Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chai Brownies (Take 1)

One of my all-time favorite loose leaf teas is Wegmans Chocolate Chai. The flavors go together so nicely for the perfect mid-winter hot drink, no sugar needed. That tea is the inspiration for these brownies. Now, I know there are plenty other recipes out there for chai brownies, but can there really be too many options for something so promising? So here is my attempt.

Chocolate Chai Brownies
Based on Steve's favorite Jungle Camp Brownies
*see the update below for the disclaimer on this recipe!

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Combine in a medium mixing bowl:
   1 cup sugar (white and/or brown)
   6 tablespoons cocoa powder
   3/4 cup flour (white and/or wheat)
   1/4 teaspoon salt
   *1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
   *cardamom (seeds from 2-5 pods ground in mortar & pestle, or 1/8-1/4 tsp ground)
   dash ground black pepper
   dash ginger (optional - I didn't have any)

Mix in:
   1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon oil/applesauce (I always use a combination)
   2 eggs, beaten
   splash vanilla extract
   1/4 cup chocolate chips and/or coconut (optional)

Pour into greased 8x8 pan. Sprinkle on top:
   Coconut and/or turbinado sugar

Bake at 325 for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


The verdict: just came out of the oven! Update forthcoming :)

*Update: So. These have a huge potential. But I used WAY too much cardamom. It just smelled so good... and looked like so little ground up in the mortar. Well, it wasn't so little. I used 8-10 pods (I swear, it really didn't look like much!). I think 2-5 is probably the appropriate number. Next go, I will mix up everything but the spices, then add slowly and figure out the correct amount. That said - even with somewhat overpowering cardamom, they were great with vanilla bean ice cream, and it did mellow the cardamom enough that it was quite tasty! Also, the coconut was amazing. If you don't hate it, use it!

 The two year old ate them, so they can't be bad!

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