Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chai: It's Not Just for Drinking Anymore...

It has been ages since I have blogged about a recipe!

But first a couple of quick rants.

Osama bin Laden is dead.  I will happily listen to anyone who wants to convince me that the world is a safer place and that bin Laden's death will be a major blow to Al Quaeda.  But I will disagree and say that bin Laden is an anachronism.  A powerful symbol, but just a symbol.  In killing bin Laden, we burned an effigy.  Burning effigies makes some people feel really good, I guess.

I have the most God-awful stomach ache!  No nausea, just pain that has stuck around for days.  I gave it ginger and peppermint and other things stomachs are supposed to like.  I spoke nicely to it. It answered (Which kind of freaked me out.  Thought it was God for a second.) and said, "Cut it with the stress,and I'll cut it with the pain."  I do tend to let stress tie my stomach in knots.  Get over it, stomach!  I'm workin' on it.

Rant over.

OK!  I can bake with a stomach ache, no problem. 

I wanted to try a new muffin recipe, and I had several to choose from:  Tuscan Lemon (mmm...); Chocolate-Chocolate Chip; Bacon-Cheddar Corn; Cherry Wheat-Germ or Pistachio Chai.  I chose Pistachio Chai 'cause it sounded the weirdest.

If you have followed my blog for a while, you know how I play this game.  I commit to blogging the recipe before I try it, which means there is always a risk that I will fail spectacularly, in public. 

First, before we start, some tips for making your muffins yummier (Yes, I know:  could my muffins get any yummier than they already are!?  Wait.  What were we talking about?):
  1. Let the batter stay a little lumpy;
  2. Spray the liners with cooking spray;
  3. Start checking for doneness about 5 minutes before they are supposed to be done.  They are small and oven temperatures vary;
  4. Leave them to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then take them out to finish cooling.
 OK, here is the picture from the magazine.  This is what I'm trying to replicate...
    1 3/4 C flour 1/2 C packed brown sugar
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 chai tea bags, cut open (no, duh...)
  • 1 C low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 C butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla, divided
  • 1 lg. egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 C shelled dry-roasted pistachios, chopped
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 T water
     1.  Get your loyal acolyte to chop up pistachios for you  "These nuts are salted, Mom."  "Well...the recipe doesn't specify salt vs. no salt..." 2.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
     3.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
     Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Sara's whisk is a blur in this picture.
     Add tea to flour mixture, stirring well.  make a well in the center of the mixture.  Or, if you're me, don't bother.
     Combine buttermilk, butter, 1 t vanilla and egg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
     Wonder what this substance is on the whisk.  Feel concerned.  Remember that it is butter, coming un-melted.  Get laughed at by daughter.
     Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
     4.  Place muffin papers in 12 muffin cups.  Spray with cooking spray.
     Divide batter evenly (or try) among prepared muffin cups.  Sprinkle nuts evenly over the batter.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before you let the children attack. Combine remaining 1/2 t vanilla, powdered sugar and 1 T water, stirring until smooth. Drizzle evenly over the muffins.  Makes 12 muffins.
    Tah-daa!  And they are...BORING, 'cause they turned out just like the ones in the magazine!  These blogs are always better if I fuck something up.
    The verdict?  Pretty good, but I think it's a good idea to avoid salted pistachios.  And be ready to run to a mirror after eating and check for chai leaves between your teeth.
    I don't know if they rise to the level of "keeper".  I could try another type of muffin next time, but my head has been turned by the cream pie recipes. Which one should I try next weekend?  Lemon?  Mexican Chocolate?  Or Chai Cream Pie?  What is it with chai?  It's everywhere. 
    I left them to cool on the counter and came back a while later.  Picked one up to eat it and when I pulled the paper off, and ant dropped out.  
    Ooops!  Time for one more rant.  Where are they coming from?  (Answer, from the dishwasher aperture.) Why are they here? (It's the time if year in which ants decide where they will be going for vacation; and a large number selected the Nathan and Sara Tour de Cheerios).  Ah, well.  Beats roaches.  


  1. I suppose Osama has left a whole army of terrorists behind him.

    I like your muffins

    I made some from a package last week

  2. I made donut muffins a couple of weeks ago. Very easy and quick. Plus it's a donut that looks like a muffin but tastes like a donut. Win!