I've got a secret.
Okay, I'm not really sure how "secret" it is. But I've got some information. And this information has the potential to rock your world.
But for this to really pack the punch, I must first set the scene.
It's kind of like those episodes of How I Met Your Mother that open up with something completely outrageous and then back up and break it down. (How totally great are those?)
I love Starbucks.
Well, actually I love lattes. Alright, let's break it waaayy down. I. Love. Foam.
It's like velvety, creamy, whipped goodness.
But there is good foam and then there is bad foam.
Bad foam is airy, bubbly, runny, flat.
Good foam is like meringue. Seductive. Delicious. A dollop of heaven along with your daily caffeine.
My fondness for Starbucks then doesn't come from the atmosphere or quality, but from the sheer convenience. It's the new McDonald's. There is one on every corner. No other business in the world offers me so many chances to grab coffee and frothy steamed milk.
Well played, Starbucks, you have earned my respect...and my heart.
|Instant Chai Latte Mix, Chai Tea, Instant Espresso, 60% Dark Chocolate Chips|
I enjoy all things latte. I enjoy such things to the extent that I volunteer (as in--for free) at our church cafe several times a month. The best perk? Free coffee...all the time. Win. Win. Win. Win. Win.
It took me months upon months before I was able to produce the kind of fantastic foam that could meet my unrealistic standards. If I wasn't impressed, it didn't get served. Okay, so that basically meant I refused to make drinks, but how can you fault me? Inferior foam is in an offensive league all its own.
Once I got that hurdle behind me, it opened up a whole new world of experimentation. And experiment I did.
I will try anything. Edible. I will try anything edible. Let me clarify. Don't get crazy.
I have a cafe "partner in crime" and together we came up with some doozies including the Cherry Vanilla Latte and my personal fav the Tapatio Latte (the experience - because the taste was just horrendous).
One day, a light bulb went on in my head:
"*Bling* Omg, I know how to fix everything that is wrong with the Chai Latte! Add some shots of espresso!"
My genius lasted all of two seconds. Because well #1) pretty much everyone loves Chai Lattes, but me. I don't get it. It's like spicy watery milk and #2) the "Dirty Chai" already exists. Even Starbucks carries it. (Yes, the "dirty" part refers to the color of the espresso. Geeze people!).
Nevertheless, these are so good I'll let it slide that someone invented it before me. No biggie. Heck, I'll even let it slide that Starbucks can make fantastic Christmas-in-a-cup-goodness and yet they keep it on their SECRET menu! Starbucks, how could you?!
So when a friend of mine asked if I would bake something for the dessert bar at her wedding, I jumped right on that. I knew we both liked chai. In fact, she was there the night I came up with my brilliant-idea-that-already-existed-but-nobody-deemed-important-enough-to-tell-me-so-I-had-to-figure-it-out-on-my-own-and-then-not-even-get-to-take-the-credit-for-it.
But I've let that go.
So the question was: How could I make a dirty chai cookie?
Once I found these Chai Latte Cookies, I knew I had my inspiration.
I added extra chai....like straight up from a tea bag (the spicier the better),
Switched out the buttercream for an espresso ganache,
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar + 1/4 cup for rolling
- 2 packets instant chai latte powder (1/3 cup)
- 2 tsp chai tea
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Whipped Espresso Ganache:
- 10oz semi sweet chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tsp instant espresso
1) Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) In a medium sized bowl, beat butter, sugar, chai latte powder, and chai tea (I used Tazo. Just cut
open the bag and measure!) until fluffy.
3) Add vanilla and egg. Beat until well mixed.
4) In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt together.
5) Add flour mixture to sugar mixture a little bit at a time until thoroughly combined.
6) Pour 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Take a small amounts of dough and roll it into a tiny balls -
approx. 1/2 inch. (Seriously, with these think super small. Remember you are going to add another
cookie plus ganache). Toss into sugar bowl and place on cookie sheet an inch apart.
7) Very gently press the flat bottom of a glass onto the top of each dough ball. You just want to flatten
the top slightly, you don't want increase the diameter of the ball.
8) Bake for 8 minutes or until dry to touch. Makes approx. 40 cookies.
A) Set aside chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
B) In small saucepan, heat cream just until boiling.
C) Add espresso powder to cream and stir until dissolved.
D) Pour cream over chocolate chips and stir until melted and thoroughly combined.
E) Let ganache cool to room temperature. With a hand mixer beat until slightly fluffy. Be careful not
to over beat. Mixture will become like chocolate butter and be very difficult to spread. (Tip: if
needed to help with the whipping process place bowl in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Be
careful as ganache gets very firm once chilled and will be extremely difficult to spread.)
Spread a small amount of ganache onto one chai cookie half. Top with another. If cookies will not be eaten right away they should be refrigerated, but ganache will hold up as long as not in direct heat.
And they were delish! This dough is to die for.
Today photos by: ME!!! And my new DIY lightbox!
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