Friday, September 21, 2012

Pear Filled Chai Cookies

I'm ready for fall.... desserts! Chai tea, pears and oats make for one fantastically fallish cookie. I cooked down diced pears in a mixture of chai tea concentrate and brown sugar. On it's own, the reduction would be a great ice cream topping, but I had other plans, stuff it in a cookie!  The cookies are light and cakey, but the oats ground them and give them a chewy texture. I added about a half teaspoonful of the filling and it got a bit lost in the cookie. I was hoping for a juicer pear punch in the middle. I recommend adding more pear filling than what is called for in the original recipe.  The batter is quite sticky, it should be refrigerated before baking or the cookies will spread out.
 I loved the subtle spice and depth the chai concentrate imparted. The cookie pairs perfectly with a cup of tea and a fluffy blanket on a windy fall day.

Pear­-Chai Filled Cookies

1 cup Cored, diced, unpared Bosc pears
1 1/3 cup Brown sugar
2 tbsp. Honey
2/4 cup Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
1 cup Butter
2 Eggs
2 cups Flour
2 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 cups Rolled oats

Cookie dough:
Cream butter and 1­cup brown sugar. Beat in eggs. 

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. 

Add to creamed mixture alternately with ½ cup Chai concentrate. Stir in oats. Refrigerate dough for about one hour.
While dough is chilling, begin making pear filling.

Pear filling: 

In a saucepan, combine pears, 1/3 cup brown sugar, honey and ¼ cup Original Chai concentrate. Cook over medium heat until pear is soft and liquid is nearly gone. 
Cover, Set aside. Remove cookie dough from the fridge.  Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough on greased cookie sheet. 

Make a small depression in the center of the dough and add chai/pear filling. Top with another dollop of dough. Continue until cookie sheet is full. Bake 10­-12 minutes at 375*
Cuddle up and Enjoy!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Scones

Scones are one of those baked goods that seem really simple to make, but are also really simple to mess up. A bit too much or too little of something and they venture off into the realm of the dry and unappetizing... You go along, following the recipe as you should, seemingly making no errors, yet they come out of the oven dense and crumbly. They must be good friends with pie crust. It also likes to journey to tough, dry, barely edible baked goods land. That being said, when a scone comes out well, it is heaven with a cup of coffee. 
These scones combat the dry, crumbly problem, giving you a leg up on the game with a rich, moist filling of cinnamon, butter, and sugar. It's pretty hard to go wrong with that! The batter is speckled with dark chocolate chips and they the recipe includes oats, which made me feel better about all the butter I was consuming. The recipe hails from one of my favorite sites, mykitchenaddiction.comI have tried many of the recipes on that site, and I haven't had a bad one yet! The original recipe calls for flax seed, so all you health nuts can go crazy with it ;) I left them out, some days I don't feel like a nut... okay, it's been a long day, and I need to stop with the puns, so here's the recipe, enjoy!! 

Cinnamon Sugar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Scones
For the filling:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed 
1 tablespoon cinnamon 
1 tablespoon all purpose flour 
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder (optional) 

For the dough: 
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats 
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour 
1/2 cup all purpose flour 
1/4 cup milled golden flax (I left this out) 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter (cold) 
6 ounces plain greek yogurt 
1/4 cup lowfat milk plus additional to brush on tops of scones 
1 egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup chocolate chips 
Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on top of scones 

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a nine-inch cake pan and cut a circle of parchment to line the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the filling, using a fork to evenly incorporate the butter to form moist crumbs. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the dough – the rolled oats, white whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, milled golden flax (if using), granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
Use a cheese grater and grate the butter into the dry ingredients, working it in with your fingers until the mix resembles sand. 
In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, egg, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients and the chocolate chips to the dry ingredients. 
Use a fork to incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry, just until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and use your hands to gently knead the dough and form it into a ball. Don't overwork the dough, or you may get a drier scone. 
Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a disc that is approximately 9 inches in diameter (to fit into the pan). 
Place one of the discs of dough in the bottom of the prepared baking pan. 
Spread the prepared filling on top of the first disc. Top with the second disc of dough, pressing down lightly to remove any air bubbles.
Use a dough scraper to cut the scones into 12 wedges (as you can see from the picture below, mine was ten uneven wedges, nobody's perfect).
Brush with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake the scones for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Use a wire rack to flip the scones out of the pan, and then use a plate to invert the scones one more time so that they are right-side up. 
Thank you to 'My Kitchen Addiction" for originally posting this great recipe! Hope you all love it!