Are you scratching your head and wondering how it's already November? So are we. Which makes us realize that soon we're going to be scratching our heads and wondering how it's already Thanksgiving and then how it's already ... well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. How about we just slow down a bit this month?
The days are getting shorter, but if you want to stretch out an afternoon with a fun project with delicious results, shall we suggest some time in the kitchen? This month we thought we'd give you some recipes that either involve tea, or might pair well with tea. And we'll start with what we're referring to as:
Chai Frosting (with a pumpkin cupcake underneath)
You can use our Organic Mountain High Chai sachets, or our award-winning Paisley Label Organic Chai, in the frosting! (And then, obviously, serve these with whatever tea you want, if you think having chai with them would be too redundant.)
For the cupcakes:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup canola or safflower oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 15oz can pureed pumpkin
For icing and decorating:
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 chai tea bags
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons decorative gold sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the cupcake pans very well, and, if you like, place cupcake liners in each.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl). In another, larger bowl, using handheld or stand mixer, beat together the sugar and oil until the sugar is saturated by the oil. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the pumpkin. Add the flour mixture, and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined. Divide batter equally among cake pans.
3. Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.
4. Make the Frosting: Combine the sugar, 5 tablespoons water, the chai tea bags, cardamom pods, and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to make sure the sugar dissolves, then simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the syrup steep another 20 minutes. Remove the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick, and squeeze out all the flavor from the tea bags, then toss them. Let the syrup come to room temperature before proceeding.
5. Using a food processor or a mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, honey, and chai syrup until very smooth. If you have time, refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors come together, but take out of the fridge at least 1 hour before frosting the cupcakes, so that it’s spreadable.
6. Spread a generous amount of frosting on top of each cooled cupcake, then sprinkle the gold sugar on top.