Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy two years!

I've been a very, very bad blogger.  >_<  But you should SEE the backlog of posts I have... in my head.  :)

Today's worth posting about, I suppose.  :)  Can you guess?  :oP

Can you believe it's been TWO years?  :)  Sometimes it feels longer, sometimes it feels shorter.

Happy Anniversary, Tim!  :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Earl Grey Tea Cookies

Yesterday we hosted a "Pride & Prejudice: Tea & Crumpets" tea party with our community group (aka Bible study). On a Friday night. :oP It was actually all Tim's idea. No kidding. :)

It was fabulous! People brought the yummiest desserts! I learned what crumpets are... English muffins! Or as wiki puts it, "a savory griddle cake." And that didn't seem very fun at 7:30pm on a Friday night, so we went with cookies and cakes and scones and other lovelies. :)

The spread! Tartlets, chocolate cake balls, cheesy scones, rice krispy treats, digestives!, coffee cake, and cookies. And tea of course!

Earl Grey Tea cookies

I made Trader Joe's Cinnamon Crumb Cake (so easy, so good!) and Earl Grey Tea Cookies! The tea cookies were a big hit and I was quite happy by how they turned out. Except they were a bit salty. And I just realized I had used salted butter instead of unsalted. Which explains everything. Which is great because that means when I make them correctly they will taste even better!!!

(Taken with Instagram)

Earl Grey Tea Cookies (by theKitchn)

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea leaves*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375°F. Pulse together all the dry ingredients in a food processor until the tea leaves are pulverized.

Add vanilla, water, and butter. Pulse together until a dough is formed. Form the dough into a log onto a piece of wax or parchment paper. Wrap the paper around and roll the log smooth. Freeze now, or chill for at least 30 minutes.

When chilled, slice the log into 1/3 inch thick pieces. Place on baking sheets and bake until the edges are just brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.
Makes two dozen.

*Note: theKitchn said they got better flavor from ripping open teabags for the tea leaves than from buying more expensive loose leaf. I've only made this once, with Twinings Earl Grey Tea bags, so I don't have a comparison but I thought it turned out great with the tea bags.

I am quite excited to try this with other teas... green tea... chai tea... oh the possibli-teas! heh heh heh. :D

What kind of tea cookies are your favorite? Or if you haven't tried any, what flavor do you think you'd like?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins

I was all ready to post this but then I was too busy to pull pictures off my camera so this is a bit late! But here goes the first time I try making muffins.

Up in these New England parts, there is a state-wide/civic holiday called Patriots' Day (this year it fell on April 16), which commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord (the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. However, because *I think* my org gets Lunar New Year day off... we don't get Patriots' Day. :(

So I decided some chocolate chocolate-chip muffins were in order to start the week off while everyone else will be enjoying their day off (and/or running the Boston Marathon!)

In blog-speak: the cast of characters!

Mix the dry ingredients together, the wet together, then mix them both together!

Then pour into your lined muffin pan

(This one taken with Instagram)

Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins (from the Food Network, Nigella Lawson)
(Never heard of her or seen her show!)

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons best quality cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar*
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

* I didn't know what superfine sugar was (it's exactly what it sounds like), so I put in regular granulated sugar. Though some further research/googling AFTER I stuck the muffins into the oven... you can make supefine sugar by putting regular graduated sugar in a food processor.


Line muffin pan with baking/paper cups.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, and 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips into a large bowl. Pour all the liquid ingredients into a measuring cup. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together. (Nigella says a lumpy batter makes the best muffins.) Spoon into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top and then bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins are dark, risen and springy. (Make sure to check them between 15 and 20 minutes.)

I thought they turned out okay.  I don't know why but I always get slightly coned shaped muffins!  I think it's because I tend to fill them more than I should.  :oT  (There are only 12 muffin slots so it's not like I can squeeze an extra one like I can on a cookie sheet for cookies!)  It was also unfortunate the first chocolate in "Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins" didn't really live up to its chocolatey-ness.  The cocoa powder made them brown but it didn't really taste like a chocolate muffin.  They were also kind of... not sweet enough but it's most likely totally because I didn't use "superfine sugar."  They weren't hard at all and I think I'll have to try making muffins again sometime!

What are your favorite kinds of muffins?
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