I’m Back, Baby!

I have officially devoured all my antibiotics,  1 1/2 bags of cough drops, 1 box of tissues, 2 seasons of Downton Abbey, and more non-home-cooked meals this week than I care to admit.

I’m in love with Downton Abbey, but I’m ready to break up with bronchitis.

First order of business: bringing out the frying pan.

Dave went grocery shopping yesterday, and I begged for fresh fruit; thankfully, he delivered! Our fruit basket is now filled with grapes, ‘nanas, plums, Asian pears, and two kinds of apples.  Melted sharp cheddar and crisp Gala apple slices with a little cinnamon truly made my morning.

 

After I polished this off, I set to crossing one of the foods off my ‘holiday season’ cooking bucket list: Chai Pumpkin Spice Thumbprints. I decided to make them at my grandma’s house so I could hang out with the fam for a little bit.

 

Could you resist this adorable face? Not me. (Seriously, I was never a baby person before, but this little moonbeam is friggin’ adorable. Okay, okay, I’ll shut up about her. :) )

The cookies call for chai concentrate which can be found at most grocery stores, but I decided to make my own using my mom’s looseleaf Masala Chai tea.

Homemade Chai Concentrate

  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 8 oz Masala Chai tea
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Once boiling, add tea, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about twenty minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, strain out the tea leaves, and mix in honey and vanilla. Stir, then allow mixture to cool before moving to an airtight container (I used a mason jar).

 

Then, it was on to the cookies!

Chai Pumpkin Spice Thumbprints

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup chai concentrate
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 22-24 pumpkin spice Hershy kisses (found at Target)

Cream together butter and sugar.

(My grandma doesn’t have a Kitchen Aid (I know, right?!), so I mixed these together by hand.)

Add egg, chai concentrate, and vanilla extract, and mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly incorporate flour mixture into wet mixture (I usually do it in threes).

 

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. (Or cheat and freeze for 15 minutes, then refrigerate for 15 minutes like I did).

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Using your hands, roll the dough into 22 to 24 one inch round balls. Place the dough balls on parchment paper lined baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, unwrap kisses.

Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately place pumpkin kisses in the center of each cookie. Don’t touch or the kisses will turn into puddles! (I touched one to verify this warning. It’s true). Cool completely.

 

Recipe adapted from: Pass the Sushi

I will be the first to say that the Pumpkin Spice kisses are a lot to take on their own, but combined with the flavors from the chai cookie, it was scrumptious. Two thumbs up.

After I waited an extraordinarily long time for the cookies to cool, I went home to some delicious seafood chowder that Dave made.

 

What it lacked for in photogenic quality, it made up for in flavor. Bronchitis or no, I am still all about the soup this week, and this particular chowder was no disappointment. Dave made a huge batch, so I’m sure I will be enjoying it again this week. I love easy meals!

I am looking forward to getting back into my regular exercise routine tomorrow (exercise and bronchitis don’t mix–try it yourself). Until then, I will leave you with a sneak peak of what an important day tomorrow is for me.

Thanks for sticking with me!

 

 

 

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