pistachio chai muffins

pistachio chai muffins

I have two suitcases lying open on my bedroom floor, stuffed with more clothes than I will possibly need over 8 days. Tomorrow I leave for Seattle, where I will start a road trip that finishes up in Los Angeles. The night before a road trip, when it happens to be 95 and sticky outside, is no time to be baking muffins; fortunately, I made these muffins a week ago and am finally, finally not stuck with horrendous writer's block.

(It is the time, however, to be making no-bake snack bars, which I'll be posting when I get back. Those are a road trip must.)

These muffins are barely sweet, even with a bit of icing, and tasted even better with some jam. I highly recommend using a strong chai tea – I used Tazo – so you actually get a good chai flavor. So many "chai" baked good recipes don't call for tea, only the spices, but this is a tea-forward recipe. If you really wanted to amp the spice, I'd add a few shakes of cinnamon or cardamom.

If I post from the West Coast, it will be with seriously obnoxious instagram photos of the coast. For which I apologize in advance. Enjoy these muffins in my absence!

pistachio chai muffin close-up

pistachio chai muffins
adapted from Cooking Light

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (7.9 ounces)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 chai tea bags
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup shelled dry-roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped

for the glaze (optional):
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or by spraying with cooking spray.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large bowl. Cut open the chai tea bags and add the contents to the bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, gently whisk together the buttermilk, butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and egg until combined. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Fold together dry and wet ingredients until just completely combined.

Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the pistachios evenly over the muffin batter.

Bake at 375 for 14-15 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan on a wire rack, then remove the muffins to cool on a rack completely.

Once cool, if making a glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and water. Drizzle the glaze over the muffins. Beware, this is a thin glaze, so have something to catch the drips.

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