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    Entries in cinnanananom (20)

    Friday
    Sep062013

    Iced Vanilla Chai Latte

    We’ve been without air conditioning for a week, which has meant no cooking for me.  Hence, my late post.  Fortunately, it cooled down enough today, that I was able to stand in front of the stove long enough to brew some tea for this lovely iced chai latte.  It’s no wonder they’re so popular right now.  They’re definitely good for the soul.  Like my friend Melissa said, “Bad day?  Try one of these.” 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • 4 cups water
    • ¾ cups sugar
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
    • ¼ teaspoon cloves
    • ¼ teaspoon allspice
    • ¼ teaspoon mace
    • ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
    • ¼ cup tea leaves or 10-12 teabags
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla 

    Now, if you’re a chai tea expert, you’ll know that my list of ingredients is far from traditional.  More commonly you’ll see things like star anise, black pepper, and ginger, but I don’t really care for those in my tea, thank you.  Use a combination of whatever your favorite spices are, and place them all together in a small dish. 

    The tea is sort of the same thing.  I’m using a black tea from Teavana that comes in little balls, but you can use green tea, white tea, loose tea, teabags… whatever you prefer. 

    Bring your water to a boil, then turn off the heat and add the sugar.  I used vanilla sugar and accidentally got a piece of a vanilla bean in with it, but not to worry, this will all be strained out. 

    Add the spices. 

    Stir them in and add the tea.  Just remember, if you’re using green or white tea, you’ll need to allow the water to cool to the proper temperature first. 

    Allow it to steep for 3-4 minutes, and then pour it through a strainer. 

    I thought it would be a good idea to line the strainer with a coffee filter, but it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t.  I guess the cinnamon was clogging the filter or something, because the tea simply wouldn’t drain.  So take it from me, just use a fine sieve.   

    Add the vanilla

    And the milk. 

    Give it a quick stir, and you have a perfect iced vanilla chai latte.  (and it didn’t cost 5 bucks) Not to mention, there’s plenty to share or keep in the fridge for later. 

    Pour it over plenty of ice, and enjoy. 

    Ahhh, sweet, spicy, cool, refreshing, deliciousness.  Like I said, good for the soul. 

    What do you indulge in when you’ve had a bad day? 

     

    Tuesday
    Jun182013

    Apple Pie-Rogies

    Tiny apple pies. Because it's too hot to cook a whole one.

     

    And because one of the requests on the cookie board was "apple cinnamon" and I really wanted to make the cookies that look just like tiny pies that Taneasha sent me a link to (it wasn't really a recipe since all it did was reshape premade dough and fill it with premade apple filling). But for some reason, that seemed like a lot of work. So instead I made perogies.

    No, I don't understand how my brain works either.

    Apple Pie-Rogies

    the lovely crustiness

    • 1 c butter
    • 3 c sifted flour
    • 1 c icing (powdered) sugar
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 10 - 12 tbsp milk

    the tasty fillingness

    • 3 apples
    • 3 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 1 tsp cinnamon

    apparently we're playing the game of "guess which ingredient isn't in the pic" again

    Peel and dice your apples into small pieces.

    Toss them into a pot with the rest of the filling stuff and set the burner to medium.

    You're going to have to stir these from time to time, but not so often that you can't make the crust while they simmer.

    Chop the butter into smallish chunks (and if you stole one of them for the filling, I promise I won't tell) and add the flour and the sugar and the salt to the bowl.

    Yes we're making pastry. No you don't have to freak out.

    Really, it's one of the easiest things to make. You just have to resist the urge to squish the dough between your fingers. It's gotta be one of those strange lizard-brain things, the urge to knead dough. Like cats do, and small children. Anyway, don't.

    Cut the flour/sugar/salt into the butter until you have something that looks kinda like crumbs.

    (pic of crumbs goes here... I forgot to take one, you have to use your imagination)

    Sprinkle about 6 or 8 tbsp of the milk around on top of the crumbs and then using a wooden spoon CUT through the dough.

    Don't stir, cut. From time to time, you'll need to scrape the spoon off. Keep adding a tbsp of milk at a time and cutting through the dough, until you get a shaggy mess that will hold together like damp sand.

    You are allowed to squish it this one time only. :P

    Turn the crumbly shaggy mess out onto the counter. Don't panic.

    Like the nursery rhyme says, "pat it and roll it." Pat it down, then fold (roll) half of it on top of the other half, and keep doing that until it looks like this:

    I know, I know, I need the in between pics so you'll believe me that it works and I'm not pulling some kind of Food Network bullshit, but I've only got two hands and they were both covered in shortcrust dough at the time (that's what we're making here: shortcrust dough).

    Your apples should be done now by the way.

    Chop the dough in half and roll out one half of it. You want it about 1/8 of an inch, or aboout 3 mm thick. 

    Using a 2.5 inch cookie or biscuit cutter, or really big wine glass, you should be able to get just over a dozen from half the dough. Ultimately, between the two halves and rerolling the scraps, you should end up with about 3 dozen cookies.

    Drop about a half teaspoon of filling on one side of the circle.

    Fold over the other side and press the edges together.

    I pressed mine with a fork: looks fancy and encourages the edges to stay together.

    Oh, um, you should have preheated the oven to between 300 and 325. My oven was being a fucking wack job last night, and I have no idea how hot it was in there, but I'm guessing it was in that range.

    Brush the tiny pies with an egg wash of one egg (also not in the ingredients pic) and a few tbsp of milk. You need these extra proteins on top to make sure the pies come out shiney and at least a little browned.

    Poke a few holes in the top with a toothpick. If the steam has an easy way to get out it won't try busting through the pressed-together edges.

    These take 16 - 18 minutes at whatever temperature my oven was. If the oven is too hot, you'll have very browned bottoms and still white tops. The top will be cooked, but it won't look that way.

    They're tiny, they're tasty, they're totally worth the folding and forking.

    That is some tender and flaky crust, lemme tell ya. And yes, you can do it too.

    I really wanted to make some kind of glaze to go on these (perogies need sour cream), but it was late, and I didn't want to make more dishes, so I left them as is. Plus, I couldn't decide if I should try to make something with sour cream in keeping with the theme, or go with a caramel.

    What would you glaze these with?