Chai Spiced Scones

My regular readers know how much I love Chai tea! The warm spices, the flavour, the aroma. It lends its flavours well to baking. Now, I understand that Chai is very reminiscent of a Fall flavour, and we are currently in the middle of summer. Still, I think tea can be used year round, but I also believe that sometimes, you just need to make a recipe that uses the rest of the heavy cream in your fridge before it goes bad.

While some cool desserts were speaking to me, I just felt like a breakfast-type treat today. I found the original recipe here, and didn’t change a thing, except the glaze. I just simplified the glaze to a few less ingredients than called for. I also didn’t actually use Chai tea in this recipe, but Chai spice instead. I just have a jar of Chai spice in my pantry that was gifted to me, and it is incredible. Don’t fear, however! I will include the measurements of the regular spices just in case you don’t have Chai spice like I do.

These scones are good to make any time in the year, especially if you like the flavours of Chai.

Ingredients

Yield: 12 scones

For the scones:

3 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2½ tsp. Chai spice OR
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. cardamom
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ c. sugar
½ c. light brown sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 to 1 ½ c. cold heavy cream

For the glaze:

1 c. icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2-3 tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 425°F. Chill baking sheet in the fridge while preparing the dough.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add the sugars, and whisk again until well-combined.

In a large liquid measuring cup, add the cream, and whisk in the vanilla. Slowly add the cream to the dry ingredients (I needed the full 1½ cups of cream because my dough was a little bit dry) and fold together until a shaggy dough forms.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and pat dough into 1 large circle, or 2 small circles (depending on how big you want your scones). Cut the scones with a pizza roller, then remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and cover with parchment paper.

Place the scones on the baking sheet close to one another but not touching, and bake in the preheated oven for 16-17 minutes, until the tops are set and the edges are just beginning to turn golden brown. Remove from oven, and set on a wire rack to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients. If you like a thicker glaze, use less milk. If you like a thinner glaze, use more. Drizzle glaze slowly over the warm scones (and be aware that more glaze will run off if they are warm) so that the glaze sets, then serve.

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Sourdough Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s no secret I love sourdough! I am always trying to find new ways to use my sourdough starter in baking. Sure, I have my favourites, like these crackers, or these soft pretzels, but I’m always on the lookout for new uses.

When I realized that I needed to make some more sourdough bread, I was immediately looking for a new recipe to use with my discard starter. I hate throwing any sourdough starter away, so I think it’s a good plan to have some kind of recipe rotation of discard recipes that I can whip up when I need them.

This recipe was just what I needed. I had Paul peruse my Pinterest board (and I just minorly geeked out at my own alliteration… yay for being an English teacher!), and he said that these were the first things that sounded good. Perfect!

You can make these muffins with pantry staples. Also, if you are not a regular yogurt buyer, like me, just swap the yogurt out with more milk, or sour cream. I used sour cream, and added just a touch more sugar to offset the sour cream in the sourdough recipe.

These muffins take no time at all to make, and you can have fresh muffins on the table in less than an hour. Win-win!

Ingredients

Yield: 12-14 muffins

1 c. rolled oats
½ c. milk
½ c. plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. sourdough starter
1/3 c. sugar
1½ c. flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1/3 c. oil (I used canola)
1 egg, beaten
¾ c. chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, milk, yogurt, and vanilla. Make sure oats are thoroughly combined. Set aside to soften while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. (You can also do this step before preheating the oven, if desired.)

Stir the sourdough starter and the sugar into the oat mixture.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until combined.

Stir oil and egg into the oat mixture, and combine well.

Fold in dry ingredients until just mixed, then add the chocolate chips, and fold in again.

Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tin. For huge muffins, evenly divide all batter into muffin cups. I wanted normal-sized muffins, so I spooned about ¼ cup of batter into all cups. I had batter left over, (about 2 muffins worth), so I just greased a large ramekin, and made 1 jumbo muffin.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from muffin tin and cool on a wire rack.

Sourdough Biscuits

Who doesn’t love a biscuit warm from the oven slathered in butter? This girl right here has a huge soft spot for warm biscuits and butter. Because I’m not from the South, I love just butter, not gravy on my biscuits.

My faithful readers also know that I’m always on the hunt for a new sourdough recipe, and especially ones that use the discard starter, instead of fed, active starter. I’m a busy lady! I can’t always remember to take out my starter the night before and feed it!

I found this recipe, and it looked perfect. It was extremely easy to whip together, and took me less than 10 minutes until I had biscuits in the oven. All in all, a biscuit recipe that takes less than half an hour to come out of the oven? Yes, please!

Now, you can taste the sourdough flavour in this recipe, so if you like a little bit of sweetness in your biscuits, I recommend drizzling on some honey or covering your biscuits in jam. Still, they are tall, fluffy and light, and a perfect way to welcome the day!

Ingredients

Yield: 8 biscuits, approx. 3 inches wide

1 c. flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
6 tbsp. butter, cold and sliced into cubes
1 c. unfed sourdough starter, straight from the fridge
2 tbsp. butter, melted, for finishing

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut in the cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add the sourdough starter, and mix using a wooden spoon until mixture comes together. Knead in the bowl a few times until cohesive, then turn out onto a work surface and pat down, until the dough is in an even layer.

Using a biscuit cutter, or a glass with the rim dipped in flour, cut out biscuits, as many as you can, from the dough. Don’t turn the cutter, as that seals off the edges and your biscuits may not rise as much.

Reform the dough, working with it as little as possible, and re-cut the dough, placing the cut biscuits on the prepared baking tray. With the last scraps, hand form the last biscuit.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until biscuits begin to brown on the edges. When the biscuits come out of the oven, brush the tops with the reserved melted butter, and sprinkle kosher salt on top, if desired.

Serve warm.

Chai Biscotti

Yes, another chai recipe, and another biscotti recipe! When I was visiting with the lovely Serena (again, an avid blog follower, sister-in-law, amazing painter, and all-around fantastic human being), we went a little chai-crazy.

We made the Chai cheesecake featured on my last blog post, and we also made these amazing chai biscotti!

Biscotti are so simple to make, and we couldn’t resist. Serena, being a fellow tea-fan, was all for another snack to dip in a good cup of tea. She was also still very excited about the Chai spice blend she got her hands on, and I can’t blame her! I was so excited when I received a jar as a gift!

So, when we made these biscotti, we used a spice blend. I will also put measurements for the different spices, if you do not have a spice blend. A third option would be to grind up a few chai teabags (to make it really fine) and add those in to the biscotti. All good options. I found the original recipe here, and I am so happy I did! These biscotti are major winners in my book!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 2 dozen biscotti (depending on cut size)

For the biscotti dough:

2¼ c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
½ tsp. vanilla
2½ tsp. Chai spice blend (or use the following:)
½ tsp. cardamom
½ tsp. clove
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. star anise
¼ tsp. white pepper

For the Chai glaze:

½ c. icing sugar
1 tbsp. strong brewed Chai tea
OR instead of brewed Chai tea,
2-4 tsp of milk (depending on consistency)
1 tsp. Chai spice blend

Preheat oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and Chai spices. Whisk to combine.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until well combined. Add the vanilla and whisk again.

Add dry ingredients to wet, and fold together until combined. The mixture might look dry.

Using your hands, transfer the dough to the baking sheet and pat into 1 large dough log (for larger biscotti), or 2 smaller dough logs (for smaller biscotti). Shape the dough into long, flat-topped logs, patting down the tops with your hands.

Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, turning halfway through baking.

Remove pan from oven, and let cool 5 minutes. Spritz the biscotti logs with water to soften them just a bit for cutting.

Transfer the dough to a cutting board, and slice with a sharp serrated knife into ½ inch slices. Transfer the cut biscotti back to the baking sheet, one cut side down, and bake for 8 minutes. Turn the biscotti, and bake for 7-8 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and transfer to a cooling rack with parchment paper underneath.

As the biscotti are cooling, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients. Wait until biscotti are cool, then drizzle glaze over biscotti. Serve with your favourite warm beverage!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Scones

These scones are the perfect breakfast or brunch treat! They have peanut butter in the dough, as well as in the glaze, so there is a savoury bite that goes perfectly with the sweetness of the chocolate.

It’s been a wild ride over here, as my school gears up for Exam Week and my students are going to be writing Diploma exams, so I’ve been a stress case for a few weeks. Darn it, you know you care when you stress just as much about the exam as your students do!

Anything chocolate peanut butter is a staple in our house, and these were no exception. Paul gobbled them up, and I did too, because come on, it’s chocolate and peanut butter! Match made in heaven.

These scones were also very simple to make, and the original recipe, found here, did not require any changes. This is also probably going to be a short post, because I have a lot to do to prepare for my next semester!

All I can say (and all I need to), is to go make these!

Ingredients

Yield: 8 scones

For the scones:

2 c. flour
½ c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ c. butter, cold
1/3 c. peanut butter (I used chunky for the scones)
1 egg
¼ c. sour cream
2 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chocolate chips

For the glaze:

½ c. icing sugar
2 tbsp peanut butter (I used smooth for the glaze)
3-4 tsp. milk

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter and peanut butter until well-incorporated.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients with the chocolate chips. Stir gently until barely combined. Pat the dough together in the bowl, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Form the dough into a circle about 8 inches wide.

Cut into 8 wedges, and place on the prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cool on cooling rack while making the glaze.

For the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, peanut butter, and milk to make a glaze. Add more milk for a thinner consistency, and less for thicker consistency. Put into a small icing bag, or a small ziplock bag with the corner cut. Drizzle the glaze on top of the warm scones.