea and mix well. Add in flour, baking soda, and salt and mix well. Add in egg and vanilla.

Using your perfect cup spoon, roll spoonfuls of batter into balls.

For the sugar topping: 
Mix together sugar, ground up Dark Chocolate Chai, and vanilla.

Roll balls in sugar mixture and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes or until cookies have risen and tops have started to crack. Let them cool slightly before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes about 45 perfect cup spoon sized cookies. Store in an airtight container.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Cupcake Queen, by Heather Hepler

Released: September 17, 2009 (Dutton Juvenile)
Author Links: WEB / GOODREADS
Source: Library

Challenge: 2012 Mixing It Up – Children’s and Young Adult
Buy Now From: Amazon

A confection of a novel, combining big city sophistication with small town charm. When her mother moves them from the city to a small town to open up a cupcake bakery, Penny’s life isn’t what she expected. Her father has stayed behind, and Mom isn’t talking about what the future holds for their family. And then there’s Charity, the girl who plays mean pranks almost daily. There are also bright spots in Hog’s Hollow–like Tally, an expert in Rock Paper Scissors, and Marcus, the boy who is always running on the beach. But just when it looks as though Penny is settling in, her parents ask her to make a choice that will turn everything upside down again. A sweet novel about love, creativity, and accepting life’s unexpected turns.

My Thoughts

I have to admit that I’m a sucker for any book that might have something to do with food. I absolutely love books that involve cooking or baking, even if they always give me the urge to cook or bake!

I noticed Heather Hepler’s book, The Cupcake Queen, while wandering through the teen section of my public library. I had already picked out a few books to take out, but when I saw the beautiful cupcakes on the cover, I couldn’t resist! Continue reading

ARC REVIEW: How to Cook Like a Man: A Memoir of Cookbook Obsession, by Daniel Duane

Released: May 8, 2012 (Bloomsbury)
Author Links: WEB / GOODREADS
Source: NetGalley, for review
Buy Now From: Amazon

When Daniel Duane became a father, this San Francisco surfer and climber found himself trapped at home with no clue how to contribute. Inept at so many domestic tasks, and less than eager to change diapers, he took on dinner duty. Duane had a few tricks: pasta, stir-fry … well, actually, those were his only two tricks. But he had a biographical anomaly: Chef Alice Waters had been his preschool teacher. So he cracked one of her Chez Panisse cookbooks and cooked his way through it. And so it went with all seven of her other cookbooks, then on to those of other famous chefs—thousands of recipes in all, amounting to an epic eight-year cooking journey. 

Butchering whole lambs at home, teaching himself to make classic veal stock, even hunting pigs in Maui and fishing for salmon in Alaska, Duane so thoroughly immersed himself in the modern food world that he met and cooked with a striking number of his heroes: writing a book with Alice Waters; learning offal cookery hands-on from the great Fergus Henderson; even finagling seven straight hours of one-on-one private lessons from the chef he admires above all others, Thomas Keller. 

Duane’s inimitable voice carries us through, with humor and panache, even through a pair of personal tragedies. Here is a writer who can make chopping an onion sound fun and fascinating. But there is more at stake in his wonderful memoir: In the end, Duane learns not just how to cook like a man, but how to be one.

My Thoughts

I am not the best chef. While my cookbook cabinet houses more than 30 cookbooks, I usually buy them for one or two recipes only. Sometimes I’ll find a cookbook that has many, many good recipes, but even then I’ll only make them once in a blue moon. I tend to prefer simplicity in the kitchen — spaghetti, eggs, soup, etc. I’ve just never had the patience for elaborate recipes, nor do I have the desire to spend all my money on ingredients for a recipe I might not even end up liking. Continue reading