chai tea muffins

1:33 PM

I haven't baked in a while, and when I saw this wonderful recipe on YouTube, I felt the need to get my hands (and my apron) dirtied with some gorgeous flour. I found this recipe on my favorite YouTube cooking channel, Laura in the Kitchen.  Her recipes usually never fail me and are super simple and easy. Although I live in Hawaii, I love to get into the spirit of fall, and I thought this recipe was a perfect way to do it! FYI, this recipe will be a little longer since it is a bit more involved.

As always, the link to the full recipe and YouTube video will be found at the end of this post.  I really recommend taking a look at both since I may take shortcuts or make adaptations to the original recipe.

2 cups all purpose flour                     
2 tsp baking powder                           
1/2 tsp baking soda                   
1/2 tsp salt                       
3/4 cup granulated sugar                             
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice                                
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup of milk
4 chai tea bags
2 eggs
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

I first preheated my oven to 350 degrees. I also lined one medium-sized muffin pan with cupcake/muffin liners; I chose the pastel ones I found at the grocery store because they were 1) cheap and 2) cute.

I then poured my milk into a saucepan and heated it on low on the stove. It took about 3 minutes to get to a simmer. While the milk was heating up, I combined the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a big bowl.

By the time I had measured and mixed the dry ingredients, the milk was ready.  I took it off the heat and then added the tea bags to the hot milk.  I steeped the tea bags for 5 minutes.

While the tea was steeping, I placed the chopped walnuts in a small bowl and mixed it with about 1/2 cup of the dry flour mixture. I didn't toast my walnuts (GASP); I bought a bag of chopped walnuts and felt too lazy to toast them. I was baking late at night; forgive me.

In another bowl, I whisked (by hand) the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract together.  It was pretty easy to do by hand, so an electric mixer wasn't necessary.

Then, I poured in the wet ingredients into the dry flour mixture.

 By the time I was done with mixing the wet and dry ingredients, the milk was ready. I removed the tea bags and squeezed them to get all the wonderful chai tea flavor before discarding them.  I then added the milk little by little to the mixture until the milk was fully incorporated.

Lastly, I folded in the walnuts.

I used my ice-cream scoop to evenly divide the mixture into the 12 muffin tins, doing my best to be as neat as possible.The recipe is supposed to make 18 muffins, but I decided to fill the muffin tins more generously and simply discard the rest of the mixture.  I don't have two regular-sized muffin baking dishes, and there really wasn't much left over due to my generous fillings (maybe just enough for one muffin).  I placed the muffin pan into the oven and set my timer for 20 minutes.

After exactly 20 minutes, I took my muffins out of the oven and let them cool on my countertop for about 30 minutes.

On to the frosting:

3 oz cream cheese, softened at room temp
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 cup confectioner sugar
3 or so tbsp milk

This frosting is incredibly simple to make, and I made it while the muffins were baking. I mixed together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice until everything was incorporated.  (TIP: while you are making the muffins, leave the cream cheese and butter on your counter to soften!) Then, I added all the sugar and mixed.  Next, I added the milk a splash at a time, mixing well after every splash.  In total, I added about 2 1/2 tbsp of milk; I wanted my glaze a little thicker rather than runny.  Once mixed, I kept it in the fridge until the muffins were cooled. Then, I spread the glaze on each muffin with a butter knife and VOILA:

I loved this recipe so so so so much. I think I may have overmixed the batter for the muffins just a tad, but they still tasted so delicious and warm and comforting. Also, despite my generous pouring of the batter, the muffin was definitely fully cooked through. The muffins have a hint of chai tea flavor, enough to make you take notice but not too overpowering.  The frosting/glaze, though, was my absolute favorite part! You could really taste that cream cheese and pumpkin pie spice. It's so good and soooo pretty on top of the muffin; the frosting is translucent and has specs of spice running throughout! I ate these for breakfast and gave some to my co-workers for an afternoon nibble; they loved them! I have also commented that I could swim in a tub of that frosting. Laura Vitale, you are genius.

For the video recipe, click here. For the full online recipe instructions, click here.

Stay tuned for my next kitchen discovery: SPAGHETTI CACIO E PEPE!

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